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1940s day acknowledgements

Thursday 10th November 2011

By Frank Batchelor

LOSTFEAST week (22nd – 29th October) gave the people of Lostwithiel and visitors alike an opportunity to partly step back in time and take a glimpse at life on the home front as it was portrayed during the 1940s. On Wednesday 26th October mid way through a week of rain the sun shone onto the town and lifted the mood of everyone.

The perfect day was beginning to form along the Parade with Lostwithiel’s specially invited visitors from Penzance, the South West Battle group and their co-ordinator Michael who with ENSA had prepared a programme of stage entertainment for the day. The SWBG and their star attraction Debbie representing ENSA entertained everyone in the sunshine with a blend of war time songs and humour. This entertainment was at its best with many sitting and watching whilst the highlights were shown later on BBC Spotlight at 6.30pm. So congratulations to Michael and his team of volunteers and to talented Debbie a top performer that will always be welcome in Lostwithiel.

Moving along to the Church Rooms enabled another set of stars to perform with their war time ballads and melodies, with Debbie sprinting from the Parade to join in. The attractions started with Maureen (a visitor from Lanivet) dressed in a smart Wren’s uniform, supported by her pianist singing songs that many people identified from times past and sang along with her. The next performers were fantastic Debbie and ENSA, a group which would have entertained Dads Army had they walked from Warmington-on-Sea! Finally to conclude the morning entertainment were Judith, with her husband Phill (piano) and accompaniment Denzil (euphonium).

Judith produced a rich tone to her rendering of songs from past shows of both screen and stage, whilst Phil and Denzil are military trained bandsmen who have a wealth of experiences in musical entertainment.

During the afternoon tea dance music was attracting people to again step inside the Church Rooms and join in the fun. The room was abundant with national Union Jack flags hanging from every corner together with memorabilia posters displayed on the walls. There were also various household items actually collected from the period laid out for people to view. The room certainly had a very happy atmosphere with John playing his recorded music that made everyone wanting to step onto the dance floor. John brought to the event a mixture of tunes and dances that raised happy smiles to the faces of everyone. Many people who had admiring glances were wearing clothing borrowed from the past and they should be appreciated for taking time to perfect their grooming. During the afternoon donated money was collected for SSAFA and Shelter Box rising to over £200.00 at the end of the afternoon.

So this report should outline gratitude and thanks to many people who without their support and assistance in creating this event disaster would have raised a huge shadow on us all.

To Adrian with his huge enthusiasm and ideas for creating Lostwithiel as a Cornish centre for festival activities. To Roberta, more used to painting and decorating, for kick starting the poster campaign. To Dick who produced a huge amount of advertising taking up many hours of hard work. Of course to SWBG and ENSA for their immense cooperation in making our days a joy. To John who drove with his wife from Plymouth with all of their music equipment to entertain people in Lostwithiel. To Joy for baking a lovely cake that raised money that paid for the room hire. To Mel and Jean for the way they dressed coupled with their attention to detail in the way they presented coffee and biscuits to everyone. To Malcolm who flew to the Church Room ceiling with bunting between his teeth. To the WI who put the tea into dance during the afternoon and the many helpers within the Church Rooms who all pulled together. Not forgetting Lostwithiel Town Council for giving their blessing to SWBG camping on the Parade, also to Devon and Cornwall Police for their liaison especially at river spring tides at night time. Also thanks should go BBC Spotlight for TV coverage, Radio Cornwall for event announcements and the Cornish Guardian for event reporting and photos.

Let us all look forward to 2012 Jubilee weekend on June 2nd and once again welcoming some 1940s fun into Lostwithiel.