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After the interval the interaction between Conductor (Anthony Inglis) and audience became steadily less formal. A lady of the audience – was she a plant? – was invited to clamber on to the Conductor’s podium to take the orchestra through a replay of the Hornpipe from Henry Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea-Songs.

We were all subsequently requested to contribute, in

voice, or in actions, though for many our hands were still coming apart when they should have been together adding to the percussion, or we were late struggling up out of our seats, then left standing about like useless wind-farm things, when we should have been back in them.

The wise virgins, and others, who had visited the patriotic boutiques on their way in, waved their flags, wore their hats, but fortunately had forgotten their car horns and penny whistles; Britannia Ruled; Jerusalem was invited to our Green and Pleasant, which Land had Hope and Glory and looked for More; there were the obligatory encores; and the evening concluded with not one National Song, but two, the men of Treorchy having the last words. How did they compare with the Faringdon Singers? Well, they obviously lacked in a couple of respects: Sopranos and Altos, not even any castrati to be heard, but otherwise rather good.

On our way out, in suitable Rotary fashion, we had the opportunity to contribute to the Rotary Club of Birmingham’s ongoing Merton House Holiday Hotel – not a care home, but a hotel that cares, for the elderly, frail and disabled, in Ross on Wye.

The Rotary Club of Birmingham had organised the Concert and deserve our thanks, as more locally to our party do John and Shaena merit our gratitude. Happily the bus back to Shrivenham took sixty five minutes less than the journey up, and anyhow despite the long sit inward we had had more than adequate time for our meal in the Piccolino Ristorante, cunningly chosen as being close to the ICC complex, but allowing us a short walk to catch a glimpse of the now very smart central area and the launch point for cruises or walks along the canals, inner Birmingham now being on the way to rivalling Amsterdam or Venice.

Happy 100th Birthday RIBI, and what a splendid outing for our Club in Brum. Douglas Dalrymple

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