New Singers

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Monday, 14 July 2014

Schwyzertag Festival

The trip to the Schwyzertag festival in Tiengen near the Rhine in Southern Germany was a great success. A group of eight of us – Debbie Deadman, Steve Allbury, Anne and Alan Wheeler, Sue and David Garrard, Gaynor and John Lamb – had a very enjoyable four days of singing, beer, sightseeing and warm German hospitality. We were put up in a guesthouse a few kilometres outside the town where we were really looked after by the patron Tomas who even cooked us a meal on his evening off.

Fortunately we had two German speakers: David and Steve. David led the singing and introduced our songs in German, his jokes even raised a laugh. The festival, which commemorates the defeat of Swiss invaders in 1415, was well attended and we found ourselves singing to an audience of 4-500 on Saturday and over 700 the following day. It was just as well we had microphones and amplification.

We were glad we had decided to dress up since many of the Germans wore traditional costume. The women in our group wore mob caps, aprons and white blouses, while the men put on brown corduroy trousers, braces, flat caps and a red neckerchief.   We sang Sussex by the Sea (a must we were told), West Sussex Drinking Song and Thousands or More in our first session and Fathom the Bowl, Rosebuds, Thousands or More and Jolly Good Song for the second set. Our efforts were well received. The local paper even described us as lusty, according to David.

SDFS was invited as part of a twinning delegation from Lewes, which included a lively woman’s morris side called the Cuckoo’s Nest and two stonking bands. We are planning to see if any other twinning associations would like a bit of the real Sussex to liven up their events. Gollier.

John Lamb

The barrel is sprung

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