BSRA Initiatives

Summer Party
20th June 2015

From Anna Hooper:

Dear all

Thank you for making yesterday's party such a success.  I counted 75 people in the hall for the music so, with everyone coming and going we must have had nearly 150.  We had new neighbours and long-standing neighbours, who had not been to an event before, enjoying themselves and Police, Councillors and some friends from the United Reformed Church as guests.  It was very good to see many past neighbours - thank you to everyone who encouraged them to come - and, being Fathers' Day,  lots of large extended families which was delightful.

We were lucky to have a beautiful day but, even so, I believe having the marquee added a good deal in terms of ease of preparation and clearing up and gave a very welcoming focus.  John (Ball) and his team did an amazing job organising everything and leaving it all looking good by 6.45 pm - a record in my experience.  Elizabeth Enthoven brought jugs of flowers for the tables.  People were conscientious about removing their dishes and rubbish, but thanks to Ian (Terry) for taking a carload of rubbish bags.

The bring and share picnic worked well.  The food was delicious and there were generous contributions of wine from guests and residents.

Simon Geraghty and Allah Ditta both brought champagne and I intend to take one bottle round to Laura Brown at Springfield this afternoon. RGS are very generous to us and many people commented on how unusual it is to be given such free and unrestricted access to a school.  Laura was enthusiastically involved in the tree planting operation which was a lovely finale for the party and I am encouraging RGS to keep watering it during the summer.

Thanks to Ian for his superb exhibition of our history and to David (Greenhill) and Robin (Dallaway)  for excellent presentations about the Street Sign Project and the BSRA Website.  It has been a fantastically positive year for BSRA initiatives so thanks to one and all for all your talent and energy.

The highlight of the day for the children was the sports and games organised by Kelvin (Hard), ably supported by Gabriel and Amelie.  We very grateful to all three of them for doing an excellent job and encouraging the tennis, rounders and croquet.  And thanks too to Liz Prosser for her Lucky Dip which was hugely enjoyed by the children and hopefully raised a little for the Christmas Shoebox Appeal.

The Music and Poetry in the hall was enthusiastically attended and we are grateful to Gwen Baker and Angela Lanyon for encouraging the younger residents' to have a go at performing as well as performing so skilfully themselves.  As a result we were treated to a feast of beautiful solo playing from our talented younger neighbours: Ruby Needham, Natasja and Tamara Enthoven and Sam Mountain.  Lucas Ball cheerfully accompanied us with no notice of what he might be playing which was an impressive feat of improvisation.  Angela Lanyon's adaptation of Robert Browning's poem Up at a Villa, Down in the City and Kevin Hard's Rule Britannia brought the house down.

Best wishes and thanks again.


Up at a Villa – Down in the City
by Robert Browning (with nod-ins from Angela Lanyon)

Had I but plenty of money, money enough and to spare
The house for me, no doubt, were a house in the city Square.
O, such a life, such a life as one leads at the windows there!

Something to see, by Bacchus, something to hear, at least,
Although there, all day long, one’s life is a perfect feast,
While out in the country, one lives, I maintain it, no more than beast.

But the city, oh, the city, the Square with the houses! Why
They’re stone-faced, white as curd - there is something to catch the eye.
Houses in four straight lines. Not a single front awry!
You watch who crosses and gossips, who saunters, who hurries by
.Green blinds as a matter of course to draw when the sun gets high,
And doors with their elegant knockers where windows reflect the sky.

Ere you open your eyes in the morning the racing is sure to begin,
Hot air balloons and loudspeakers, and a circus to add to the din.
By and by there’s the sound of the bin men - is it paper or landfill today?
And watch out for diversions and potholes that are carefully put in the way.

It’s a horror to think of the country, so it’s life in the city for me,
With plenty of comings and goings and always some drama to see,
There’s always some sort of excitement, some incident going on there,
For two hundred years it’s been standing -

So three cheers for Britannia Square!

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