2015 in pictures

A whistlestop tour of my year in pictures! Just a few highlights of 2015 to prove it hasn’t all been bad ☺ there have been some happy moments along the way!

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Post Christmas get together with the family


January in Abergavenny

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Singing with Bournemouth MVC in February
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Durham and Newcastle in March
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Broadway in Bewdley with Bewdley Concert Band in April

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Easter at Hartlebury Castle….spot the gate-crashing bunny…
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Leaving the Castle to spend more time as a registrar in April

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BCB play Symphony Hall Birmingham – St Georges day concert on my wedding anniversary in April

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Fa cup final day BBQ… Villa lost 😢

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Summer gigs in the Parks with Bewdley Concert Band

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Cardiff Tiger Bay for Classic FM live in June

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Birthday meal in Bewdley in July

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Valentines tour Swansea in July..guess the book titles….

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August: Last day for weddings at Kidderminster Register office before its move to the Town Hall
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New outside wedding venue at a local hotel

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Shiver me timbers August bank holiday Pirate School!

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September cruise around the Adriatic on MSV Oceana
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Meerkats are still my favourite at West Midland Safari Park!
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Celebrating Christmas with new friends and old
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Playing for Santa on the Severn Valley Railway

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Happy New Year 😁

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Down the mine

This week we visited The National Mining Museum, Big Pit, in Blaenavon near Abergavenny. Having researched my family history I know that my great great grandfather William was a miner in the Black Country, as was his father before him, so I was interested to find out more about the life of a miner.
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Admission to this World Heritage Site is free, you just pay £3 to park all day, and in addition to the various exhibitions you also get a guided tour underground in the pit itself. After removing any iems that include batteries (for safety reasons) and leaving bags in the storage provided we took the miners lift down to the coal face. A word of warning here, wrap up warm! It is cold and damp in the pit and in places you need to dip your head to avoid low beams. Sturdy shoes or boots are advised!
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Our chatty guide, a former miner himself, was very knowledgeable and pitched his talk to appeal to the children as well as the adults in the group. An hour later we made our way back up to the surface and continued around the rest of the site, which included the pit baths and medical centre, as well as an interesting exhibition about a miners life.
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After coffee and Welsh cakes in the café we ended our visit in the Gallery, an audiovisual presentation about the mine and a short guided tour around a reconstruction of the mine, which is a great idea since not everyone is able to or wants to visit the actual one underground.
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Whilst visiting the area there are also nature walks, a steam railway and the ironworks nearby, which are also worth a visit. A great day out!

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St Georges Day Spectacular

Yesterday was a day to remember, in addition to it being my 28th Wedding Anniversary (Happy anniversary to my wonderful husband Steve!) It also saw Bewdley Concert Band take to the stage at Birmingham Symphony Hall for our biggest ever concert, a St Georges Day concert in aid of Macmillan nurses.

Our own Dressing Room!

Our own Dressing Room!

Birmingham Symphony Hall

Birmingham Symphony Hall

 

Together with a massed Male Voice Choir, a ukulele band, local school children and a host of other local entertainers we celebrated St Georges Day in style!

Bewdley Concert Band rehearsal

Bewdley Concert Band rehearsal

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Durham and the North

Durham

Just back from a short break to the north of England, Durham and Newcastle to be more exact, and what a great time we had. Durham is the most beautiful city, and I will definitely be going back again. We saw the sites of Newcastle and also a visit to the second site of the National Railway Museum at Shildon.

Here are a few highlights!

Angel of the North

Angel of the North

Millennium Bridge Gateshead

Millennium Bridge Gateshead

Shildon Railway Museum

Shildon Railway Museum

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Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

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Singing from the heart on Valentines Day

Bournemouth Male Voice Choir

Bournemouth Male Voice Choir

Spending St Valentine’s Day evening with 28 men singing their hearts out, who could ask for more? Well the audience of our annual concert last Saturday night certainly did ask for more as they were entertained to a wonderful evening of music from the Valentines and our special guests The Bournemouth Male Voice Choir.

The Valentines, under our new Musical Director Jane Richardson, entertained the audience with a mixture of musical favourites including Hallelujah, You Raise Me Up,  Adiemus and The Rose, and also premiered three songs new to our repertoire, Murasame (The Mists of Evening) an 11th Century Japanese song; The Trolley Song from the musical Meet me in St Louis, and Ennio Morricone’s Italian favourite Nella Fantasia.

Having visited them down in Bournemouth in 2012, our guests travelled up from the South coast to join us on stage for the evening and entertained us with a mixture of traditional and modern repertoire including The Rhythm of life, Bui Doi, Voice of the Child, and a piece composed by one the choristers, Terry Rigler, especially for the choir called Send Down a Song for Me. The choir used its range of soloists to good effect throughout the evening, and the highlight for many was the stunning rendition of U2s MLK with soloist Phil Smith.

As the audience went on their way home after being treated to The Valentines own version of A Celtic Blessing written for us by our accompanist Morfudd Sinclair, I am certain every one of us felt blessed by the musical journey that had made St Valentine’s Day 2015 a special one for us all.

Valentines Day 2015

Valentines Day 2015

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Merry Christmas

The decorations are up and the Christmas Countdown has begun.
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Christmas is coming…..

So the weather is turning colder and the mornings are frosty and its that time of year that the Christmas table cloth makes its appearance!

Let it Snow

Let it Snow

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Autumn is a coming….

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The trees are starting to turn red and golden so Autumn is definately on the way as you can see from this picture looking towards St Mary’s church from the canal in Kidderminster today.
As the nights start to draw in thoughts turn to all things autumnal, warming stews, woolly jumpers and the smell of bonfires 🙂 and soon it will be time to start crafting my Christmas cards and getting out the Christmas tablecloth to start sewing this years design! 🙂

This is a photo of the same view last time we had snow 🙂
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Yo ho and a bottle of……

Today we ignored the wet Bank holiday weather and held Pirate School at Worcesteshire County Museum, Hartlebury Castle. Pirates galore flocked to join The Black Pear crew under the watchful eye of Captain Sharkbreath, Ruby Cutlass, Pearl Dagger and Scurvy Dog. The new recruits learn to talk pirate, sing sea shanty’s and fire the canon. There was a treasure hunt and storytelling, facepainting and lots of pirate things to colour and make. A great day out! Here are a few pictures from the day.

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Valentines on tour….Yorkshire

Yorkshire has been the destination for this years Kidderminster Valentines summer concert tour, and a sunny five days saw us visiting Harrogate, Skipton, Temple Newsam and singing in two concerts – one in Wakefield and the other in Wentworth.
As usual the evenings also boasted excellent home made entertainment from both Valentines and their husbands, and a themed World War 1/2 evening  included a themed menu and some ingenious costumes. Here are a few pictures from our tour.

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