The show must go on!

CAFT Staf and Volunteers

We had our dedication to the cause tested on Sunday 15th at our Annual Open Air Carol Concert in Hale.

Not only was the weather conspiring against us with torrential rain and gale force winds from start to finish, but a more serious incident meant we had no microphones, speakers or staging for the event!

Julie Gray who organises this event explains: “This is a fabulous community event which we have been putting on for years, it’s always so well supported by local businesses and individuals and we’re always touched by the wonderful sense of community the residents of Hale and beyond show us.

However, this year this was tested as things didn’t go quite to plan! We have been using a company for years for our staging and audio for the event and have become friends with one of their staff, Liam, in that time. He has never let us down but on the day of the event when he hadn’t turned up and we couldn’t contact him we started to become concerned, both for him and for our event which relies so heavily on people being able to hear the band, choir and soloist Scarlett Quigley.

We have since learned that Liam was in fact involved in a road accident on his way to the event and is currently in hospital in Manchester. It was devastating to hear this happened en route to help us out, but we’re so relieved to know that apart from a few broken bones, he’s fine.

As the start time of the event got closer and Liam still hadn’t turned up it became obvious that we would have to pull together to make the best of a very difficult situation – it’s a times like these that your dedication to the cause is put to the test I have to say! There was a decision to be made whether the event should go ahead as planned but we know how much the Carol Concert is enjoyed by the residents of Hale and surrounding areas, and there’s no way we were going to let those families down!

So the show went ahead, with a few minor adjustments – the choir from Bowdon Prep School were unplugged but still fabulous and Blackley Brass Band played on valiantly. Our Host, local radio DJ Mark Blackman was even given a helping hand by Greater Manchester Police who loaned the loud hailer in their van to announce the results of the raffle!

Even the rain and wind couldn’t dampen the festive spirits of those attending the event! Attendance was down a little, but we were amazed that so many people turned out in such terrible weather. We’re so grateful to everyone who pulled together to help make the event happen in very trying circumstances. It was a lovely, if not damp, evening which raised over £2,000 for our charity.”

We would also like to thank staff from The Railway pub who kept guests warm with mulled wine and mince pies (supplied by Sainsbury’s Local of Hale) and Peter Foster from Brynleys Catering who was on hand with some tasty hot food. Cartwrights who provide a truck which forms the main stage for the evening, and Able Marquee Hire who help to decorate it. Bernie Wilcox from Futura and Roberts Bakery who provided some sweet treats for the children, donating selection boxes and Christmas Tree Gingerbreads which were kindly given out by Santa at the end of the event.

We would also like to thank staff from The Railway pub who kept guests warm with mulled wine and mince pies (supplied by Sainsbury’s Local of Hale) and Peter Foster from Brynleys Catering who was on hand with some tasty hot food. Cartwrights who provide a truck which forms the main stage for the evening, and Able Marquee Hire who help to decorate it. Bernie Wilcox from Futura and Roberts Bakery who provided some sweet treats for the children, donating selection boxes and Christmas Tree Gingerbreads which were kindly given out by Santa at the end of the event.