Monday, 9 September 2013

The Master's Garden Party Saturday 7 September

After our very interesting visit to the City and Cathedral of Canterbury, intrepid Marketors ventured a little further to the South East to join David and me at our country home in the village of Tilmanstone. Our home sits in glorious countryside sheltered in the lea of the reclaimed spoil of the local Tilmanstone Colliery, one of the several former mines that comprised the Kent Coalfields, this year in 2013 celebrating, or rather reflecting on, a centenary since coal mining started, extraction ending in 1978 with the closure of all the pits after the Miners strikes. We moved in 1999 to this beautiful area, close to the Cinque Ports of Sandwich, Deal, Walmer and Dover, when I returned from my posting to South East Asia with Cable & Wireless, also retaining a home in London.
We were blessed with continuous sunshine on the day of the Garden Party and, after a picnic together, we were entertained by the very well known Betteshanger Colliery Welfare Band, brass bands being a wonderful tradition and legacy of the mining community.  Enterprisingly, Liveryman Mike Kearsley had contacted John Gould, the Band Director, and offered to play the tuba on the day.  His offer was gladly received and we had one of our own who performed brilliantly  - without practice, so Annie advised me!  With a brilliant repertoire, the concert consisted of some stunning arrangements of well known pieces, including film themes and a specially composed medley from Les Miserables.  The concert was followed by champagne and a traditional cream tea served to everyone by our daughters and friends. Some Marketors had to leave promptly for a long drive or train ride home.  It was wonderful to see everybody and to enjoy the relaxing fellowship of each other's company without any formality.  If anyone would like to comment on the afternoon or add a photo, please do so.

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