The First Night - Monday 1st
Here we are again another First Night gone. As is tradition we started at the Saracen's Head in Warburton with the first performance and then took the Play 'out' for the forthcoming week to return it back home to the Saracen's Head on Saturday 6th November.
Monday is never a good
night to start on, however, as we're not in any position to do anything
about the nature of the Gregorian calender, every few years we end up
with a Monday as a first night. Having said that as far as Mondays go
this turned out to be good.
Unfortunately the Saracen's Head was it's usual sparsely
self for a Monday - and half of the audience we had departed half way
through. The group of youngsters were obviously not sure of what was
going on, they'd never seen such an event and probably chose to
bottle-out in case they became embarrassed! Only other blunder here was
Beelzebub missing the 'set-up' pint on the bar provided by the bar
staff. He'll never live that one down.
Next stop was the Axe and Cleaver in
Dunham. This is a well patronised pub these days (as compared with a
number of years ago) however, being a Monday evening I guess we had as
many as we could expect for that night of the week. It was nevertheless
well received and Beelzebub had his first pint of the season. Following
being bought a round by the Landlord, to whom we send our best thanks,
we moved on to the Rope and Anchor.
The Rope and Anchor was, for a Monday, and even most weekday
evenings up until recently, quite well populated. The turnabout due in
no small part to the enthusiasm of the new management couple for whom
this is their first licensed premises. A very good job they're doing
and we look forward to next year which being a Tuesday will see a local
vintage motor club meeting there.
Last we went to the Vine and arrived just in time for the end
Quiz. One full, heaving Pub and very attentive as well. A fitting end
to the evening - and we helped them finish the butties too! Thanks
again to the Landlord for the beer round at the end of the performance.
The Second Night - Wednesday 3rd
We were looking forward to this night with the introduction of a new pub to the venues list. The evening in the end did not go without a hitch though.
The first pub on the list was the Jolly Thresher at Agden and as expected it was a quiet start to the evening. The performance was a little flat as a result but did get us into the swing of things.
From here it was into Lymm and a walk round the pubs there. We'd arranged to perform in the Golden Fleece at 9.10pm prior to a quiz getting under way, however, arrival there found a heaving pub but not for a quiz instead they we're all watching the football on a number of large screens. Discretion being vital in this game we decided to give it a miss and instead went straight to the Bull on the other side of the road. Following a very enthusiastic reception from both the audience and landlord (and a drink 'on the house') we headed off to the Saddler's Arms.
On the way however, we went back via the Golden Fleece where we found the football had finished so in we went. A very noisy but enthusiastic reception calling for a very boisterous performance.
From here it was onto the Saddler's Arms, a relatively new pub and a venue we’d not done before. It was as we’d hoped a very fine environment in which to play and, was as expected very well received.
for the evening was the
Spread Eagle and moderately busy compared with how we’ve
place in the past. An interesting performance as after the Enterer and
King George’s entrance there was a drifting back to
took the Doctor and Beelzebub to bring attention back again. All told another good night.
The Third Night - Thursday 4th Nov
call was to the Black Swan
at Hollinfare which
was again a quiet start to the evening although this earlier evening
slot is getting better as the week goes on.with a larger number of
people there than with
previous first pubs. A good reception and very nice to see Colin Buckland there, one of our early players.
move to the Windmill at Carrington
and doing our entrance just prior to the start of the quiz saw us
performing to a full house - and a very miserable quiz master who
totally failed to see the advantages of the' pre-quiz entertainment'!!
Anyway star of the show was Beelzebub who has now had the same guys
drink 3 years on the run. All has mates saw it coming but.... once is
unfortunate, twice is careless, three times is......??
here it was onto the Roebuck in
Urmston and the usual good audience. The Enterer encountered some old
friends in the audience whom he'd not seen for years and was put of his
stride slightly. Beelzebub duly did the honours with one of their
drinks to even the score.
there to the last one for the
evening, The Church in Flixton and it's usual cosier atmosphere. Once
again we were made very welcome and a fitting end to another good
The Fourth Night - Friday 5th Nov
Friday around Altrincham and Hale
was one of a mix of performances and receptions. we started at the
Railway in Broadheath where the performance was totally spoiled by one
head case whose had come out and had obviously flushed
his braincells down the bog before coming to the pub! His constant
shouting put the dampers on the performance and spoiled it for everyone
else. In all the years of performing there that has got to be the worst
however we went to the Malt
Shovels where we've not played for a number of years and has a
successful performance although attention was not 100% the response was
that with the Old Market
Tavern where as soon as the introduction song began you could here a
pin drop. It stayed like that all the way through. Not as full as in
the past but nevertheless a good enough number to make it very worth
while. Next door in the Orange Tree and we were back to the other end
again. We had to ask to get the music turned down which was duly done
however, half way through the youngster behind the bar in charge of the
knob thought it would be fun to progressively turn it up as the
performance continued. That was until Beelzebub came in with gusto and
one harsh glare at the little cretin saw it turned of again. This I
think really sealed it for the Altrincham tour as apart from the Old
Market Tavern there are better places to perform. Watch this slot for
was the Railway in Hale and being
bonfire night the place was heaving with people having been to an
organised event down the road. The performance was as usual well
received however we had to fight for it every inch of the way with the
performance being done at full volume. Again, as usual, we thank
Bridget for the round at the end of the evening.
The Last Night - Saturday 6th Nov
Well the last night, or should that be day in view of the
start, is upon us again. We get to this stage and think that the week,
once again, has passed very quickly.
Following the gathering of the Gang in the Saracen's Head at
lunchtime, we started at the Warburton Church Autumn Fair as has been
the case in recent years and played to a substantially larger audience
there this time. This was perhaps helped by the earlier start but also
as the Fair was very well attended this year.
From here a short bus ride into Lymm and a performance at the
there. Not too successful as Lymm was deserted. Apparently the village
was heaving in the morning. Perhaps a little more intelligence is
needed on the shopping habits of the locals if we are to try it again
in the afternoon. Following a 'rest' in The Bull we then caught the bus
back, with the same bemused bus driver, to the Saracen's Head for
another 'rest' and a bite to eat. Then it was out onto the streets
again for a walk down Bent Lane towards Heatley and the Farmers Arms.
As was to be expected it was quiet at that time in the evening
still proved a very enjoyable for those there. Back to the bus stop
again, and yes the same bus driver who's face was a picture of
disbelief as he stopped to pick us up for the third time! Following the
ride into Dunham we did another performance at the Axe &
Our second stop there for this season and we played to a similar number
to the first time on Monday. Once again our thanks go the Landlord for
another round of drinks. It just goes to show, buy as a beer and we'll
come back again!
So to the bus again and fortunately a different driver to take
back to Heatley. Straight off the bus and into the Green Dragon and our
5th performance of the day. A good reception
everyone was a little spread out. Following a short stop there a walk
down the road took us to The Railway where as usual we ended up with
very good reception.
So one last performance needed for this year so off we go
our way down the road back to the Saracen's Head singing our heads off.
The weather has been drizzling all day and had decided to get a bit
thicker for the walk back, however, nothing was going to dampen our
The Saracen's Head was full when we got there and continued to
as we prepared ourselves. We even picked up a number of people from
previous pubs who followed us to see it again, including the gentleman
who was Beelzebub's victim in the Railway. The pub was noisy with
general chatter, however, as soon as the song started it was as if
someone had turned the switch off. It stayed that way for the whole
performance and you could have heard a pin drop. The last song and
that's it for another year. The Play is returned safely home to stay
there until the 1st November 2005. All that was
left was for
us to eat the hot-pot kindly provided by the Saracen's Head staff and
play a few tunes and sing a few songs.
Yet another splendid year and one hard to put into words to
the aura of the week.
This page updated: 7th November 2004.