World Down's Syndrome Day 21st March 2018
The Millennium Bridge was lit in blue and yellow for the day.
We gathered in the Baltic cafe - much warmer than singing outside for very long! Many families who have children with Down's syndrome were there - apparently very keen to photograph us.
Siyahamba was particularly popular. Some children joined in with the singing and others kept the beat.
We all enjoyed singing to such an appreciative audience.
At the end, we did brave the elements and sang in front of the bridge. We even had an extra singer! To cap off a lovely event, the Millennium Bridge tilted, shortly after we finished singing - a sight many of us had not seen before.
Bradford February 2018
This was a new venue for a Whitley Women Residential - offered by one of our members after other arrangements fell through. From start to finish, we had a wonderful time, thanks to Gilly and a team of tireless organisers. Thanks also to
the hotel staff, who were not just kind and helpful, but really friendly.
On the first evening, many of us went to see 'War Horse' at the Alhambra Theatre - a beautiful building. The performance made such an impact that we were still talking about it 24 hours later!
As well as singing songs from the 20s in sessions that had us all laughing, there were afternoon workshops to learn the Charleston and enhance our evening appearance by making headbands and painting our nails.
Some people chose to explore the city, instead, and came back with lots of interesting stories.
Saturday evening was the main event. The team worked hard to decorate it and even found time to get themselves into their flapper outfits.
Cocktails were served, followed by a 3-course meal. Everyone looked the part.
Then we were entertained by the inimitable duo of Dame Juanita Rasp and Dame Gildred Hacksaw. Occasionally, we were allowed, begrudgingly, to sing along.
Later, we found that we remembered a surprising number of songs from the 20s, although some parts were distinctly wobbly. Those of us who had practised the Charleston routine showed it off to the others, dancing to 'Ain't she sweet'. We managed a lot of the moves, some of them in the right order! Lots of enthusiasm, just a bit of style.
As is traditional, the weekend ended with us all singing together, with perhaps a bit less energy than when we started, but still having a lot of fun.
Christmas 2017The Carol Choir practised all our usual Christmas songs and made several appearances in the local area. It was chilly at Tynemouth Winter Food Fair, but many of us enjoyed going round the stalls. Singing as the Lantern Parade came along Park View was also cold, but fun to do. It was great to see so many people taking part. The lanterns were colourful and the drummers enthusiastic, but polite enough to pause their efforts as they came past us, so that we could sing to them.
Whitley Bay library asked us back for the 3rd year in a row. They found us a good space and it was warm, unlike most of our Christmas singing.
Our main event was a 'Festival of Lights' at St George's Church, Cullercoats. The church was nearly full, despite the winter weather and most of the choir were there, despite coughs and colds! It was a bit chilly in the church, but the candles all around gave a lovely atmosphere. FACEBOOK comment from Gilly: Well done Whitley Women. Excellent event tonight. You looked up, you watched, you sang out ...... who could ask for more?! Thank you. Now enjoy the Christmas break ( well - after a few more Carol Choir outings!) x Gilly
The Carol Choir also sang to a very appreciative audience at the Willow Club (in St John's Church, Ilfracombe Gardens).
This year, we were invited to decorate a tree in St Andrew's. Many people brought in music-themed decorations and the result of everyone's hard work looked lovely.
At Seaton Delaval Hall, they had advertised our presence and provided a good number of chairs for our audience - which was lucky, because the audience started small, but more people came in to listen as we sang. You can tell from the picture that it was cold, though - we could see our breath, throughout.
Summer School 1st - 3rd August
Over three days, there was a mixture of singing and craft activities, plus a lot of fun and laughter, hats and outfits clearly adding to the atmosphere.
We made up new words for 'The day we went to Bangor', fashioned kites and shell boxes, even created pictures using templates, photographic paper and sunshine! (Luckily, there was some sun.)
Seaton Delaval Hall - 23rd July
Despite the very damp weather, a good number of singers turned up to sing - thankfully, indoors, in the salon. It was a good day for wearing our hoodies to keep warm, but it was a lovely place to sing.
Whitley Women Summer Sing - 7th July
We gathered at The Exhange in North Shields to sing everything we have been practising since Christmas. A good audience came to listen and some songs even got a thumbs-up from Gilly.
The raffle had some amazing prizes (some donated by local businesses Boda Home, Elder & Wolf and Sanctuary House) and brought our Summer term contribution to Shine North East up to £941.50. The cheque was presented at the concert. Over the whole year, we raised an amazing £4156.50!
Our gifts to Gilly for all she does for us elicited the response: "Thanks for the lovely gifts, especially the DVD" followed by what looks like a 'tears of joy' emoji.
Whitley Bay Carnival - May 27th
We sang on the Piazza in the sunshine and enjoyed the other choirs.
It was great to get everyone together for the 'Big Sing'. The Carnival Parade was colourful and noisy and arrived on the seafront while we still had sunshine.
Western Evening - March 31st 2017
Many Whitley Women turned up for an evening of fun themed around the American 'wild west', which raised over £700 for Shine North East. Some women from the charity came along to share the evening with us and thank us for the difference we make. The total since September is an amazing £3129.47 and we still have one more term to collect more.
The Hall was decorated specially and there were some stylish outfits on show.
The exciting prize (beans and sausages), however, went to a horse!
The quiz had most of us puzzled, displaying a distinct lack of knowledge about Country music and actors in Hollywood westerns.
Hot dogs were served with a smile - and onions.
Singing was, of course, involved - from the very familiar for us all to sing together to the more unusual and witty songs, sung by Shrinking Violets in disguise as Reckless Gilly and the Rawhide Roses.
Line dancing was the special feature of the evening. As you can see from the photos, we spent a lot of time looking at our feet - which were sometimes doing the right thing.