23rd June, 2019
On Saturday, Hubby, myself, daughter and boy-friend popped across to Wymondham for a spot of musical entertainment. The group we had gone to see as part of the Wymondham Music Festival were certainly no rockers! Neither were they a music ensemble set to play the classics. These chaps call themselves The West End Waiters and turn out nattily dressed in black trousers, white shirts and aprons, red bow ties and braces but they'd be hard-pressed to flash around carrying heavy dishes since the youngest of them is eighty years old.
Accompanied by a lady pianist and a commere, the chaps set about singing light opera, Gilbert and Sullivan and a number of slightly risqué turn-of-the-century songs such what to do with Uncle Joe's Mint Balls. There was a saucy sailor song and a medley of well-known tunes but with altered words as performed by The Two Ronnies in their heyday that had the audience giggling. A touching ballad from the film Gigi 'I Remember it Well' performed by husband and wife Ken and Brenda reminded us all of the vagaries of getting old and losing our accurate recall.
Our daughter was keen for her boyfriend to hear and see the performance as she wanted him to appreciate where one of her major musical influences came from. It was Uncle Ken who started the group and who was prone to bursting into song at the drop of a hat to illustrate some point he was making at the time. He performed solo 'Delany's Donkey', always good for a laugh and one of the first songs she learned from him. Daughter now incorporates some of the old music-hall songs into her own music routines where appropriate.
We had a wonderful, laughter-filled hour and the retiring collection (since there was no charge for the concert) will have swelled the astonishing amount of money the group has already raised towards Motor Neurone Disease research, to close on £24,000 a fitting memorial to one of their original members claimed by this horrible disease.
We left the hall with spirits high and marvelling at the power music has to entertain and sustain us all well into old age.
P.S. Uncle Joe's Mint Balls that 'keep you all aglow' are still manufactured at The Toffee Works in Wigan by William Santus and Co. Ltd.