It was a night to be proud to be English – or Welsh, in the case of the lone Welsh flag waver! It was a night that made you proud to live in Audlem. And a night when ASET, the Audlem Special Events Team, should be immensely proud of the triumphant show they put on – despite the terrible weather conditions.
Yes, it poured and poured. But the surprisingly large crowd picnicked in the rain. The bubbly bottles popped, glasses were raised, the wine and beer flowed – but it wasn't to drown any sorrows. We'd come out to enjoy ourselves, and we did, in style.
The Audlem Arena's drainage meant this was hardly a Glastonbury mud bath, but for much of the evening the field was a sea of umbrellas. Then, just as the traditional finale Proms numbers were about to start, the rain relented, the crowds gathered in front of the stage, and band and audience belted out Jerusalem, Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory with customary enthusiasm. After all, we'd all triumphed, we hadn't given in, we'd beaten the odds and made sure we'd enjoyed every minute.
MC Garth Bardsley kept everyone's spirits up while the Cheshire Community School of Samba got the night off to a lively start. It was then the joint bands of The Lancashire Artillery Volunteers and of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment. Resplendent in their scarlet uniforms, they also laid on an amazing performance by the Corps of Drums, synchronized drumming at its finest.
The finale was as emotional as ever. The flags waved, Britannia led the singing, the crowd shouted for more and were rewarded with encores. We enjoyed it to the full, and so, it seems, did the band. They've already asked if they can come back next year and have been booked for 28th June – make a note now!
The fireworks display, given the conditions, could so easily have been a damp squib. But they were as good as ever. ASET had triumphed yet again. The 7th Proms on the Park, with the aid of a superb sound system by Al Dean and his team, was possibly the best ever. And given the weather, that is quite a feat.
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