The announcement last night that, after a run of eight years, this year's Proms on the Park would be the last made it a more poignant event than normal. It was also the best – the standard of the music, the sound quality, the enthusiasm of the audience and the fireworks finale all made for a fabulous night's entertainment. And, in stark contrast to last year's downpour, the weather stayed dry!
After a night to remember, let's hope, a little like Frank Sinatra's many 'final' tours, there will be more Proms nights in Audlem. ASET, the splendid volunteers of the Audlem Special Events Team, are looking for suggestions for events for future years – they want to go on providing great community entertainment. Last night, they certainly did in great style.
With Garth Bardsley in fine form as host, the choice of music during the picnic from the Cheshire Community School of Samba Band and then the Cheshire Constabulary Band was pitched perfectly. Everyone seemed to wine and dine in style. Garth entertained with some fine interviews, notably of the two Constabulary band members who are marrying next week!
The Bands of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, resplendent in red, and the Lancashire Artillery Volunteers, in blue uniforms, were a stirring sight as they took to the stage. Conducted by Captain Patrick G Smith and Band Master WOI D R Howard, they put on a mesmerising performance. Their Corps of Drummers stepped forward and, with the awesome precision of mechanical soldiers, had everyone rapt, including a large group of young children wide-eyed with what they were seeing and hearing.
The traditional Proms numbers, led by a spirited Britannia, saw many hundreds, possibly thousands, gathering around the stage and giving the Albert Hall promenaders a run for their money in flag waving enthusiasm. It was hard not to be moved that this was a small English village putting on entertainment of this quality.
All eyes then turned to the west where, precisely to the audience's count down of ten, the first rockets lit the sky and Blitz Fireworks put on a superb show to Handel's Fireworks Music.
Congratulations to the ASET team on a magnificent night, one to remember for a long time. Their next event is the Audlem Festival of Transport on Sunday 27th July but do put forward your ideas for next year's event to a member of ASET or, if you send it to Audlem Online, it will be passed on.
Last night's Proms' main sponsor was EPG Security Systems. The show was also sponsored by Audlem Parish Council; Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council; Hibbert LLB; Baker Wynne & Wilson; Mornflake Oats; G Force Fuels; Gateway Peugeot; Markden Homes; C.M.S of Audlem; Delmar Press and Blitz Fireworks Ltd.
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