The flood water returned to the Somerset Levels super early in the last months of 2023 and those who enjoy walking along the River Parrett at Langport found this flooded path on many an occasion! Indeed South Somerset as a whole faced flooding earlier than might be expected and these have continued into early 2024.
We are a hardy and resourceful bunch who will find ways and means to keep singing going, no matter what the challenges. This is just as well, as our main festive sing for 2023 was at Coates English Willow Christmas Fayre - bang in the middle of the Somerset Levels at the end of a particularly water logged week. Even though we missed our practice session before, Pete and 35 of us meandered around the muddy roads that were open to be able to sing the set we had been practicing over the autumn and winter weeks.
A bright, but cold windy day, we had a very memorable warm up in one of the willow weaving sheds - yes those are willow coffins that you can see in the background!
Our 30 minute set included rendtions of new songs that Pete had been recently teaching us and much festive songs that we have sung for some years. We had particularly enjoyed learning 'Row On' with words that orginate from a 19th century book - 'Songs the Whalemen Sang' - melody by Tim Laycock and arranged by Pete Linnett. The High Ham version of While Shepherds Watched their Flocks ended our festive set - which was just as well as it takes a fair bit of energy to get through this fast moving arrangement!