Watching The Last Night of the Proms has become a tradition at Radford Road church and on September 8th 2018 we again gathered together for the live broadcast from the Albert Hall.
The conductor, Sir Andrew Davies explained that the Proms has become a nationwide celebration and he introduced audiences in Hyde Park, Colwyn Bay, Belfast and Glasgow who had gathered at outdoor venues to be part of the Last Night at the Proms.
The gathering at Radford Road was small in comparison but, nevertheless, everyone entered into the spirit of the evening. Several people had dressed in patriotic garb and everyone waved flags and sang lustily after enjoying the splendid fish and chip supper.
We enjoyed the singing of Canadian baritone, Gerald Finlay and the enthusiastic saxaphone playing of Jess Gillam, the youngest ever soloist at the Proms. In 2016 she had been a finalist in the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year.
We all joined in with the traditional singing of sea shanties whilst some of our group danced energetically at the back of the room!
The commemoration of the centenary of the ending of the First World War was marked by the singing of classics such as Rose of Picadee, It’s a Long way to Tipperary, Keep Right on to the end of the Road and Keep the Home Fires Burning.
No Last Night is complete without the singing of Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory and the evening finished with us all joining in the singing of Auld Lang Syne and the National Anthem.
Our new Mission Project “World Bicycle Relief” was launched at this event.
Our 2018/19 project is World Bicycle Relief which enables people who live in rural regions of developing countries to conquer the challenge of distance, to achieve independence and to thrive.
In many of these areas walking is the only mode of transport and so to have a Buffalo bike, a whole new series of possibilities opens up.
These bikes are specially made in the locality where they will be used, and the sturdy bikes can cope with the rough terrain.
In this country we complain about potholes in the roads but in many remote areas of developing countries there are no tarmac roads – only rough tracks. Hence they are given the name “Buffalo Bikes” because each one is as strong as a buffalo.
If the only means of transport is by walking, everyday tasks become a struggle against time and tiredness. Going to school, visiting the health clinic, delivering goods to market are really challenging.
On our display board we have pictures of a few people whose lives have been transformed when they have received a Buffalo bike.
Royce is a community Health Worker. Before she had a bike, Royce would walk 7 kilometres a day to visit 3 patients. Now she can visit 18 patients a day thanks to her Buffalo Bike.
Ethel is 15 years old and it took her more than 2 hours every day to get to school. Now she has a bike it takes her 45 minutes. She wants to go to school as her aim is to be a nurse. She has to go over hilly, lonely, country to get to school and now she feels much safer and can cover the distance much more easily.
Dixon had a bike before but it was a ramshackle bike and he couldn’t rely on it. He is a butcher and he saw how local farmers benefited from having Buffalo Bikes. They could get their milk and meat to market easily. Now that Dixon has a Buffalo Bike, his business is expanding as he can travel to market and deliver meat to his customers far easier than before.
These are three people who have benefited from being given a Buffalo Bike. There are many others just like Royce, Ethel and Dixon whose lives have been changed by the ownership of a Buffalo Bike. But there are many, many more people, schoolchildren, nurses, health visitors and traders whose lives would change radically if only they had this simple form of transport.
Each bike costs £96 and we hope to raise £1000 to buy 10 bikes plus repair kits. Ten isn’t very many when you consider the need but it will be wonderful for those 10 people and will transform their lives and also the lives of their communities.
.It was an evening of enjoyment and fun for us all.