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Entertainment at Max Gate, October 7th 2012

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This entertainment was given at the request of the National Trust (the new custodian of the house). The Purbeck Quire and Madding Crowd are also involved in the programme of events. We were greatly impressed by the staff on duty who gave us refreshment, moved furniture around with easy goodwill and later on even delivered our shepherdess to Askerswell when the shepherd accidentally left her behind. We did two very similar 30-minute sets with a strong Hardy flavour:- a selection of UTGWT carols, Psalm 109 to Wiltshire, New Sabbath, Mt Ephraim, and Cambridge New following readings from the relevant passages. The troubled ‘Trenchard, unable to find a more appropriate weapon, was able to brandish one of Hardy’s own walking sticks to menace our choirmaster into compliance with his choice of Psalm 109, to Wiltshire. By contrast the band and ended with joyful tunes – Soldier’s Joy, The King of the Cannibal Islands, Speed the Plough and The Triumph. Each session had an audience of a dozen or more (enough for the size of the room) who obviously enjoyed themselves on this relaxed and convivial autumn afternoon.