On Friday 14th September 2018, the trustees arranged a free concert. Here’s our Chairman’s summary of the occasion…

The ringing of hand-bells was heard at the back of the Parish Church as “Community Chimes” slowly processed to face the Audience; Leader Chloe Baker, took us on a journey through a varied programme, including a very jaunty calypso, a ringing welcome to our honoured guests led by Deputy Lord Lieutenant Ted Allen, accompanied by his wife Pat. We were pleased to be joined also by Edward Bayntun-Coward, former High Sheriff; Peter Clayton, Vice Chair of SCC; Mike & Peggy Strode from Texas and descendants of our original founders; Cllrs. John Parham, Graham Noel and Harvey Siggs; Mary Hammond from the Quaker Housing Trust; Ian Harvey from the Mid-Somerset Show; Eileen O’Grady and Kathy Kingstone from Knit & Chat; John Longman from Rotary; Judi Rice from Inner Wheel; Nick May, the diocesan secretary along with James Heappey MP and Michael Eavis; all Almshouses supporters and Donors.

The Trustees of Shepton Mallet United Charities had arranged a free concert to thank the people of Shepton for the wonderful support that they had given in raising almost £400,000 which, over 5 years had been used to completely update all our listed Almshouses and refurbish two others for new residents.

After welcome speeches by Rev Jonathan Hunter Dunn and Chairman Jeff Curtis, the incomparable Janet Saxon gave us a varied programme of Music and Song and then led the enhanced Church Choir, Later one of the guests remarked: “It was a glorious, partly divine, evening and I had one of the happiest hours of my week – an uplifting ending”. Following the intermission Norman, Ingrid, Shayla and Ros: “Hiraeth” weaved their folk songs through a capella, popular and comedy to uplifting melodies contrived by Norman Cumming; what a show!

A number of generous donations were received by the Treasurer and totalled well over £1400, all of this will be used for the good of Shepton Mallet Almspeople and will be added to our “Founder’s Appeal” when it is hoped to mark our 400th Birthday in 2027 with increased facilities and hopefully some new homes for older and disabled residents of Shepton Mallet and surrounding villages.

Jeff Curtis, Chairman, United Charities

More photos/videos available on Flickr here.

Concert 2018