Monday, 28 December 2015

A Real Eastenders' Christmas


For a moment over Christmas, Tredegar Square gave Albert Square a run for its money when it came to melodrama. Just an hour before the annual Carols in the Square, the heavens opened and my phone started to buzz with punters concerned whether we could or should go ahead. "Of course" I said, as I looked out of The Chesterfield's window to see rain ricocheting off the pavement.

Forty-five minutes (and a change of sodden clothes) later my phone rang again "the Square gates are locked"; could I phone "my people" and if not shall we call the police? Needless to say "my people" didn't answer and thinking the police wouldn't be amused I began the walk round to the square, feeling like the 4th or is it the 5th emergency service.

On arrival I could see an emergency mulled-wine station had been setup outside the gates. A small vanguard of carol singers set off for the Morgan Arms to see if they could accommodate us, but the landlord reluctantly turned us down as we might disturb the neighbours (a fair point if you've heard us sing).

Meanwhile, Vivian and I exchanged glances and then decided in a rare moment of near silent synchronicity to move the show over to the north-east corner of the square as it has the least traffic. A couple of carol singers blocked the road off with their cars, and then set up shop under the corner lamppost. Eventually the song sheets were found in a pre-5pence plastic bag, dished out and extra wine and minced pies forced on those gathered. But who was going to lead the singing? Luckily a man emerged from the shadows, stood under the streetlight and said on queue: "I' can do it" in a voice that had me thinking Hugh Bonneville was guest starring but had turned up at the wrong square....and then THE CAROLS BEGAN. They were amazing and great fun.

Thanks to everyone who helped out. You'd think all you have to do is turn up and sing, but you'd be surprised: minced pies, mulled wine, buying and wrapping presents for the kids, sparklers, fetching and carrying Santa (the reindeers were unavailable as they were on a pre-Christmas team-bonding trip). There were around 40-50 people there and lots of kids. Quite a good turnout considering the weather (it only rained for like 2 minutes).

If everything had gone to plan it wouldn't have been half the fun.



And finally. Great to see the return of the Aberavon Puds. A Mile End Christmas isn't the same without them.


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