on the button Issue 37 - Page 10

A very patriotic event Text and images: Steve Maddox This year marks 70 years since the end of the Second World War, and there have been many commemorations, celebrations and remembrances. Fittingly so in my opinion. We should remember those who fought and those who died whilst serving. I was born long after the end of the war but have, as many others, lived with relatives and heard stories of bombs, air raids, rationing, evacuation and hardship. I can only watch television, read books or look on the internet for references to these very difficult times, but recently four of us went to the Battle Proms at Hatfield House. I was expecting to see a Spitfire flying over, sing with the crowd to all the old songs and eat the good food we took with us. We arrived only shortly after the gates had opened but already people had ‘camped’ their tables and chairs. Donned their red, white and blue, and were eating and drinking ready for the concert. We found a space and laid out our ‘goodies’. We waited while the orchestra tuned up. Took some pictures of the crowd and generally soaked up the atmosphere, which was vibrant. What I didn’t expect was the emotion that was behind the whole evening. The re-enactment on horseback was colourful and visual. The Rockabellas who entertained us with wartime and latter day songs, were tuned and choreographed, but reminiscent of those old war films. The ex-servicemen talking of ‘their’ recent wars and adjustment back to civilian life. The canons pounding a salute along with the sound of the ‘Grace Spitfire’ flying past was breathtaking. Then more canons playing along to the 1812 overture. Finally the fireworks and sing-along to ‘Jerusalem’, ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and ‘Rule Britannia’ all made the whole concert so moving it brought a lump to my throat, and a tear to my eye. I know I’m not alone. But the experience was uplifting as well as emotional. We have already looked into tickets for next years concert. 10 | September 2015 | on the button, 32 Stotfold Road, Arlesey. Bedfordshire. SG15 6XT www.onthebuttonarlesey.co.uk