'We Are All Making a Difference' Charity Evening, Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, Wednesday 5th December 2018 (quite late!)

Conducted by Craig Williams

The Annual 'We Are All Making a Difference' Charity Fund-Raiser at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole is generally a lavish affair, with bids coming in during the evening, from representatives of many major West Midlands Companies, on a variety of lots - all raising money for ill or under-privileged children.

The weather was in the single digits, but positive ones at least!

The format was, of course, similar to last year, but there was to be marching through the tables to the stage, this time with Marshalls leading a clear path - very handy that!

The bids were pouring in an a sizeable amount of cash was being raised for the children - which was brilliant!

The Band and Friends gathered together from 11.00pm, and they were already on the Raffle, with winning bids in the thousands, including a Guided Tour of the Tower of London with Dinner with the Queen's Chaplain, amongst other splendid offerings.

Around this time, when everyone had arrived (and Parked too!!), the word from behind the stage was that the programme was running about 20 minutes early (yes, Early!!!)..... something never experienced by this writer - wot has covered all the year's events here by the Band

And at about well after 12.20am (another record!!), the previous act ended and a 'fleet' of helpers dashed onto the 'open' stage (the Guests could see us), to set up the drum kit, chairs and 20 stands all in the time taken for the rest of the Band to play a very shortened version of 'Colonel Bogey' onto the stage. Luckily, unlike previous years, the Band didn't march round the tables and straight up onto the runway and stage, this year they were held at the bottom of the stairs (still playing) until the green light came on, and up the stairs they marched.

The Band formed up and after a signal, Conductor Craig Williams wagged the stick into 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary' and the other assorted sing-a-longs, along with a megaphone of volume from the audience in full voice. 'Land of Hope and Glory' ended with a mighty thrust and then it was 'calm down' and 'exit' time for the Guests, as the Band played on with some carols and finally 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'...................................

And that was that - about 12.40am and an early finish!!!!

And away we went - another year over - hurrah!

Thanks to everyone for helping us out, together with everyone else who were kept up long after their bedtimes (especially those who had an early alarm - especially the writer at 4.15am!).

A great cause has had a few more surprises to gift next year, thanks to all the generosity in the room............. well done to them all!

We Wish You a very Merry Christmas'

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For further information relating to the bands engagements or programmes please e-mail Information@thestaffordshireband.com