Sultry renditions and £2.4m violin hit the right note

Lodge Hill's Christmas Pudding Concert SUS-151223-093629001
Lodge Hill's Christmas Pudding Concert SUS-151223-093629001

The supporters of Lodge Hill, ably organized by Mrs Hilary Tupper, held a well-attended Christmas concert in the Bradbury Hall at Lodge Hill, Pulborough on Friday December 11.

Sue Jameson and James Bolam, the husband and wife team and stars in ‘New Tricks’ and ‘Grandpa in my Pocket’ were guest readers, and gave a number of amusing Christmas readings.

These were interspersed with Christmas carols and melodies from ‘The Gifted and Talented String Academy’ led by Andrew Bernardi, and ‘Collyer’s Big Band’ conducted by Mike Lavelle.

The Vivaldo Concerto for 4 Violins Movement 1 with the Big Band’s rendition of ‘Why don’t you do right?’ by Peggy Lee and musical director Andrew Bernardi playing a 1611 Stradivarius violin being particularly enjoyed.

Andrew also brought with him a valuable Stradivarius violin made in Cremona in Italy in 1696 by Antonio Stradivarius. It is one of an estimated 600 remaining instruments made by Stradivarius. The violin hit the headlines in 2010 when it was stolen from its owner on Euston station. Eventually it was recovered by the police was sold for £1.38 million at auction. Andrew states it is now worth approximately £2.4 million.

But the young star of the evening was undoubtedly Maddie Snowdon, Collyer’s Big Band soloist, who gave some superb sultry renditions of a number of old favourites.

The Christmas Pudding concert was held to raise funds to refurbish Lodge Hill’s multi-use tennis court, and with ticket sales and the raffle to the 120 guests present, Mrs Tupper announced at the end of the evening that enough had been raised to start this work.

Report and pictures by Graham Franks.