Today started with a bang. Well, a very short bang followed by a prolonged hiss. As we were leaving our overnight accommodation (we’d had a lovely evening in Norwich), the car hit a severely exposed drain cover, which punctured one of our tyres and required emergency assistance from the AA and KwikFit before we could leave Norwich. Not exactly the start to the day we’d wanted – a blisteringly hot day which involved performances on five piers, and then an evening concert.
Sadly this means that our visit to Cromer was delayed by about two hours, and we were playing catch-up from that point onwards. Cromer was at least a delight – we met up with people from one of our corporate sponsors, Captain Fawcett. A maker of fine moustache and beard products, I can personally vouch for the quality of their moustache wax and beard oil – and given I’ve grown the facial hair specifically for this tour, that is something I have come to love quite quickly! They are also great hosts, and didn’t mind waiting around for our delayed appearance at Cromer; in fact, provided us with tea and helped us generate some good donations!
But we couldn’t hang around, and needed to get off to Great Yarmouth, where our next two piers resided. For a busy weekend summer day, we got very lucky with the parking, and after the obligatory fish and chips we headed for Britannia pier to perform two very quick pieces before walking to Wellington pier to perform not a lot more. Both piers were fairly busy, but we didn’t really hang around long enough to take many donations.
Still trying to make up time, we headed down to Lowestoft for two more piers. Very different piers here: South pier was mostly a long, exposed but unadulterated concrete jetty that had a strange charm of its own. Claremont pier similarly had a building at the shore end (full of arcades etc.), but the rest of it was closed to public access due to its poor state of repair (see picture). Nevertheless we played outside the front for about half an hour as the public passed by, many stopping to listen (and to donate to our charities, Alzheimer’s Society and CHICKS).
Even after five piers, though, we needed to press on. We were still at least half an hour behind schedule, and we had an evening concert to give in Southwold. At least the journey wasn’t very far, and when we got to Southwold we had an early evening meal on the pier (which we’ll see again tomorrow - the pier, that is!), before heading up to the spectacular mediaeval St Edmund’s church where our concert was to be held. The concert itself was fine – a highly appreciative audience, and a setting that could scarcely be surpassed for beauty. Thankfully we took a good retiring collection for the charities too.
And so on to tomorrow. We’re expecting to play at Southwold (10.00), Felixstowe (12.00< Harwich (14.00), Walton-on-the-Naze (15.30) and Clacton (17.00) – but following today’s excitement, do check our Twitter feed before coming out to see us!
Weather report (in which we test out the range of conditions in which Jargar Strings operate well!): Today’s temperatures varied between 22.6 and 29.2 celsius, with humidity between 41.0% and 72.1%.
Quote of the day: “I’m struggling to get it in – as the actress said to the bishop…” One donor comments as she struggled to get her £5 note into our collecting bucket!
Pier of the day: Cromer
Finally, here's a video clip of us playing on Cleethorpes pier yesterday...