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Cornish Gem

Well our Concerts are over for
another year and from the
feedback we are getting, were
a great success. All three
days were very well attended
and everybody had
a great time.
Friday evening kicked off with fine weather! The Roy Pellett Dixie Five played great Dixieland jazz with many old favourites. Later Roy did another set, and once again we were lucky that our local resident, Ian Wheeler of Chris Barber fame, was in town to join them on stage for four numbers playing clarinet and harmonica. Great stuff!
This was followed by
– what can one
say about him? His
somewhat flambouyant outfit
said it all! He entertained in his usual individual style
accompanying himself
on blues guitar, and
again singing many of the old standards that he does so well.
The evening finished with
Ola Onabule and his band
playing some excellent soul
music. He was the only performer who has not played in a
previous concert here, but I
am sure that most people would agree that we would certainly
like to see him back again.
Unfortunately, Inspiration, the barber shop quartet were unable to appear due to illness of one of their members. One member missing out of four does not work with close harmony! We know that they were devastated at not being able to perform, but there is always next year.
The weather was again kind to us on the Saturday. The harbour was not so full for the afternoon’s performances, but those who were not there do not know what they missed. Local artistes Mercury Moon, Jo la Cat, Sam Mackenzie, Jane Kennaway and The Hatter, South and Jelly Band, provided some great music which was enjoyed by all, as it always is when they play in local venues throughout the year.
After a break of a few hours, the evening entertainment started with The Elderly Brothers playing acoustic and 12 string guitar, and singing many of the old favourites. Two great characters whose love of music and fun comes over so well in their music.
Then it was the turn of Love Affair, who played many of their old hits including Everlasting Love, their No.1 from the Sixties.
Dr. Funkenstein and the Feelgood Factor were next on. They really are as crazy as their name suggests, and that includes their clothes. What a great bunch of entertainers. They really got the Harbour rocking – including the boats! A definite must for our next event.
The evening finished with Stoned Again, a Rolling Stones Tribute Band, who played so many of the numbers made famous by the great band themselves. If, like me, you are, or were a Stones fan, they were great. There were few in the audience not dancing and the atmosphere was electric.
We had been worried all week about the weather forecast for the Sunday, and our fears were not in vain. The wind increased, and the rain came down for the first half of the classical concert. This was the one day we did not want wet conditions. Classical instruments, particularly very expensive strings, and water, do not go well together! Luckily the wind was more violent on the opposite side of the Harbour to the stage, and we were able to continue. The rain did in fact stop for the second half of the evening, although it remained cold and damp. Spirits were not however dampened, and although doubtless the conditions kept some people away, the stalwarts were out in force and giving plenty of support to the performers, both on land and on the water.
The Polperro Fishermen’s Choir opened
the proceedings, singing many of the
numbers we all know and love. Many
people have commented that they
have never sounded better, filling the
Harbour with their fine melodies,
helped a great deal by the superb
P.A. system meaning everyone
could hear perfectly despite the wind.
The Divertimento Orchestra, with David Frost conducting, were superb as usual opening with the Light Cavalry by Suppe.
Suzanne Manuell then sang three solos magnificently as usual. We really are lucky to have her continued support.
After Spartacus (The Onedin Line) by Khachaturian, it was time to introduce our tenor soloist Wynne Evans. What a find! What a voice! He sang O Sole Mio followed by Be My Love – he is a great fan of Mario Lanza.


After a break during which the rain stopped, the programme continued with Pomp and Circumstance, giving everyone the chance to join in, more solos including Wynne & Suzanne singing the Brindisi duet.

Our solo violinist, Florika Grigoras was next on stage. How she played her solo so brilliantly in the prevailing conditions is amazing. The principal cellist, who also organises and manages the orchestra for us, said that her cello was running with condensation, strings were stretching etc. etc. The same would have applied to Florika but you would not have known.
(Sorry - no photograph!)
The traditional Proms “hits” Rule Britannia and Jerusalem, followed by the Cornish Anthem Trelawny gave another chance for the audience to show what fine voice they were in.
The evening ended with the 1812
Overture with accompanying
cannon fire. The atmosphere
throughout the evening was
again tremendous. Flares on the
boats were much in evidence – we
were waiting for the emergency
services to arrive!

Despite the limited facilities we are able to offer our performers, some of whom are used to far better things, nearly all have expressed how unique the Polperro Proms are, and how much they would love to do it again. We take this as a great compliment to Polperro, and our residents and guests, and something that we must build on in the future.

Please read the message at the bottom of the page! Thank you!

On a Serious Note

Because of the siting of the event, we have had to rely on the generosity of our audiences by way of voluntary contributions in collection buckets. We are extremely grateful to all those people who donated a fair amount or what they could afford and hope they return every year. Sadly some are not so generous and the amount collected does not cover the considerable expense!

As an illustration - we estimate that around 2500 people attended the Saturday Concerts, and the collection that day was around £2500 - including programme sales. The usual price for such a concert - if ticketed - would be anywhere between £10 and £20. An average of £1 per head is quite insuffcient and simply will not sustain the Proms.

The Proms are funded by a conbination of sponsorship, advertising and 'door' money. A great deal of work goes on to raise the funding needed before the day but in the end if the public don't play their part The Polperro Proms just can't continue. In 2004 the donations that we were able to make to our charities were far too meagre to make the whole enormous effort worthwhile.

We are working hard to find a way of correcting this - and it looks like it will need to be a ticketed event next year. This brings enormous problems for the organisers so at this point things are somewhat in the air. Once we have solved our problems we will be making an announcement here on the web page amongst other places!

Should anyone reading this report be moved to donate money retrospectively then please e mail to the link on this web site.

Once again many thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the 2004 Polperro Proms and we look forward to your continued support which is absolutely essential if they are to survive.

It is great for everyone to have a good time at three concerts that the committee believe would be difficult to better anywhere in Cornwall, but we must not lose sight of our principal aim - which is to raise money for Charity.

Alan Elliott

Other Events
Cornish Gem