Pembroke House Christmas Reception and Recital

Wednesday 14th December 2016

Established in 1885 by the eponymous college in Cambridge, this Mission Church is still going strong and provides musical training and community support in one of London's hardest-pressed suburbs. Some 55 local children now attend Wednesday night symphonic-based practice and the benefits were self-evident in the two short performances the children gave us - one musical and one theatrical. Genial vicar David Evans presided and introduced key personnel from the centre, and also the Master of Pembroke College Cambridge, Lord Chris Smith (the ex-New Labour Culture Secretary). Our Livery, having supported the charity for a number of years, was very pleased when PM Fiona Adler was invited to sit on the Board of Trustees and she now works hard on their behalf. Arriving a little later than planned - the back streets are a little complicated and I was on a motorbike - I just had time to meet our Senior and Renter Wardens, Fiona of course and new Liverymay Dr Hamed Al Suwaidi who had brought a friend along, and some of his own pipes to smoke outside - definitely one of us! After the two performances and speeches, the evening ended with a novelty; on the days the centre isn't being used for children, it's hired to other community based users, one of these was a Zulu percussion duet and dancer who I think was dressed as a bird - it was very jolly, very loud and very well received. I had another event in Covent Garden to get to so made my excuses shortly after the 8.30 exit time.