Market Rasen Rotarians, their friends, wives and partners met for their annual Harvest supper, to raise money for the annual Rotary Christmas Carol Concert, and particularly the children’s gifts given out by Santa at the event.
Enjoying a beautiful meal prepared by Alison Lacey, the party lustily sang harvest hymns and songs, directed and accompanied by Rotarian Tony Neal, playing the organ.
“We plough the fields and scatter” morphed gently into what the conductor described as a love song, but better known to the singers as ‘I’ve got a brand new combined harvester.’
All were then tested with a new song, first performed in late May 1691 as part of a semi opera King Arthur, also known as The British Worthy, with music by Henry Purcell, and written by John Dryden, a well known 17th century poet.
After a practice verse, the organist had to then pedal hard to keep up with the singers.
And the Rotarians were relieved their fellow member, the vicar of Middle Rasen, was absent, as the song was a rousing report of the country folk cheating the paying of their tithes to the church.
Through the evening, a table exhibited the kindly donated produce, unclaimed raffle prizes, excess bottles from the recent Rotary conference, an offer of a flight across Lincolnshire for three people, Christmas cakes and yet to be shot Pheasants. And when the assembly was ready to part with its money, Rotarian Bob Winter successfully extracted bids from the 50 or so diners and sold the donated goods and auction promises for a total of £303, all of which will go toward running the Carol Concert in December.