Sytchampton to Laval
March 8th – 11th 2013

How did it happen?  A Barbershop Octet called “Eight to the Bar” invited Sheila to bring a group of dancers to Laval for the start of their Festival, hosted by Maison de L’Europe.  Well, dancers need music so Banjacs, was asked to accompany them.

Who went?  Sheila, Paul, Alan, Marion, Annabelle, Mike, Pat and Bob were the dancers and they had put in several hours of practice. Dei, Keith, Allan and Gay were the band.  Gay was also calling.

We left at 5am by coach and spent most of Friday travelling.  We met Annabelle and Mike who had flown and all were greeted by our host families.

On Saturday most of us had a wander around Laval and then attended a formal Greeting at lunch time. We caught the coach again at 4 to travel to Sille de Guillame where we were to have a French meal and a dance.  Our dancers demonstrated two dances and then we called the French people up and most of the 180 came to dance! So with Gay’s French and Allan’s Charles Aznavour voice we had a splendid time.  Our dancers demonstrated all of their dances and then helped the French to follow the instructions.  Favourite French dance was Pat-a-cake Polka!  We even had to do an encore.

Our hosts took us around the lake on Sunday and after lunch we were on our way to a complex just south of Laval.  Here we danced, listened to “Eight to the Bar” who were very good, and had a Ploughman’s Supper. Once again the French got up to dance and the floor was packed.  Pat-a-cake Polka was still the favourite dance. Then it began to rain and it didn’t stop raining.  We met our Laval hosts in the bar.

Next morning we were off back to the UK.  It was snowing by then and it didn’t stop.  We did get to Dover but had to stay overnight as the roads were blocked but after a good breakfast we were on our way.

Our thanks go to the driver Tony of Dudley Coaches for his constant care of us and to everyone who made it an enjoyable weekend