Penzance Ladies Orpheus at the Cutty Sark,  Marazion 1st Aug 2012

Got to the pub before the singers (who were coming in after their rehearsal) and met some interesting characters at the bar – ‘Fred’ or so he called himself to us, bantered about us coming from the ‘darkest regions’ of ‘Druth and St Day and told us a few unrepeatable stories!  Later on it was clear he knew all the songs being sung and saw it as normal; except for the fact it was all women!

The bar staff and landlord were friendly and interested in the project and later on when we handed out a short questionnaire filled in some of them for the people propping up the bar and unable to write!

Soon the ladies came in along with their M.D – Stephen Lawry (yep, he of Mousehole MVC fame) and I introduced myself to Anne as we had only communicated by email. I discovered that this was a new thing for them and that it was only about the third time they’d come out for an informal sing in the pub. here was a different feel to the occaision, not least because there was less beer around! Cups of tea and coffee mingled with glasses of wine and most people were sitting but the ladies soon began pitching up the songs themselves without words and mixing the usual pub standards with some of their choir repetoire.

There seemed to be a bit of a ‘naughty corner’ where words got changed to something a little more suggestive than I’d heard before – exchanging hips for lips in Little Eyes for example!  I really enjoyed an all female version of Hail to the Homeland which  produced alot of giggling in the naughty corner too!

One of the ladies Annie, came from Ireland and sang a spirited Molly Malone and two others Rosemary and Gloria seemed to be the mainstays for pitching up and remembering words.  I spoke to them afterwards and they had strong memories of the singing at The Dock in Penzance and at the King William in Madron descibing them as ‘real social gatherings’ Sally chatted with one of the older members who is 68 and remebered at the age of 16 going to the pub in St Just along with other girls to have a sing – no age restriction then nor gender restriction with the singing either!

I wondered how the old boy regulars in the back bar would respond to the singing and realised alot were joining in and some of the feedback from the questionaires was really positive:  such as  ‘Lovely evening!’  ‘Just like the old days’ ‘Carry on tooting!’ and  ‘May it increase as it makes for a good night’

So good for you ladies : lets sing ‘one and all!’