Harburn Village Hall - News 2018 onwards



The Odd (Very odd?) Fox Trot..........Beryl's Ceilidh

The Harburn Winter Social Season burst into life in the village hall as more than eighty revellers gathered to dance to the music of John Morgan.

The dance floor, though limited in size, was never empty and was frequently packed to enjoy the set dances, waltz’s, two steps and Gay Gordons, barn dances (the odd fox trot) and even the Slosh, where experienced hands initiated the newbies through the rituals of the unique dance floor.

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As has become the tradition the company assembled early to secure the best seats and soon raffle ticket sales executives, David & Guy, were seeking spare books as the sales mounted inspired no doubt by the splendid array of prizes which had been assembled / donated.

Whilst Harburn ‘regulars’ turned out in number but it was good to note a number of newer faces and a significant number of younger (very much younger) attendees too. One of that number, young Brodie by name, was celebrating a significant birthday (his 7th) which was marked by the production of a Rainbow coloured cake which proved very popular when added to the buffet spread.

The catering itself was both mouth watering and expansive, catering for every taste bud, so no one had any excuse for feeling peckish throughout the evening. Many thanks are due to the many donor purveyors of the spread that was so large that ‘doggie bags’ were the order of the day.

The evening concluded with a huge round of appreciation to Arch Organiser in Chief, Beryl, and to John Morgan for his inspirational music.

For those readers of a statistical bent ticket sales / raffles and donations resulted in a profit of £850.15 being donated to the Harburn Village Hall funds.





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The now traditional New Year Brunch was again supported by a good proportion of the Citizens of Harburn and not a few visitors. As always, the fare was Full Harburn. Good, healthy stuff with, to name a selection, Fried Eggs, Bacon, Black Pud, Lorne Sausage, Potato Cakes and, of course, Baked Beans appearing in the lead parts, whilst John Wilkie, David Macdonald and others dashed round refilling our coffee and tea cups, orange juice glasses and more serious containers for what looked suspiciosly like one of the bubbly varieties.

Amongst those to be seen cooking, serving, dispensing and collecting were Guy and Lilian, Netta, Louise H and Fiona.
Stephen D, Joe and Simon, a friend of Stephen, were to be found attending to dishes whilst Iain (no one should mention his Morning Suit) and Paul had given a hand with the setup in the morning.

John and Moira were also to be found re-charging cups and glasses whilst Linda and David were, of course, to be found everywhere! In short, this was another Community effort and our thanks go to all the above. Almost inevitably I will have missed someone out, if you know of such an omission, please let us know and accept apologies. Oh, BTW, the money men report that some generous donations suggest that costs will have been met. Or very nearly so.





I have enjoyed every Harburn Pantomime since moving here in 2001
and have admired the versatility of many local stalwarts as they have taken up the challenge of the endless changes of character, and indeed gender, of traditional Pantomime. Where this year was different was that I recognised only a fraction of the huge cast which brought the house down this week in Harburn Hall. Wonderful to see so many new actors taking part and giving us great hope for the future.

The whole evening got off to a cracking start as the stage gradually filled from all angles with a seemingly endless troupe of black clad singers and dancers. Ranging in age from 5 to .......whatever, they gave it their all. Some very promising vocalists and movers stood out among the new, younger members of the cast and it was a clever idea to introduce them to the audience, not in costume but rather in anonymous black uniform emphasising that this was a Company production and making the later transition to full colour all the more dramatic. David Dobson’s sudden entrance through the auditorium as Abanazar, the ultimate baddie, had us all jumping in our seats. Heavily miked, heavily made up and with even his voice heavily disguised, he kept up his evil persona throughout the evening encouraging the lusty booing which accompanied his every move.

In contrast David Hastie, as Widow Twankie, was a disconcertingly flirtatious and feminine Dame. In a series of ridiculous costumes including a tutu, this large, tattooed and stubbled man sang, danced and had us collapsed with laughter. He engaged with charm with the audience as well as with the young actors on stage with him. I hope this will be the first of many appearances in Harburn Hall. He was more than ably partnered by Wishy Washy played with enormous assurance by newcomer, Joseph Gall. Joseph delivered his set piece “knock knock” jokes with aplomb and he clearly enjoyed interacting with the audience as much as with his fellow actors. And he can sing and dance as well!

Among the more familiar faces Maggie Gray was utterly convincing as a stately emperor while Genies of the Ring and Lamp, Edingell Thomson and Marianne Craig in glittering pink and blue respectively, reluctantly granted the requisite 3 wishes while attempting to coach a gaggle of wannabe genies in their craft. No Harburn Pantomime would be complete without Nicola Tuxworth’s participation but this time it was her miming skills which were called upon. Luckily the mute So Shy was able to find her voice singing in a touching duet with Princess Jasmine ably played by Molly Vincent. Molly is one to watch out for in future productions. So to the aforementioned gaggle of trainee genies. This was a lively bunch showing many talents from impressive gymnastics by Annaya Chapoto to a burst on the trombone from Isabel Nicol. There was some impressive acting off the line here and some careful choreography. Director Kirsty skilfully managed what could have been an unruly bunch and it was excellent to see so many enthusiastic young actors taking part.

Aladdin himself was played with confidence by Emma Porter and she conveyed her horror at being imprisoned in The Cave of Wonders convincingly. It was an inspiration to use a tableau of genies bedecked with jewels to represent the interior of the cave. And so the story drew to a close with the inevitable multiple wedding, the banishment of the evil one and its fair share of Pantomime conventions for us all to enjoy. There are about 40 names listed in the programme both on stage and off for this production which is a tremendous tribute to the commitment and energy of our community. The set, lighting, sound, music and costumes are all integral to the success of the whole and mean a huge amount of work. That effort was more than justified. Principally it is writer and director Kirsty’s commitment and energy which has pulled off an ambitious and thoroughly entertaining evening.
Words: JB



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Around 2000 people gathered for the Annual Trust Fireworks display in West Calder on Fri 2nd. Nearly 20 volunteers helped CDT staff put on the 20 minute professional quality display which was open to all by donation only. Looking forward to next year's display and remember this event only works because of the generous donations and volunteer time given by members of the community - so it's never too early to sign up to help next year!



Burgers and Boules whilst the rains....er...rained (August 2018)

As we sweltered in the Summer heat in May and June, the idea of a Village Barbie seemed a good one, very good in fact. But, as the normal Festival slot passed and June drew to its close, so the normal Festival weather appeared! And where we had prayed for rain, now we looked upwards for a sign that it was going to stop chucking it down. Mission Control (in this case Kirsty and Louise) sensibly postponed the first projected date. And rightly so as the temperature plummeted and the wet stuff did its best. A new date was selected.

The start of the selected week was iffy and by mid-week things were grim but an edict was beamed from High Command and it was GO! GO! GO!

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This decision looked pretty damn stoopid at daybreak, and, in truth, it remained so for most of the day. But in true Harburn style, crowds turned up and a great time was had by Harburnites of very assorted ages, and High Command was totally vindicated.

A game of Boules was enthusiastically supported and the terrain proved surprisingly well-suited to the sport. Lashings of food were produced and ferried through the gently-falling mist, to the Hall where, as is normal at Harburn functions, eager hordes descended and hoovered up the offerings. Inside the Hall (amongst others) Lorna and Pauline were doing valiant work keeping the troops fed and watered.

A few comments: firstly, many thanks to Kirsty and Louise. The former must be a glutton for punishment as she has spent much of the time since the event in scripting the first versions of this year's Panto: Aladdin and assorted Dwarfs meet Beanstalk Jack on Treasure Island Part 63 *. But more information of that daunting enterprise will follow in later news.

Duncan, Matt, Guy, Joe, Pirran John Iain, Maeve and Isabel and others were responsible for outside logistics and games. Matt was there helping turn a burger or seven and as representative of the Community Development Trust. This body supported the project in spades: bunting, a new generator and barbecue as well as festoon lighting (what????) were purchased by the CDT and will be kept available for the Community on future occasions. We also had the benefit of the loan of their portable PA system, *This is only a provisional title

A further (and important) observation, conBarbie18bcerns the Recreation Area which was, to my knowledge, getting its first examination as an entertainment venue. It seemed to pass with flying colours.

Last word must go to a young visitor to the area who had to return to Los Angeles shortly after the Barbie. Referring to California compared with Harburn he wrote.........California Sucks!!

Many many thanks to Mission Control - especially Kirsty and Louise and let's make this a regular event. please.

Any one for boules?

NB (apologies if any names have been omitted, Please contact via message on phone above)