The English Chamber Orchestra had tuned up, the church at Thornham, in Norfolk, was packed, there was a general buzz of pre-concert conversation. Then, hush; we stood up, as if suddenly transported to a tomb The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall had arrived.
It must be hard on the Royal Family to know they have this temperature-lowering effect, particularly because, in the Pol Roger marquee, the royal party looked on buoyant form. Talk was of Zara Phillips’s forthcoming wedding. One hopes that the new Mr and Mrs Tindall won’t have set a fashion by choosing to get married in Edinburgh rather than from the bride’s home of Gatcombe. Still, The Duchess of Cornwall was looking forward to seeing a team of rugby players at the reception.
All Saints’, Thornham, is one of those large Norfolk churches built when the coast grew rich from the volume of wool being exported from its ports. But with a village still gathered around it, it’s better off than St Nicholas, Salthouse, just as big, but left alone with its hamlet overlooking the salt marshes. The money raised by the concert, held by that excellent charity, Music in Country Churches, went to help Salthouse church. In November, the charity comes to London, with a fundraising dinner at the Fishmongers’ Hall.
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