Hello one and all and welcome to my news page. Here you can see me as my two alter egos the ever efficient secretary Prudie Jones, Evette the Spivette and plain old little me as you catch up with all that is current in my world. Regrettably unlike Prudie my spelling is quite frightful at the best of times due to my dyslexia so I shall apologise now for anything which might be shamefully mis-spelt. In the mean time I hope you find this page fun, entertaining and informative and become a regular visitor to my site.

Kind Regards

A Voice in a Million

Part 2 – D-Day, Arromanches & The Veterans Dinner at Brenouville!

Ready to Sing at Cale Neptune!

Welcome back to the second part of my Normandy Blog 2024. After the excitement of the 5th and 6th June the following day Arromanches had engaged Robert and I to perform a pop up 60 minute show at Cale Neptune. This year we had been blessed with good weather so I decided to swapped my ATS uniform for a glamourous frock.  It’s always difficult to know what to pack for Normandy as I have known the weather to swing both ways, cold and wet to blistering sunshine. This time we were able to enjoy the later as I performed a glamours 1940s Swing show at the chosen location.

If you are familiar with Arromanches, Cale Neptune is the road which leads down to the sea and it’s on the same street as the bakers along with a few different restaurants. In fact our power came from a restaurant which I remember enjoying a meal, while sitting outside in the sunshine, last year. This time I performed a

Performing for the Crowds!

straight through 60 minute show which included a selection of popular big band and swing classics. Perhaps not surprisingly at this time of year Arromanches is packed with visitors and we had no shortage of audience who really enjoyed the 40s vibe.

Later that day we had been invited to perform at the Veterans Dinner in Benouville. Benouville Hall is not far from Pegasus Bridge and falls within the Sword Sector. I had been very lucky in finding us an apartment which over looked the Juno Beach Museum at Courseulles-sur-Mer,

Meeting Up With Friends and Reenactors !

which is perfectly situated between Arromanches and Benouville. The BBC on the other hand had been less fortunate telling me their hotel was over an hour and a half drive away. I always like to be properly prepared and it’s easy to think there’s more time than you have. It had been my intention to change into a neat cocktail dress for the evening show but once we had negotiate the D-Day traffic and set up the evening was upon us before you could say D-day. Robert had made a special 80th D-day board and he was thrilled to invite the veterans to add their signatures. When we were at the Portsmouth docks we met up with

D-Day Veteran Reginald Pye!

101 D-Day Veteran Reginald Pye who was travelling with Festival Swing D-Day -Sword Beach. He was our first veteran to add his signature.

Benouville Hall had been beautifully decorated and I opened my show with “The Longest Day” followed by a good old fashioned War Time sing-along. We also had the Pegasus Pipes and Drums who were super and a jolly good time was had by all. Sadly top ceremonial soprano Emma Brown wasn’t able to attend due to logistics but when I saw her in Arromanches earlier in the day she asked me to cover her tribute hymn “I Vow to Thee My Country” which I was delighted do for her. Afterwards there was a charity auction and Robert was thrilled to buy the remains of a WW2 glider which now has pride of place in his collection.

Set and Ready for the Veterans Dinner

It meant alot for us be invited and I’d like to say a big thank-you to Sal Williams and Mary Smith for extending their invitation and for making us so welcome. I first had the honour of performing in Normandy for the 60th commemorations when there were many more veterans, now there are so few left – so every moment is precious.

The Following day Robert and I had been booked to perform 3 x 30 minute shows in Arromanches this time in the street just along from the tourist

Signing the Veterans Board!

office. We had been initially booked to perform out-side the museum but due to security we had to move in town. This was the day of the air show and it became obvious very early on the streets were starting to get over crowded. Due to safety considerations and to stop crushing we were only able to perform one 30 minute show but afterwards we were granted VIP tickets to see the air show from the museum. We also managed to catch a few shots from the window of our changing room which over looked the square and gave us a stella view.

For our final show on the Sunday, Arromanches had asked me to perform a vintage musical mix of songs from the 1940s, 50s, 60s & 70s in the main square just prior to the Triathlon. This required us working in the round and getting our rig set quickly as temperatures started to sore. All the gazebos had been taken up with race competitors which ment Robert had to operate

The Arromanches Air Show!

my sound system with-out shade. This can be tricky because strong sun bleaches computer screens and it makes it difficult to see. Quite how he did it I don’t know as we threw up four speakers in record time and got on with the show. As with everything French the final decision about location is usually made literally minutes before you are due to go on stage. On this occasion my show had been extended to 60 minutes and you must be on time.

If you can it’s always best to do your own sound which is why it’s essential to have a good sound

Pop up Street Concert!

man  with you and someone to watch your back. No matter how organised you are plans change and it’s important to be ready for any eventuality. The French have a thing where they will cut your sound and power if they think you have over played your set. This happened to me on the Sunday because the message hadn’t got through to the sound crew that my set had been extended from 30 minutes to one hour. Some-one pulled my plug, bang on 30 minutes and French sound crews do this alot. I went though the sound crews rig on the 6th June and they also cut my mic during my final song before I could finnish. Fortunately I had backing

A Dressing Room with a View!

vocals on the track so I kept singing and the audience didn’t notice. It was just a shame I wasn’t able to introduce the fireworks properly. It’s something you have to be very aware of in France and not allow yourself to be phased by. This is why it is imperative shows start on time. I don’t know if it is a macho thing but speaking to my French friend and fellow singer Megan she has had similar problems with sound crews. Why they do it we will never know but all I can say is Rob did a phenomenal job and I was very lucky to have him with me on this tour.

In my next blog I shall tell you more about some of the places we visited.

I shall leave you with a few of my favourite photos.

Keep Following, Toodle Pip buy for now! 😉

Meeting Up with Winston Churchill, Monty and the Gang!

On Stage for the Triathlon!

In Full Song!