It’s a blast with Joe Stilgoe at Redford Village Hall

Joe Stilgoe with  Tom Farmer and Ben Reynolds
Joe Stilgoe with Tom Farmer and Ben Reynolds

A packed house in the refurbished Redford Village Hall rose to its’ feet on Friday night to give Joe Stilgoe and his musical trio a much deserved standing ovation.

It was the band’s sixth visit and their first since the extensive renovation project which included re-roofing and internal refurbishment.

And clearly, the audience’s appreciation for the evening they had just enjoyed was reflected in the genuine delight of the boys in the band at the rapturous reception they received.

Among those in the audience was writer and national theatre critic Clive Hirschhorn who said: “Stilgoe is more than just a first-rate pianist and singer.

“He’s a consummate entertainer who brilliantly works the room with a range of songs in a variety of styles.

“Whether singing ballads by Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, songs from famous cartoons, material he wrote himself, or numbers from some of his favourite films, he exudes an infectious personality that gets more appealing every time he visits. Assisted by Midhurst raised Ben Reynolds on drums, Tom Farmer on bass and not forgetting Ron the sound engineer on his tablet laptop computer, this is a combo to cherish.

“The evening was a blast (from the past as well as the present) and a perfect way to get the festive season rolling.”

Tiny Redford Village Hall was once again punching well above its weight with entertainment from the internationally renowned musician Joe Stilgoe.

The renowned pianist, songwriter and singer of easy listening jazz music has entertained regularly to support the annual community social event in the village hall and given a major boost to fundraising.

After three years of fundraising, the first stage of building refurbishment was completed in April this year. £83,000 had been spent replacing the asbestos sheet roof with lightweight ceramic tiles, rewiring, installing wall and ceiling insulation as well as metal-frame double-glazed windows and doors in place of the original rotted wood-frames. Further painting and redecoration was carried by working parties of villagers.

Funding came from residents and grants from Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council, The Big Lottery Fund, Midhurst Grange Community Association, Sainsbury’s Monument Fund, The Boltini Trust of Woolbeding, Hall & Woodhouse Community Chest and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

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