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Posted on March 21 2014 at 12:26:04

Hopwood Ladies

Deb Weston of Hopwood Ladies Cycling Club tells of their latest charity show.

As we took our final bow, the atmosphere was electric. The room was packed with happy smiling faces, not only from a great evening of entertainment but because around £3,000 had been raised for our chosen charities. Once again Hopwood Ladies had pulled it off!

This was the third time we’d put together a charity show, this time in aid of The Haven breast cancer support charity and Macmillan, and we’d been overwhelmed with people’s generosity to help us to do so.

To start with, we were a little concerned that we wouldn’t have Jasmine Rawlings, the star of our previous shows – but I had to make sure that we didn’t drop our standards!

To add to our usual Samba and Spoons routine, we needed a spectacular dance of some kind, and we came across The Bollywood Dreams Dance Academy in Kings Heath.

With only four of us able to make the Thursday night classes, we intended to learn our routine and then teach it to the others. It didn’t come naturally!

Everyone else seemed to move so beautifully, while we were far from graceful. But by the end of term, we had something to show for it.

We also wanted to add a little humour – so in came the men, in the form of Graham Cottrell and Chris Tomlin. They would be dressed in the same attire as ourselves but with the back of their dresses tucked into their cycle shorts.

Then disaster struck – Chris injured his knee! It was hard to find a replacement so Graham, being the man he is (albeit in a woman’s dress), decided to go it alone.     

The girls worked hard and the dance developed. My son Harry put together and taught us a fantastic samba piece and Sue Morley devised “spooning” routines. All we needed now was some more acts and an audience to fill The Ark in Alvechurch.

Sue’s son Josh and Harry’s friend Connor would be on vocals and guitar, and our own Georgia Davis would once again impress on violin.

I invited the girls from Bollywood Dreams along (to show the audience how it should be done!), and Sarah Fellows, a relative of Graham’s, would add some opera and musical theatre numbers.

With Harry and Immy (Sue’s daughter) on drums, we were nearly there, but I was set on booking a fantastic trio called High Horses whom I had seen a few weeks previously. I was captivated by their original folk/rock songs featuring the most amazing mandolin player I had ever seen.

These guys were very hard to track down, but their acceptance to perform completed the package. With a now sell-out show looming, I felt we had the best programme to date.

Sheila did a very good job of keeping our Tuesday rides going while I concentrated on the Wednesdays and Sundays, and Jill Ellison organised the auction, raffle and catering.

The date of the show soon came around and the fun began. After our explosive samba kicked off the evening, the hours flew by and the pounds quickly added up.

Everybody took something away with them that night (apart from the surplus refreshments and a High Horses CD!) and each person was proud to have done their bit. Well done everyone! 

* Hopwood Ladies Cycling Club is run by women for women and encourages ladies to get out on their bikes to enjoy the countryside. Details at www.hopwoodladies

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