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Events Gallery – 2014

25th January 2014 – “Rich Clifford And The Young Once”

Yet another successful evening of entertainment was enjoyed by the audience at this sell-out concert in the MICA Centre.
Having been brought back by popular request after their fab show two years ago, Rich Clifford and the Young Once were first class. One member of the audience said that “if you closed your eyes it was really difficult to distinguish from the original ‘tracks’ at times”. Everyone joined in the dancing and there was some excellent jiving and twisting on the dance floor. The sound quality was top notch replicating that unique Shadows sound along with the ever ‘youthful’ Rich Clifford.

Unfortunately we have no pictures of this event, but here are a couple taken at their previous performance for us in February 2012:

29th March 2014 – Colne Valley Youth Orchestra
The Colne Valley Youth Orchestra
The Colne Valley Youth Orchestra

A real treat was in store for the capacity audience who attended the concert given by the Colne Valley Youth Orchestra at West Mersea Church on Saturday.

We enjoyed a varied programme of both classical and contemporary pieces performed by this enthusiastic and talented group of young people led by their Musical Director Nigel Hildreth MBE and assisted by associate conductor Jonathan Abbott, a former member of the orchestra.

Saturday 17th May 2014 – Pauly and Paul Ortiz, Crissy Lee and Friends

This was a concert of soul, song, scintillating drumming and seriously good music.

In the first half Pauly Ortiz performed a medley of soul and jazz classics such as ‘Blue Moon’, ‘Cry Me A River’, ‘Georgia On My Mind’, ‘My Lonely Days are Over’: She was accompanied on guitar by son Paul.

The second half featured guitarist Jay Stapley.

His first song “Edge of the World” was the title song from his album released in 2008 – a poetic and musical treat showcasing his considerable talents as lyricist and musician.

Other songs in the set included “Happy Ever After”, “Let the Four Winds Blow” and “Deep Blue Sea” by Jay, Equilibrium (written by Jay’s eldest daughter) and “Feels Like Rain” written by John Hiatt.
On stage with Jay was his lovely wife Vinny who sang alongside him in some of the later songs, together with his band comprising Dr. Des Abbot on keyboards, Andy Palmer on bass guitar and a guest appearance of legendary female drummer Crissy Lee (widely acclaimed as being the UK’s and Europe’s finest female drummer and now living nearby in Peldon) – their accomplished musicianship expertly complementing Jay and Vinny’s vocals and Jay’s guitar playing.

All the performers played for free and all profits from the event went to the Friends appeal. How lucky we are to have such fine musicians in our community and what a treat to have them playing for us.

A wonderful evening!

Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th August 2014
“The School for Husbands” – a play by Molière
performed by DOT Productions in the gardens of ‘High Acre’, 70 Firs Road, West Mersea.

Two capacity audiences enjoyed delightful performances by the DOT touring theatre company of this intriguing 17th Century play by Moliere presented in the lovely gardens of Peter and Liz Clements’ house in Firs Road.

The play was performed with great style and wit by this small troupe of professional performers and we soon became engaged with the characters as we watched their adventures unfold.

The weather kept fine on both evenings and we enjoyed tasty snacks and drinks including jugs of Pimms in the interval.

Profits from the event were donated to both The Friends and to local charity The Colchester Cancer Centre Campaign. The Friends received a cheque for £600. We are very grateful to Liz and Peter for organising such an enjoyable occasion and for their generous donation.

For more information click the following links:

The Colchester Cancer Centre Campaign (
DOT Productions ( )

Sunday 14th September 2014 2.30pm – Organ and Trumpet Recital – followed by afternoon tea

On 14th September we were treated to a wonderful Sunday afternoon recital of Organ and Trumpet music in the Church by two very talented young brothers, Jacob and Sam Ewens. Sam is currently Organ Scholar at Keble College, Oxford and Sam is a professional trumpet player. For many years the family have spent summer holidays with relatives in Mersea and Jacob has practised his organ studies in our church, so this was by way of a thank you.

Their programme was an eclectic mixture of old favourites and some more adventurous pieces suited to this unusual combination of instruments. The quality of playing was superb, and was a fine opportunity to put our organ through its paces. The audience were captivated and many a tear was shed. To cap it all we were finally blessed with glorious sunshine bursting through the south windows into the nave.

The recital was followed by a sumptuous Afternoon Tea prepared by the volunteers , with scones and cakes and traditional treats like cucumber sandwiches (crusts off of course!)

Another very successful Friends’ event, raising around £800 for the Church.

Saturday 4th October 2014 7.30pm – “Talking Heads”
Maggie Brush and Sara Green
Maggie Brush and Sara Green

Local performers Maggie Brush and Sara Green performed two of these famous monologues by Alan Bennett. Sara performed “A Lady of Letters” and Maggie “A Bed Among the Lentils”
Your correspondent was unable to go to this event as he was on holiday but understands from those who did that it was a thoroughly enyoyable evening!

Saturday 22nd November 2014 7.30pm – “Travels with our Cameras” a photographic evening and meal with Colin Westgate F.R.P.S. and Chrissie Westgate F.R.P.S.

Internationally celebrated Mersea photographers Colin and Chrissie Westgate enthralled the audience at our Parish Church with a selection of wonderful images collected during some of their extensive travels thoughout the world.

Colin presented a series of images capturing the hustle and bustle of daily life in Cambodia, followed by some stunning impressionistic-style landscapes from Yellowstone National Park.

Chrissie, who specialises in street and informal portraiture presented a series of photos from a recent trip to Kenya, including some ‘no-holds barred’ shots of the notorious Kibera slum in Nairobi, obtained at great risk to her own safety.

Finally she enthralled us with some beautiful ‘up-close and raw’ images of street people in some of the poorest parts of India.

It was a pleasure to be reminded, in this era of throw-away photography and social media, of the power of the camera in the hands of a professional.

To see a selection of Colin and Chrissie’s photographs, visit and

Tuesday 16th Dec and Wednesday 17th Dec 2014 – Christmas Carols and Songs Concerts, 2014

The Christmas Concert on two evenings was a sell out by the first release of tickets. The evenings were a great mix of favourite carols and a variety of Christmas songs. It certainly was a truly wonderful lead up to Christmas.

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