One evening just before Christmas the café in Saltaire called Vicars (see my blog of 22 September) hosted an evening of carols, with mulled wine and the most delicious mince pie concoctions I've ever tasted.. fruity and almondy and totally yummy. A few people were busily putting the finishing touches to Advent Window no 23 (see my post of 14 December) while the rest of us sang and chatted and partook of the refreshments.
The music was provided by a small brass ensemble, part of the famous Hammonds Saltaire Brass Band... and very good they were too. The band can trace their origins right back 150 years to 1855 when a brass band was formed as one of the amenities for the men of the village. They won 2nd prize in a competition at the Crystal Palace (London) in 1860 and a newpaper reported that the band was made up entirely of men in the employ of Sir Titus Salt - who had promised them a considerable sum of money if they won. They did win the contest the following year. They have had various name changes (and sponsorship) since then - Hammonds Sauce Works Band, Yorkshire Building Society Band - and have this year reclaimed the name of Saltaire into their title.
Vicars/Gracespace now has its own website, where there is a photograph of the finished window, and a video of the band playing - do click the link and have a look and listen to the band.