Ely Rotary Club does it again as latest Big Band Show proves a huge success

Ely Big Band Show

Ely Big Band Show - Credit: Archant

Ely Rotary Club’s seventh big band show attracted a sell-out audience on Saturday night.

Opus 17, the well-known big band from Royston, performed an array of numbers from the 1940s, for the concert and dance held to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Their medley of songs, which encouraged a heavy audience-participation, of course started with ‘Who do you Think You’re Kidding Mr Hitler’, with another Vera Lynn medley including “We’ll Meet Again”.

It was a wonder the roof stayed on Needhams Hall at the Ely Community College.

The band’s new vocalist, Kimberley Devonshire, provided exceptional nostalgia with songs such as ‘You’ll Never Know’, ‘You Belong to Me’ and ‘I Know Why and so do You’, all well-loved Glenn Miller tunes, amongst her several renditions, as well as leading the community singing.

The bar was extremely popular, organised and run by Ken James and Nick Mumford with assistants, even running out of glasses towards the end of the night.

The raffle for the vocational committee led by Viv Doji, collecting for Dictionaries4Life, did extremely well. Dictionaries4Life provides year six leavers with a dictionary each, split with International committee, for providing assistance to overseas victims of disasters with shelter boxes. A feature this year was memories of wartime experiences, mainly from the people who lived through it. Rotarian Mike Copping read a story provided by his next-door neighbour Bernard Kregor, who was in the RAF based at Witchford.

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Rotarian Eric Grant remembered Battle of Britain day excitement when, as a nine-year-old boy he watched as a Dornier 17, out-of-control, dived towards him and his father and blew up 150 yards from the bottom of their garden at Langdon Hills, now part of Basildon.

Mr Grant said: “At the end of the show, many people came up to the stage to say ‘it was the best ever’, ‘why don’t we have more of these shows’, ‘it was really fantastic’, and so on. Rotary certainly were joyful at such enthusiasm.”

If you’ve ever thought of joining Rotary, now would be a good time. Contact President John Dennick on Ely 662636, Rotarian Mike Copping on Ely 740236, or check the website: elyrotary.co.uk.