Acting Father replies to toast by candlelight

LAST Friday night was a first for this year’s Acting Father Grahame Nichol as he replied to his toast – by candlelight.

The annual Ex-Cornets’ and Acting Fathers’ Association dinner at Mansfield Park was plunged into darkness midway through proceedings as a spectacular electrical storm caused a power cut.

By that time the gathering of 67 had enjoyed a lovely meal and had heard Ex-Acting Father Tom Hartop toast the Cornet and this year’s man of the moment Michael Davidson reply.

But proceedings were disrupted shortly before 10pm. Grahame said: “It added to the atmosphere and Tom Hartop was brilliant, he chaired the whole thing to perfection under difficult circumstances.

“There were three candles around me and Jamie (Richardson) also used the light from his phone.

“It was quite good and I thought, if I made a mistake, then at least I had an excuse!”

Ex-Acting Father Phil Nichol had earlier proposed his toast to Grahame under the cover of darkness, with the help of candles and the emergency light behind the bar.

Singing and entertainment continued regardless and the evening was brought to a close only slightly earlier than usual.

Association secretary John Hogg said: “It was a brilliant night and there was a real buzz. We’d had a great meal and things were going really well until the power went off.

“Everybody just got on with it though.

“At one point the lights came back on when Kenny McCartney was singing, but they went off again, so he got the blame.

“It was a first and hopefully a last for the Association.”