Friday 17 January 2014


- a busy day.   Hospital (20 miles away) for a consultant's appointment at 9.50am.   We were there early and were seen early, and the outcome was that there has been an improvement in my ankle since the cortisone injection and the orthotics and we shall leave things as they are for six months before deciding about an operation.  We were on our way back home before my appointment time.

Hairdresser at lunch time, as always on Thursdays, blog and various jobs in the afternoon and then the local panto in the evening.   Our local amateur dramatics company - The Wensleydale Troupers put on a Panto every year around this time.   This year it was Robin Hood and we all (our Friday morning coffee group all went together) enjoyed it very much.   It is helped by the fact that everyone knows everyone.   But it is also good for the young people who want to get involved and who were all very good.   It takes some courage to stand up on stage and sing in front of a sell-out audience of around 150 folk every night, but if any of them were nervous I can assure them it didn't show.

Talking about it over our coffee this morning though, we had all been struck by the same thing.  H, the lady who introduced the Panto, asked that we stand for the Queen.   We were on the second row; the row in front was all youngsters of school age and they looked astonished and obviously didn't quite know what was going on.   When everyone else stood, they did too, but none of them sang and all of them looked acutely embarrassed.

When we were young it was a regular occurrence to sing The National Anthem before any such gathering and no-one had to introduce it - a roll on the piano and everyone stood up.   This happened at the end of a film in the cinema too and at virtually any public gathering.   Does this not happen any more?   Was singing it unusual - and, more importantly - does it matter?

But it was a fun evening.   They even handed out woolly pom-poms for us to throw on to the stage at the end.   And one young lady had reached her teenage years yesterday.   At the end 'King Richard'
announced this and we all sang Happy Birthday (all the youngsters knew that) - the young lady in question came to the front and clearly enjoyed every minute of it - no embarassment at all.   It was a pleasure to see her - she had already been noticeable by her acting ability - I shall keep my eye open for her name in lights one day!!


Cro Magnon said...

I love a good Panto; or even a bad Panto.

Unfortunately there is so much anti-royalist propaganda around these days, that kids no longer show much respect for their Queen.

Mac n' Janet said...

Would love to see a Panto. We sing our national anthem before many events, I'm glad.

John Going Gently said...

I vaguely remember that the national anthem was played at the cinema after the main feature.,
After the village choir give a concert, the audience will stand to sing the welsh national anthem

jinxxxygirl said...

My husband is retired military. We definitely saw alot more respect for the flag and nation while on military bases. And we miss that with the general public. In a movie theatre on base you always stood before a movie for the National Anthem, removing any hats and placing hand over heart. In the years just before hubby retired there were several cases where kids didn't take their hats off or just talked thru the anthem.

Your question of 'Does it Matter' Yes, yes i think it does. We lose so many opportunities to be cohesive as a Nation. To feel 'connected' . Everybody is so busy being an individual. Hugs! deb

Heather said...

So pleased your ankle is showing signs of improvement.
I remember all the family standing for the National Anthem at home! It was always played at the end of films, plays and other public events when I was growing up. I suppose it was phased out by the PC brigade lest it upset the republicans. Delighted to hear that things are still done properly in your locality, and yes, it does matter.

thelma said...

I used to love pantos, but can't remember the anthem at the end Think it is too difficult nowadays for everyone to stand still in a cinema or theatre, they are always rushing to get out before everyone else.

Robin Mac said...

I haven't seen a panto since my teen years (a long time ago) but I loved them then. We always had the national anthem at the beginning of a film or
any other event, but not for years now. I am fairly certain the PC brigade won out in OZ. There is certainly not as much respect now. I am glad your ankle is improving. Cheers

Virginia said...

I am a New Zealander, and remember the National anthem - rather than God Save the Queen - being sung before films or stage plays until the late 1960s, but not after that. About the same time wearing gloves and hats 'to town' went out - part of a general freeing up of social conventions I think. The hats and gloves I was not sorry to see go!!

Pondside said...

We don't have pantos over here - if I were to be in England at this time of year it's something I'd really like to experience.
When I was a child we sang the National Anthem in movie theaters and at the beginning of all public events. Sometimes it was The Queen and sometimes Oh Canada.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

No, I haven't been anywhere where they played the National Anthem for many years. Though I did know a pub landlord who would play it as a last resort when his customers refused to go home at closing time!

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Hello, Pat. A day late in leaving you a comment here. I have to look up what A Panto is. I assume it is a play.

As for the National Anthem, here in the states it's still played before televised sporting events. We used to sing it every morning in school. Don't know if they do that now.

As for your ankle, did you injure it?

MorningAJ said...

I think if we had a national anthem that was about the country, not a person, I would be more in favour. But singing God Save the Queen, when you don't believe in god and are descended from people who campaigned to chop off a king's head, is a bit ridiculous. Give me Oh Canada or Land of my Fathers and I might be more inclined to sing along. But I don't miss the passing of 'long may she reign'.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hope your ankle continues its recovery.

Glad you enjoyed the Panto.

As for the National Anthem, very rarely played in Scotland! I have a problem with the UK national anthem because it is specifically about loyalty to the Queen herself rather than the country or even the concept of nationhood. I have a problem with 'Flower of Scotland' which is played as an alternative at some events in Scotland because it's so anti-English.

Arija said...

What a lovely day Pat.Not waiting at the doctor's is always a special treat. Standing up for the queen these days, only happens if a royal is present. Raising a glass to Her Majesty at festivities has fallen out of favour too. Unfortunately a lot of traditions that added a little formality have been dispensed with in this 'modern' world.

angryparsnip said...

So happy to hear you ankle is getting better.
What a lovely evening.
They use to play the National Anthem much more than they do now... only are sporting events I think now. The liberal fraction here has stomped out all of that silly stuff.
I still place my hand over my heart with singing or reciting. Helps you remember all that was done for us so that we can stand and not be ruled but people who want to take away our freedom. It helps us connect as a people.

cheers, parsnip