Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tars at Laura and Graham’s wedding

Just after Laura Charlton and Graham Wills had got married at the Elfordleigh Hotel, near Plymouth, on March 31, they (and their guests) got a surprise visit – from the Tavy Tars. Laura’s Dad, Clive, who is one of the Tars said: “we have a minor tradition of interrupting our family weddings with some unexpected entertainment. The Priston Morris Men turned up at son Nic’s wedding last year. We thought a brass band or a ‘strippergram’ might not be quite right for the new Mr and Mrs Wills, so we gave them a ‘shantygram’ instead!” 

As wedding guests flowed out onto Elfordleigh’s splendid terrace with their post-ceremony drinks, the Tars appeared. Dad had to borrow a hat to join them in singing ‘Sloop John B’, followed by the local favourite, ‘Eddystone Light’, and finally, a custom re-written version of ‘Nelson’s Blood’ (e.g. ‘a  change of name to Wills wouldn’t do her any harm...’).
Laura and Graham declared they were delighted with their nautical surprise (they didn’t even spill their Pimms). Their choice of Costa Rica as honeymoon destination in no way reflects the rarity of shanty singing in Central America. And quite a few of the other wedding guests said how much they’d enjoyed the Tars’ appearance (and their songs?!).  Clive and his wife Ruth were very grateful to all the Tars for playing their part in what was a really happy day – and giving up Saturday afternoons that might otherwise have been spent  fettling boats, planting potatoes or watching Plymouth Argyle win at Home Park.