Monday, June 25, 2007
Trip to Croydon... Friday - Saturday
Spent this weekend with the Bellshill Salvation Army Band as they went to the Croydon Salvation Army Citadel for a festival weekend.
The trip down was great. We left after 2100hrs... and headed to Morecambe. It was fab to travel with great friends like Roscoe... Yvonne (pictured with Olly above) & D... Kenny & Sarah... as well as being with Olly... in her space, experiencing a wee bit of her life and just soaking in the experience of traveling with a great bunch of people.
We stayed at the Clarendon Hotel in Morecambe. Unfortunately it was an in and out stay... got there after midnight... and were away after 0900hrs. Only negative was the dated bedspread... otherwise, the bed was comfy and the facilities were fab... and we were well fed and watered at breakfast.
The Hotel had some interesting nooks and crannies... and a lift with an over-eager alarm... or at least that's what we thought until we realised it was Olly with her back on the buzzer.
From the little we saw of Morecambe... it looked an interesting place for a long weekend. An English seaside resort that's seen its day... but still retains its charm and a little of its grace. Some interesting shops on the front that deserve investigation... and I never got a pic of the Eric Morecambe statue.
I enjoy traveling... I enjoy seeing places and being in great company... and this was one of those trips. Being with Olly in her space was tremendous. I got a real insight into the work of the Band. True teamwork and dedication.
It was a long journey, however... but one broken with my iPod... my PSP (Luminees rawks!!!) and the latest edition of Monocle... as well a wee doze here and there. Casino Royale, Shrek (1 + 2) and Morecambe and Wise DVDs were played on board which helped too.
We arrived mid-afternoon on Saturday. Croydon is a massive urban sprawl of the old and the new... a vibrant and diverse city within a city with a varied skyline and more than its fair share of concrete. Their tram is impressive although I never got a chance to ride it. Looking back its a blur of grey punctuated with the beautiful faces of the residents.
The Croydon Citadel is mighty impressive. Three buildings in one... A community centre on its left... a worship hall in the middle... and the lighthouse facility for the youth in the community.
A massive footprint. An impressive space. A blessed undertaking. Situated on Booth Road (never asked whether the name was changed or whether it was a wonderful coincidence) in the middle of Croydon.
The Band unpacked with Military precision and got ready for the evening festival.
The hall itself had some beautiful details like the Mercy Seat (above) and the Cross and Bible (below). Have to say though... that I had Dueling Banjos playing in my head when I saw the Mercy Seat.
Later on... I met up with Johnny Laird - he has been a great blogging pal for a good while now... and it was fab to meet up with him. I'm going to give Johnny and his family their own post.
In the evening the Band were awesome... playing a real mix from Call of the Righteous to El es el Senor... tremendous. Olly sang Born Again which went down a treat. Hopefully she caught the attention of Trevor Cafull from SP&S... who was comparing the evening and joked about a recording contract.
Afterwards, we headed to Casa Del Laird for a lovely evening... more on next.