On March 23rd 2023, we celebrated two things we've never celebrated before.
Celebratory Thing 1...Workshop said "farewell" to its Founder, Derek Hasted...
Derek started the Workshop in 1988 as an opportunity for his Adult Education students when they reached the end of their Evening Classes.
35 years later, and an estimated 542 Workshops later, Derek and his long-suffering wife Pam are moving out of the area to be closer to family.
Celebratory Thing 2...Workshop said "welcome" to its new Leader, Peter Rogers, a talented local guitarist who, Workshop hopes, will have the stamina to lead Workshop for at least its next 35 years!
Derek put together a small programme of music that took Workshop through its 35 years, finishing with his most recent arrangement - Secret Garden's "Song for a New Beginning", a piece that seemed to capture the mood perfectly.
Derek then played Alfonso Montes' haunting piece "Prelude de Adios" before welcoming Peter as Workshop's new Leader.
At this point, Derek thought it was simply to be food and drink. Workshop had other ideas...
From dusty archives, someone discovered Workshop's first ever piece "Streets of Laredo", and Caroline penned some new words which, in 5 hilarious verses, seemed to compress 35 years of Workshop. Derek thought it was "Excellent" (which is apparently the first time he's ever used the word...)
There were speeches (mercifully short) and toasts...
There were gifts too -
And we mustn't forget the most spectacular cake, courtesy of Debbie S.
It tasted every bit as fantastic as it looked!
Oh, and the card, courtesy of Debbie V.
Derek says "Gosh, there are so many lovely comments here - every time I read the card, it brings a lump to my throat"
(Due to a small cut and paste error, the first version read...
"Oh, and the card, courtesy of Debbie V.
It tasted every bit as fantastic as it looked!")
Derek's wife Pam was given the most glorious flowers.
Here they are at home....
We'll leave you with a few bars of our closing item "Song For A New Beginning" (Secret Garden) as we look forward to exciting times ahead...