Lincoln 2008 – Messages

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Two years ago, if someone had told me that I would be in a Waites Band, and this Wonderful Festival would take place in Lincoln, I would have not believed you, but it all really did happen – against all the odds. As we are a fledgling band, the City of Lincoln Waites feel privileged that musicians from all over England and especially our friends from ‘s-Hertogenbosch, all wanted to be with us, in our home town.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my personal thanks to everyone who helped make this Festival a success. We had great locations to play in, wonderful audiences and were able to renew the old friendships and build new ones. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.

I am already looking forward to the 4th Festival (2010) in ‘s-Hertogenbosch!

Al Garrod

A hearty endorsement from Jane and me of all that Al has said. It was clearly a splendid weekend, and we hugely enjoyed the part of it that we attended. Many thanks indeed to all those who organised and arranged the Festival, and many congratulations to all the bands on the sheer enjoyability of their music-making!

Professor Richard Rastall MA MusB PhD FSA

Congratulations on your organising of yesterday’s procession. very impressive. pity the whole city did not turn out to watch and listen. I am not able to make today as we have a concert in Leicester, but I am sure things will go just as well. Keep up the good work.

John Bence, Director, Leicester Early Music Festival

I have at last managed to sit down at my desk and switch the computer on. Just wanted to say many, many thanks for all the hard work everyone put into making the festival a great success against all odds.

Lynn and Colchester, both having a high proportion of novice Waits, have, I think, benefited hugely from the experience, and from watching, listening to, and talking with the other bands. And I am still glowing from being invited to drum for the York Waits!

All the best,

Chris Gutteridge.

Well we did it! I think all are agreed that Lincoln was a resounding success.

All the people we dealt with were superb, the church, the hotel, the restaurant, the caterers and I am sure that they would be all happy to see us back. We generated a great deal of interest in what we do. Did you spot the St Johns lady from Saturday who came back on Sunday because she wanted to hear the other bands! The Cathedral rang their bells for us and we even arranged a fly past by the Battle of Britain Squadron, how’s that for organisation? The big blow in Castle Square was a truly memorable occasion and Tim [Bayley] as usual did a superb job. From where I stood the sound was far superior to the workshop and as for the settings…

So a big thank you to you all. The festival finished for me at 8.20am today when I shut the minibus door in the depot in Sheffield, so I am having some time off! Well a night or two.

Roger Offord

Wow, what a weekend! I’m still recovering (slowly) and this is the first chance I’ve had to sit at the computer and catch up properly. I’d like to thank you all for making the Festival happen. From my point of view it was well worth it. The idea of a flatter venue for the next does sound atractive though….

Lizzie Gutteridge

It was a very good weekend, please pass on thanks to the ‘workers’ whose background work made it all happen so fluently. If you think that a central England venue might be a possible gathering place there is a super church and hall at St John’s, Berkswell, just to the west of Coventry, which might make a pleasant venue.

Simon Pickard, Gloucester Waites

Hello Roger

I just wanted to drop you an email to say how impressed I was with the organisation yesterday. It was an excellent day and, talking to members of the public, it was obviously very well received. I hope today goes as successfully.

Best wishes

Janet Bedford (steward)


Dear frends,


We highly appreciate your hospitality and friendship during the fantastic days in Lincoln. It was once again a great experience to stay with you all. To us the organisation seemed faultless, the program was very gentle (considering Steep Hill), food and drinks were delicious and the evenings were very companionable. You even managed to keep the festival dry and organised nice weather.

The choice of Lincoln was wise, the historic places seemed to fit like “a coat.” We love walking around in a city like this and play our music at the right places.

It was very nice to get to know the new groups of waits and be able to play with them in the big blow. We have the idea that the big blow was not exactly “a superb performance” but considering that we had no opportunity to rehearse together, it was an outstanding experience in a unique situation. It gave us a warm feeling! We sincerely hope that everybody looks back on this weekend, as excited like we do!

We like to say a special thanks to the organising committee, but also to the volunteers, the medics and ‘Kim the Steward’; and of course Roger who managed to get us safely in and out of Britain, although he had no tachygraph, nor a taxi licence.

We hope to see you all in good health on the next festival within two years. We will meet again………Somewhere.

Met vriendelijke groeten,

Emile, Eugene, Francois, Henk, Jos, Johan, Norbert, Willem (Stadspijpers van ’s-Hertogenbosch) (And Diny and Karin)

Hi guys,

I’ve just got home, and the top priority was to thank you all for your efforts over the past few months. In spite of all the obstacles we’ve faced in planning the festival, the end result was bloody brilliant. Congratulations all round!


Alan Radford.

The last word

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow would fittingly describe the success of the Town Pipers’ Festival.

Hosted by the newly-formed Lincoln Waites (pictured), this third Annual Festival of the International Guild of Town Pipers brought costumed waits bands from Colchester, Doncaster, Gloucester, Leeds, York and Holland into the heart of the city. This excellently organised event started with a colourful grand procession to the Guildhall on Friday and provided free musical entertainment at half a dozen ‘playing stations’ from St Botolph’s up to The Collection throughout the wonderful summer heat of Saturday and Sunday.

The climax was “the Big Blow” when all the bands joined together in Castle square, under the leadership of Tim Bayley of the York Waits, to form what must have been the largest assembly of renaissance music instrumentalists in the city in modern times.

It was strangely moving to hear what a stirring sound all those shawms, sackbuts, curtals and drums could make against the stunning and historically appropriate backdrop of the Cathedral and Exchequergate.

Congratulations are due to the local organiser, sackbut player and engine of the Lincoln Waites, Allister Garrod, for nurturing the acorns and bringing this mighty event to such a successful fruition.

Helen Mason, Director, Lincoln Early Music Festival