On a windswept Blackstone Edge on Sunday 3 May 2009 a group of Calder Valley Voices members met with people from choirs in Burnley, Bolton, Halifax, Sheffield and Calder Valley Women Singers, and the National Clarion Cycling Club. We went to enjoy a picnic and to sing some songs in honour of the great Chartist meeting at Blackstone Edge in 1846. There were more than fifty of us.
A dozen of us walked to the picnic from Todmorden, stopping off en route at the Basin Stone, the site of another Chartist meeting, made famous by the AW Bayes painting that now hangs in Todmorden Town Hall (you can access a reproduction online here).
The centrepiece of the singing was three Chartist songs, including 'On Blackstone Edge'. And other fine songs rang out across the Yorkshire/Lancashire border. But yes, it was as chilly as we look, huddled in the picture. And yet, yes, we still had a grand time :)
The idea of the picnic began with Corista, the octet formed from members of Calder Valley Voices. Here's how it went in 2008. And we - the broader group of us now enthused by the idea, led by Gwyneth Morgan - are already planning for May 2nd 2010!
Pictures by Debs Paine, Charles Jepson and Gwyneth Morgan. Thanks to Gwyneth for organising everything. More of Gwyneth's pics of the event are on Flickr here.