Sunday, March 22, 2009


Last week I was invited as Vice Chairman of Bedfordshire County Council to attend Kempston Schools Performing Arts Evening in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support. Pupils from 5 Kempston schools sang, danced and played music, including some pupils from St. Johns Special School who performed a A Taste of Africa, dressed in African costume. Camestone Lower School sang some lovely songs including My Fantasy Football Team, followed by a superb dance performance - Jellicle Cats by Balliol Lower School and some amazing Breakdancers from Daubeney Middle School.

The evening ended with a rousing performance of Everybody needs Somebody by the Blues Brothers by Hastingsbury Upper School Brass Band who were enthusiastically received by the large audience and gave us an encore. There is a wealth of talent in the Kempston schools and the concert raised much needed funds for MacMillan Cancer Support, a very worthy national charity which supports cancer patients and their families.

Kempston is a historic town, dating back to AD 885 before the neighbouring town of Bedford and is mentioned in the Domesday Book as "Camestone" situated in Wessex. After the Norman Conquest King William gave Kempston to his niece the Countess Judith de Balliol. In 1078 Judith founded a Benedictine Convent for Nuns in nearby Elstow village - Elstow Abbey which became a church in 1539 after the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII.

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