100 people took part in Carols by the Pond performance

Basingstoke Gazette: Oakley villagers brave wind and rain to enjoy annual carol concert Oakley villagers brave wind and rain to enjoy annual carol concert

DOZENS of hardy villagers from Oakley were in good voice as they braved the wind and rain to take part in an annual outdoor carol concert.

Around 100 people gathered for the 42nd Carols by the Pond performance last Saturday evening .

Borough mayor Councillor Dan Putty and his wife Julie were among those enjoying the singing held by the pond in Oakley Lane.

Organised by the village parish council, each year, the event raises money for local causes, and this year a collection was held for the Oakley Community First Responders group.

The money is yet to be counted but it is expected that hundreds of pounds will have been raised for the group, who often arrive first on the scene of accidents and provide life-saving first aid before ambulances arrive.

Parish council chairman Councillor Rodney Scott said the carol singing event had been a success.

He said: “It’s a shame that the weather was so bad, but it did clear up as the evening went on. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and the singing was very good.”

Cllr Putty praised those gathered at the event for their community spirit before wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

The singers belted out all the favourite Yuletide classics, including Oh Little Town of Bethlehem and In the Bleak Mid-Winter.

Among those who had braved the rain and gusty winds were John Thurston and Harry Slinger, who have both been coming along to the event for around 35 years.

The friends, who live in the village, said they wouldn’t miss the annual carol singing.

Mr Thurston said: “We come along every year, in snow, in rain, in sleet – you name it. Events like these are what Christmas is all about.”

Following the singing, villagers gathered in Oakley Methodist Church, adjacent to the village pond, for refreshments.

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