Preparations for a performance of “All on a Winters Night”, a feast of songs, carols, stories and folklore by Johnny Coppin, Paul Burgess and Mick Dolan, were disrupted by a dispute over the use of a committee room in the Village Hall.
It seems the small committee room had been booked for a meeting at the same time as the concert was taking place.
On arrival for her meeting, Cllr Jane Welsh was understandably cross to find that room was being used by the musicians as a changing room.
There were consequently some angry exchanges between Cllr Welsh and the organisers of the meeting, in full earshot of the musicians and the gathering audience (£15 a head).
Although a compromise was suggested, where the committee meeting would be moved to the neighbouring Citizens Advice Bureau, and most of the committee members had no objection whatsoever to doing that, Cllr Welsh insisted on using the room that had been booked. The musicians were then directed to change in the kitchen…
Unsurprisingly, the musicians left with a bad impression of Hedge End, resolving to give Hedge Ends Village Hall, the Berry Theatre and the Point in Eastleigh a very wide berth in future.
Members of the audience were not too impressed either.
One of the organisers from the St GeorgesFest committee, former Town Councillor Jenny Schwausch, said to Eastleigh News;
The concert was really lovely, but the incident with Cllr Welsh spoilt the evening for everybody.
Cllr Welsh has subsequently said to Eastleigh News that;
“There certainly was no intention on my part to upset anyone…it was an unfortunate case and in hindsight it would have been better if they had booked all the rooms and this would not have occurred.”