22nd July 2003

Campaign Concert goes with a Swing

Classical, jazz and pop fans flocked to the spectacular grounds of Little Easton Manor, near Great Dunmow, on Sunday (20 July) in support of the most ambitious event to date sponsored by Stop Stansted Expansion.

In warm sunshine, the 1500-strong audience was captivated by a selection of popular classical music from the English Chamber Orchestra, led by local resident and internationally acclaimed conductor Roy Goodman. While the fountain in the lake swayed in a cooling breeze, the ECO delighted the crowd with Handel’s Water Music, Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ and a Lennon & McCartney medley.

Another famous local musician, Kenny Ball, together with his Jazzmen, upped the tempo with a string of legendary numbers including ‘Midnight in Moscow’ and ‘Samantha’, but it was his emotional encore – Louis Armstrong’s ‘It’s a Wonderful World ‘ which brought the crowd spontaneously onto their feet providing a chorus of a thousand voices.

The grande finale came from the Upbeat Beatles who bounded on stage looking exactly like the real thing and sounding like the real thing also. From ‘Day Tripper’ to ‘Can’t Buy me Love’, from ‘Hey Jude’ to ‘Let it Be’ it was a surreal experience. Picnics were abandoned as the crowd surged to the front to dance and started singing every word of every song.

“It was one of these days you just wish would last for ever” said Norman Mead, Chairman of Stop Stansted Expansion. ” A wonderful setting, a perfect summer’s day and unforgettable entertainment. It was impossible to avoid feeling emotional when looking around and thinking that this could all be just a fond memory if any new runways come to Stansted. It would be sacrilege to allow that to happen and that’s why we must all continue to fight with every breath.”

The concert raised nearly £4000 for campaign funds which will be used to good effect over coming months in order to persuade those responsible for drafting and approving the air transport White Paper that making Stansted the world’s largest airport would be totally irresponsible. The White Paper is due to appear at the end of the year.

Campaigning to ensure Stansted Airport's authorised operations stay below harmful limits