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Selwyn Swings With Cambridge Coincidences

May 2, 2012

I love coincidences.  I don’t draw any great significance from them, but I’m intruiged by the way in which life sometimes unexpectedly joins up the dots.

Take, for example, a recent gig I did at Selwyn College in Cambridge which threw up three interesting coincidences.

Selwyn College Cambridge

Selwyn College was founded in 1882 in memory of George Augustus Selwyn.  Selwyn was the first Bishop of New Zealand, but ended his days as Bishop of  Lichfield which just happens to be my home city.  Amongst its alumni Sewlyn College counts Hugh Laurie, actor and comedy partner of Stephen Fry and the last time I was in Cambridge it was to perform at a wedding reception at Queens’ College which is Stephen Fry’s old college.  The hat-trick of coincidences is completed by the fact that in the fifth episode of TV comedy “Blackadder II” (“Beer”) Laurie played a character called Simon Partridge.

All of which has no bearing whatsoever on the gig itself which was the evening wedding reception of  Claire and Andy.  Selwyn College was a spectacular venue to sing at.  It’s a wonderful Victorian Tudor-Gothic construction with a delightful gatehouse:

The gatehouse of Selwyn College Cambridge built in 1882

And a beautiful chapel:

Selwyn College chapel

The reception was held in the college’s dining hall.

The entrance to Selwyn College dining hall

The bride and groom were ex-students of Selwyn College and first met at university there so the wedding was something of a romantic homecoming for them both.  The hall was packed with family and friends and I serenaded them songs from my repertoire of vintage classics.

My view of the evening

Sadly, a rule in the college’s constitution meant that dancing wasn’t allowed in the hall, but as guests mingled there was some very rhythmic walking going on!

Vintage wedding singer Simon Partridge with the bride and groom at their Cambridge wedding

A couple of days after the wedding bride Claire sent me this lovely email:

“We just wanted to say a big thank you from both of us for your music on Saturday night!  Many guests told us how much they enjoyed your songs and what an atmosphere it created.  We have your CD ready to enjoy on our honeymoon in Mauritius too!”

I can’t wait to sing in Cambridge again.  And who knows what coincidences my next gig might throw up?

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