This year's carol singing in Merrow Woods, starting at 6.30pm at number 19 on Monday 19th December, will be in memory of Julia Steele. Read below how this tradition began...
When Julia and Michael moved to Merrow in 1976 they brought with them the idea of fund-raising by carol singing, something they were used to doing in Worthing, where they helped with a youth club. Michael recalls that they raised money for the charity "Phab" (http://phab.org.uk)
Over their 40 years of carol singing in Merrow, Julia and Michael raised money for various charities, but for the last 15 years or so they have supported the Cherry Trees children's respite home in Clandon and last year for example, over £300 was collected. Cherry Trees (www.cherry-trees.co.uk/) will once again benefit from the proceeds this year, in what Michael describes as "one final bash in memory of Julia".
Michael says that the amounts raised have sometimes been boosted in unexpected ways, and remembers three examples...
- One year, they had arranged the event as usual but were unable to take part themselves as they were snowed-in in Sheffield. The carol singing went ahead anyway and there were "symapthy" contributions!
- On another occasion, a young mother asked the singers to move on so her child could get to sleep, encouraging them with a donation!
- The singers were even able to push-start the car of a beleaguered motorist, who gratefully gave a donation before driving away!
As usual this year, there is a promise of mince pies and mulled wine, to encourage the carol singers.