On Saturday, October 7th, the members of the Badsey Choir went to Stratford on-Avon for their annual outing. The Vicar offered one prize to the boy sending in the best description of the day's proceedings, and another to the senior member producing the best account in verse. There was no competition for the junior prize, the smaller boys being apparently afraid of competing with the elder ones, and the elder ones evidently dreading a beating at the hands of one of the little ones. There were two entries for the senior prize, which has been awarded to Mr. Joseph Foster Agg, Parish Clerk and Organist, for the following verses of more than ordinary merit.
The Choristers of Badsey for their annual outing went
To Shakespeare's Town and Birthplace, on pleasure there intent;
Last season funds were larger and took us to the sea,
But our happy day at Stratford will long remembered be.
The journey, though a short one, was run upon the rail,
(10.50 was the station time the party left the Vale),
And though it was accomplished without a great mishap,
One enterprising juvenile got treated to a hat.
The old town teems with interest, and our programme soon began,
The Birthplace and Museum coming first upon the plan;
What hallowed memories seem to cling around that humble home,
Wherein the mighty genius first the light of day was shown!
Within the Birthplace naught was shown which did not interest a'l,
And, like the ancient monarch, we saw written on the wall
Some mystic signs, and well-known names too numerous to be numbered,
And a chair of large dimensions in which Falstaff might have slumbered.
The Museum also is replete with priceless treasures rare,
With books and pictures all arranged there with the greatest care,
And all we saw was worthy, and received true admiration,
And will no doubt receive the same from many a generation.
Our party then proceeded on their journey through the town,
And crossed the bridge erected by a Knight of some renown,
We found our wants provided with a dinner of the best,
Not in a crowded restaurant, but, in a sweet Swan's Nest.
The Avon rippling near us, and the weather being so grand,
Our Vicar then suggested that we should leave the land;
The motor launch was boarded and we started for a sail,
The lovely views and scenery were not far behind the Vale.
We landed on the Bancroft, and then pursued our way
And passed New Place where stood an older once upon a day;
We saw the Guild and Grammar School, admiring as we passed
A house where flowers and creepers lovely seemed to smile and bask.
Then a timbered individual saluted us with pleasure,
Which turned to disappointment when he found we'd brought no leather;
But, with so large a family, the Vicar quite forgot -
I hope he may remember him when visiting the Mop.
Our steps were now directed towards that ancient shrine,
So stately and so noble, so graceful and sublime;
Not in the realm of England nor underneath the sky,
A spot more fitting could be found wherein the Bard should lie.
No wonder that the place is loved, no wonder that 'tis known
Across the seas, in other climes where Shakespeare's fame has flown;
So beautiful, so peaceful, is it not right that he
Safe in the Master's keeping within His courts should be?
No once again the scene was changed, and Stratford, ever winning,
True athletic form displayed, and showed from the beginning
That Handsworth must their Rugby team improve in scrums and kicking,
If, when next they visit Stratford, they would leave without a licking.
The Singers of S. James's now proceeded on in quest
Of good things that were waiting within a white bird's nest.
And all agreed the tea sustained the dinner's reputation,
Regretting that their next advance must be towards the station
The Choristers of Badsey their hearty thanks now tender
To all good friends and patrons who their labours did remember,
And, if their breves and crochets are not always of the best,
They never in their efforts seem to get too long a rest.