Five Halls Festival for the omission and all those hundreds of readers who have applied for tickets by post. When the script for last week's HERALD reached the London Office. the secretary, seeing the mystic words "All Sorts" on the envelope, judged it to be just another request for seats. The letter was duly re-addressed and you can imagine my surprise when the copy which I had posted in Blackpool rejoined me in Liverpool. It was then too late to do anything butt weep. No great harm done and readers will be delighted to know that the seats for the Five Halls are selling at record speed. I started with a humble block of 60 seats for the Royal Alhert Hall. There have been 1,000 applications and I doubt very much if I can get tickets for any more. If you like to write and enclose a stamped addressed envelope we can fit you out or use your own stamp to tell you the bad news.
NOVEMBER usually takes me NOVEMBER usually takes me up North on a tour of Sodality cells. This year it was possible to watch the preparations for the Five Halls Festival in the different centres. In Birmingham, Mr. Bernard Hepton, now Director of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, is kindly acting as producer and Mr. Brian Priestman is in charge of the Cantata. Auditions for the part of Bernadette are to be held this week. Mr. John Farrell, the Liverpool producer, has already held a preliminary audition but many more children have since applied. The School Choir from the Nolre Dame Convent, Everton Valley. which has made a great name for itself in Music Festivals, will he supplying . the Children's Choir for the Rubbra Cantata at the Philharmonic Hall. Sixty children turned up for the audition in Leeds. The London auditions are Fixed for Saturday with Hugh Ross Williamson, Patricia boy and Pere Ainie Duval as judges. After all the publicity in the Press, the number of budding Bernadettes may prove an embarrassment. It all helps, however, if the centenary of Lourdes is to be talked about..
IT was very impressive to find that in every part of the country groups of Catholics have been making their centenary plans. To me it appears as an extension of the Christian Poster campaign to make the centenary of Lourdes better known. Accrington must be awarded credit for the scheme to make Lourdes grottoes for display in the window of travel agencies. Another bright suggestion was to ask the local branch of the public
library to have a special display of books about Lourdes and St. Bernadette. Several new books on the subject have appeared recently. An enterprising young man in Lancashire is hoping to produce Lourdes flags for cars and bicycles and the Marian envelopes used with so much effect in the Marian year will probably re-appear again. Fontana Books are giving us a new cheap edition of the "Song of Bernadette". Many districts in the North have already made plans for the showing of the film during the centenary year. the Five Halls Festival should make a fine start to the centenary and both the Rubbra Cantata and the Ross Williamson Mime will be available for reproduction after February, 10th.
DESPITE this interest in
Lourdes, many group l have not forgotten the Christmas campaign. How much was achieved seven years ago when the first posters appeared on the hoardings. The idea took on at once at all levels and led to the display of cribs in many shops. A Birmingham paper eeeently commented on the great increase in Christian Christmas cards and this happy development may be said to have come from the revived interest in the crib. In Newcastle, recently, I met a Catholic teacher who spends her whole year making magnificent cribs. She has made as many as four hundred in recent years and presents them free to hospitals, libraries, orphanages and shops for display. I have also just heard that London • Airport may allow a crib this ear.
T H F Middlesbrough Gazette'
for October 23 gives a whole page to another memorable achievement, the opening of the most modern of all parish halls, opposite St. Philomena's Church. Linthorpe Road. So many people talked about this ball and went out early to queue for dance tickets that I felt obliged to visit it myself. The hall is astonishingly attractive. Its modern lines and gay colours sire in themselves a tonic and show that the Church in Middlesbrough is very up-to-date. The gloomy parish hall atmosphere has no place. There is no dance floor in the area to challenge St Philomena's and one could sense the pride of teenagers and others in every part of the town.
HOW many other motorists have
enjoyed the charming notice somewhere on the Aylesbury-Banbury Road from London, " 200 yards ahead. Delicious Petrol" ?