Lambert Chapman Remembers…

This year, Lambert Chapman proudly presents an extra special Christmas production featuring everyone here at HQ.

We give you singing, swaying, smiles and a special tribute to WW1 and WW2, in this Centenary year.

Please take a few moments to watch our annual video message below, and may we take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Nick Forsyth looks at making the Pipes of Peace…

Coming up with something for the Christmas message is an onerous task and last year we didn’t deliver. Whilst that was disappointing, we figured that a year off might not be a disaster but we would need something decent to follow up with.

Thoughts this year centred on the 100thanniversary of the First World War with the poppy display proving to be so popular with the general public and with our love of sports maybe something about the Christmas day truce football match in our car park! I turned this idea down, but now see that might have been a bit of a mistake, but that idea had come from a music video that I remembered well. Doing sports can alienate some participants but singing can bring people together and one of the things I like is making things inclusive rather than exclusive.

In November I had taken my wife Marie to the Tower of London to see the poppy display. It was the day before Remembrance Sunday and everywhere we walked there were people. Thousands of them. Chris, Lisa and Sean had also paid visits at various stages of the exhibits development and I didn’t want us to miss out.

A few weeks earlier I had been in France with brother and sister taking our parents to the Normandy landing sites via the Somme. We’d been to Ypres a few years earlier and you can’t visit these war grave sites without questioning how you would handle that situation or what actually the point of all of this was.

If you’ve stood at the Menin Gate or been to Tyne Cot cemetery you can’t help be overwhelmed by the numbers of names involved. That can equally be said about the volume of names at the German cemetery. We were equally overwhelmed at The Somme and the American cemetery is another thing altogether not only for the grave area but the museum on the site.

So if we were to sing it was how to make it interesting and the song I had in mind presented those opportunities and was to my mind quite an easy one to sing though Chris later talked technically about it – on the day before – which made me question myself!

How it goes is like this. I draft something and then wait for the right moment to float it. When Lisa advised that she had been asked what we were doing I shared it with her and got a favourable response. We talked around it and came up with the idea of the opening collages to cover the spoken word. With Lisa’s skills surrounding anything photographic it was obtaining archive information and letting her come up with the creative bits.

She showed me some drafts – and they were great – only to find out later that they had been dumped as not good enough! The final results are stunning but without explanation might not mean much to you. We asked the Partners to provide photographs of family members who had fought in the last 100 years. It wasn’t only about loss, though that plays a part, but of doing ones duty when called upon to do so.

More of our relatives survived than were killed giving us a chance to know them and for that we are grateful. This process gave us all an opportunity to look back into family archives to produce the information and share information about war service. We’ve not done that before and some interesting stories ensued! We must also thank Lisa and Sue Sibthorpe for bringing in their Tower poppies for photographic purposes – though there were only two rather than the number in the picture above!

Lisa also found us a backing for the song that helped enormously to keep us together but when you listened to it on its own it was difficult to spot where you were! I also took it upon myself to change some lyrics in the first and last verse.

Throughout history world leaders have viewed soldiers as expendable commodities but thankfully in recent times that seems to have changed. Having said that, territory has changed hands in Europe this year which may still present ramifications for our futures.

The changes in the last verse look at the hope that this change will continue for the benefit of us all. The rest of the lyrics stay as is and we should thank the Pearson and Pachent parents for allowing their offspring to feature in the first verse.

And so to the singing. We had 20 minutes practice each as girls, boys and partners before getting in front of the camera. That helped greatly to gain a bit of confidence and we had some volume going into the performance. As I write I don’t know how it sounds but we did three takes and you see the last. Bear in mind it says “Choir Practice” so it shouldn’t be perfect and I’m sure there will be flaws.

Between the second and third takes an artistic discussion took place and comments came from the floor about potential changes. This is what I had hoped for. People had become involved and wanted to put forward opinion to help make things better. Laugh at us if you wish but this is what working together is all about and we could have paid thousands for a team building experience that might not have produced such benefits. Our day ended with some staff commenting on Facebook about the “great day” they had had at work.

Whatever our result sounds like we stood together got through it, improved it (a little) and at its conclusion many commented saying it wasn’t as bad as they thought, good fun etc. etc. I doubt we will do it again but I do hope that you can admire and enjoy our 2014 Christmas message.

I must also thank our good friend Richard Hart from Blue Cube Studios who has done his normal calm job and gone with the flow as he has in previous years. If you need someone to help you out with a film I can certainly recommend him.

For your information the people featured in the collages are as follows:

Related to
Noel TurnillGreat Uncle to Chris Harman, also shown is Ellen married in 1916 widowed in 1917Killed
Stanley RugglesSecond Cousin to Lisa GreenwoodKilled
Oran RugglesSecond Cousin to Lisa GreenwoodKilled
Major Henry Smith DayeFather to John Smith DayeSurvived
Patricia NeillMother to John Smith DayeSurvived
Albert TuffinGrandfather to Nigel WhittleWounded and survived
Robert ShortGrandfather to Paul ShortSurvived
Frank ForsythGrandfather to Nick ForsythSurvived
Clifford KetleyGreat Great Uncle to Sean WiegandKilled
Owen KetleyGreat Great Uncle to Sean WiegandWounded and Survived
Laurence KetleyGreat Great Uncle to Sean WiegandKilled
Bob ChapmanGreat Great Uncle to Sean WiegandSurvived
Albert BradfordGreat Grandfather to Sean WiegandSurvived
Frank ScottGreat Uncle to Nick ForsythSurvived
Stan WilsonGreat Uncle to Nick ForsythSurvived
Harold “Buzz” CowperthwaiteGrandfather to Nick ForsythSurvived
Colin HarmanFather to Chris HarmanSurvived
Cecil PotterGrandfather to Lisa GreenwoodSurvived
Stan ShortUncle to Paul ShortSurvived
Roy ShortFather to Paul ShortSurvived
Ron ShortUncle to Paul ShortSurvived

 

Disclaimer
The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the Author and other professionals may express different views. They may not be the views of Lambert Chapman LLP. The material in the article cannot and should not be considered as exhaustive. Professional advice should be sought in connection with any of the issues contained in the article and the implementation of any actions.

Lambert Chapman Chartered Accountants

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