THE exhibition of Somali art and craft at the Old Fire Station Gallery from June 6 to 10 far exceeded our wildest hopes.
The idea came from Carol Crowdy and much of the work in connection with it was done by her, for which I am most grateful.
We were greatly assisted by the charity Samasons Relief and the Somali communities in London, Birmingham and Northampton. Due to our location, Henley became a convenient venue for the three groups and a by-product on the Saturday was that many reunions resulted.
About 60 Somali people in all gathered at the gallery but the weather was against us until about 1pm when the dancing and drumming that had been planned for the morning at last began. This was The Horn of Africa Celebration.
It was great fun and most spectacular. The women’s clothing was exceptionally colourful and one man and his sons were dressed all in white as dervishes. The drumming was intense at times and, due to the delay caused by the rain, had a somewhat unfortunate effect on the two weddings that were taking place at the town hall at the same time.