MANY people braved the weather last Tuesday to attend a concert at The Manor House in Ilkley. It was the first in a new series of performances organised the The Friends of the Manor House and in concert were musicians Simon Mayor and Hilary James.

A spokesperson for the Friends of the Manor House said: "If you’ve heard them on BBC Radio or managed to catch them on a previous visit to Ilkley you’ll be familiar with the unique combination of Simon Mayor’s virtuosity and humour and Hilary James’ elegant vocals. It’s probably the diversity of their repertoire that surprises most people, from folk songs to Berlioz, blues and Irving Berlin as well as classical mandolin show stoppers, swing fiddle and some of their own notorious comic songs. The audience for this performance was also given a first taste of poems and anecdotes from Simon’s new book ‘Of Death and a Banana Skin on Ilkley Moor’ This publication, which is still hot from the press, is superbly enhanced by Hilary James’ illustrations which combined with Simon Mayor’s poetry and prose becomes a “must have” anthology of delight.

"Despite the snow the concert was attended by a near full capacity audience. Cheered in the interval by some warming mulled wine all returned for a second half which included poems taking us to Middleton Woods in anticipation of bluebell time and on a vigorous tramp across Ilkley Moor.

"Humming tunes made ploughing home across the football field seem jaunty and invigorating after what we hope was the beginning of a new era in The Manor House."