Montreuil Sur Mer is a town with a citadel in Northern France less than two hours from Calais and ten kilometres from the seaside resort of Le Touquet. It is an old fortified town, not completely dissimilar from Rye and a good place for a few days of French food and ambience. However, last week we had a special reason for visiting as my wife, Heather and I regularly watch the musical group the Carry On Boys perform in various pubs in Rye and surrounding villages. It was too good an opportunity to miss them playing in France last week and so on Tuesday we headed off to Calais in our rather old car and after a short calm crossing found ourselves having lunch in the Blanc Nez restaurant in Sangatte.
An hour or so later we were in Montreuil at La Tannerie, a rather good b&b with a huge garden. We had the evening to ourselves, but Wednesday, Midsummer’s Day, was the day of the concert. Montreuil has a main square in the old town called Place General de Gaulle, probably one of hundreds in France. And it was in the square outside the main bar restaurant that the three players, the irrepressible Reg Marchant, Phil Traynor and Steve Stone, would be performing their stuff in the evening which was to be the start of a midsummer Fete de Musique.
By seven the area outside the bar was filling up and all the dinner tables were booked. Extra chairs were put up outside the bar and several cold drinks were going down in the heat of the evening, a very unusual 32c.
The concert proved a great success with a wide ranging programme of songs from the likes of Johnny Cash, Dylan and a range of Rock numbers and self penned songs. We had a good meal with Enyd and Arnie, our neighbours in Rye. It was fun seeing such a mix of local French and Rye people all having a good time together, although the heat put off much dancing!
This was the second time we have been to see the group in Montreuil and we hope it can be repeated in future.
Photo: David Bookless