THE Border Singers, famous for their Tabley Christmas concert, returned to Tabley House for a summer concert in July, in a unique collaboration with The Friends of Tabley.

Combining music from several centuries and readings from Tabley’s rich literary past, “Serenade for a Summer Night” proved a popular event.

Conducted by Simon Davies, the choir sang madrigals by Thomas Morley, John Dowland and Orlando Gibbons with joy and relish.

Interspersed were poems and prose readings written by Sir Peter Leicester, Cheshire and Tabley’s famous Cavalier historian.

“On a watch sent to his mistress” found him in lovesick mode. In contrast “To his Viol” caused merriment as Sir Peter compared playing his viol to making love to his wife.

In a later piece, read by Geoff Holman, Sir Peter concluded that his wife Elizabeth could “pass for a good woman among the best of women”.

Chester Viols, consisting of members Cathy Gaskell, Ian Gaskell and Peter Syrus, then played moving pieces by Morley, Thomas Tomkins and Elway Beven.

The second half of the concert consisted of poems by the Third Lord de Tabley and songs by Edward Elgar, Arthur Sullivan and Thomas Arne.

This was a delightful concert of words and music, perfect for a balmy English summer’s evening followed by strawberries and bubbly.

The Border Singers will be back again at Tabley for Christmas.

Sarah Webb