20th Jan, 2018

Steel Pan group add some joy to stranded Dover drivers by playing on side of dual carriageway

Shaun Reynolds 26th Jul, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A CHEERFUL group of steel pan players from Coventry entertained hundreds of frustrated road users in Dover last weekend amid chaotic congestion.

The Coventry Steel Pan Academy ditched their seat belts and took to the roads to provide drivers and passengers some respite from the relentless traffic queues.

The group even hosted their own ‘motorway yoga’ lesson for fellow travellers to get stuck into.

Despite not eating all day, performers put on a brave face while waiting to cross the channel before completing their journey to Belgium where they was due to perform that night.

With the youngest member aged just 12, Diana Hancox – director of the Steel Pan Academy – praised the patience and spirit of her members.

Ms Hancox said: “Obviously we was all very excited but then we hit the traffic and it was just a nightmare.

“We did talk about getting the steel pans out until eventually we got one out and it was fantastic – people came out of their cars and started singing and dancing, we had a wonderful time.

“We only got the one out as we were worried if the traffic started moving we’d be stuck.”

It took Diana and her team 28 hours to reach Belgium – where their scheduled appearance had to be delayed.

She added: “We even had a pregnant lady knock on our van door and ask if she could have some of our food as they was struggling to cope.

“Though it wasn’t ideal, I’m sure we’ll look back with fond memories – the look on people’s faces when we started playing was priceless.

“Everyone was so supportive, it’s amazing how by just bringing some joy to the situation made people interact with each other – that was the nice part.

“Our performance in Belgium when we finally arrived went well – we’ll definitely be returning, just perhaps not on the first school summer holiday weekend.”


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