Punjabi dancers in a group set up by a Kirkby chemist inspired Prince Charles to boogie with them at a summer folk festival in Wales.
The Sheerer Punjab Bhangra group, founded back in 1977 by Narinder Singh, couldn’t believe their eyes when the heir to the throne landed by helicopter moments before they were due to perform.
“The prince shook hands with me, and I said it would be wonderful if you could dance with us,” said Mr Singh, 59, who runs the Lowmoor drive-through pharmacy, a family business on Lowmoor Road.
“As we joined the parade of nations, I held his hand and he said: ‘your colourful costumes look lovely, you seem to be unbeatable.’
“There must have been 10,000 people there. We still can’t believe it really. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we didn’t expect.”
Prince Charles took part in the impromptu routine with the 12 Bhangra dancers at the 70th International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen, North Wales, of which he is patron,
Now dad-of-five Mr Singh is hoping the dance routine might just have earned his group a place at the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations next year!
Son Gurperj, 27, who is a drummer with the group and also works as a pharmacist, said: “It was absolutely unbelievable. So spontaneous.”
And his 33-year-old brother, fellow chemist Bajinder, added: “It was spectacular. We shook hands with Charles and Camilla, then my dad dad put his arm round the prince’s shoulder, the drummer started and we all had this fantastic dance. Charles got right into it. It’s amazing to say we have Bhangra danced with the future king!”
Eisteddfod chairman Gethin Davies said: “It was wonderful to see the prince very much at ease and enjoying himself.”
NARINDER Singh’s dance group were invited to the Eisteddfod at the last minute after scheduled international acts had to pull out through visa problems.
But they were no strangers to the competition as they won it twice back in 1982 and 1983.
“Even though it was short notice, my dad was delighted because it brought back wonderful memories,” said son Gurperj.
“In no time, 12 of the original members came forward to perform, and we even got the original costumes, which were hand-made by my grandma and were still in pristine condition.”