In a fitting end to City Voices' rather mad year, our final poetry gig for 2014 could have ended in disaster. The previous evening had suffered from lack of custom at the Room with a Brew. Not so our appearance at Hanley Market on 13th (it would be!) December to raise money for the Salvation Army. Despite a few misunderstandings, we found our stall and started at around 12.15 pm with an an excellent acappella rendition of "There are no lights on our Christmas Tree" by Patti Tunnicliffe. Rattling our collection boxes and performing our Christmas and winter poems, we had a steady stream of donations and a personal reading by Paul Williamson to two little girls and their dad went down really well. After about 20 minutes or so we were well pleased when suddenly - off went a fire alarm and the whole market had to be evacuated into a very cold - if sunny- Hanley afternoon. By the time the fire engines had come and gone, and we were allowed back into the building, it was 1pm and we feared we had lost our impetus. We did however carry on for another 30 minutes and in total raised over £40. It was noticeable that some of the least prosperous looking people were those donating. Have a look at our slide show - with a donation from City Voices funds we can hand over £50 to the Salvation Army. The following is taken from the SA's positional statement " We work with people who are vulnerable and marginalised across the world, and offer very practical help, unconditional assistance and support regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation." No-one can argue with that.