Bob Carrick

Our arrival in Yorkshire was fortuitous in placing us as neighbours to a man from Wales who had the inclination to start a male voice choir and this followed his operatic singing career in London. An invitation to join soon came and this was the start which would take me on a road to learning new disciplines and making new friends. Many in the choir would enjoy their first experience of music and of performing on many stages. We would also visit many places that we would not otherwise have contemplated and horizons widened for all involved.

Word spread quickly through friends and work colleagues and a varied band of enthusiasts – some better than others – would collect and numbers grew steadily. It was interesting to watch this group forming with members from all parts and many occupations and waiting to see how the group dynamics would work.

However music was the key which kept this varied group together and working for one another and so it has been since with a welcome for everyone and a desire to improve. While all the varied groups kept their indentities it was the sing purpose which maintained the group. This was always seen in the spontaneity with which journeys and occasions were proposed and attended.

With numbers growing steadily and the strong Welsh influence it came as no surprise that a trip to Wales was planned and the prospect of singing with ten thousand Welshmen in Cardiff Arms Park was one not to be missed. Almost everyone volunteered to go and the fact that we would sing with Shirley Bassey put the icing on the cake. Undaunted we performed to our best and grew a step in confidence having enjoyed Welsh hospitality at its best.

We were now well known in the district, and distinctive in our green jackets, and received an invitation to sing with the massed choirs in the Huddersfield Town Hall and this led on to a journey to London to sing with 1000 Yorkshire voices in the Albert Hall and we would make two of these visits.

With a growing repertoire and a growing confidence overseas tours were planned to take the choir first of all to Italy, a tour which was a great success and subsequently to the Czech Republic, Spain and Poland and we made many friends along the way. The Welsh connection would persist and we formed a friendship with Cantorion Colin Jones n Betwys-y-Coed which left us inspired in an awe and one would have to say that this was a major learning experience for the whole choir.

By now the choir had a position in the local community which allowed it to lead and organise and a new confidence emerged.

While the glamourous destinations brought many memories and experiences there were still many local events to organise and manage successfully. We were always privileged to have strong leaders who would pursuade sixty men, some with their own persuasion, to sing the same note at the same time.

We hope this can continue and look forward to another 21 years.