All cricket clubs, and rugby clubs come to that, have their tours. Well so do choirs. Tours are eccentric celebrations of sport and music beyond the familiar middens of, in our case, West Yorkshire. One outcome from travelling and singing in exotic landscapes is the accidental bonding that takes place between the participants. Some would say this results from the natural development of warmth and empathy for one’s fellow man. Others, of a less generous disposition, might cite the copious sampling of local ale as the lubricant responsible for the deepening of somewhat tenuous friendships.

The second outcome from a choir tour is improvement in individual singing technique and collective musical quality, the result of being together for longer than an average rehearsal. Whilst winning and losing cricket and rugby matches, for the amateur, can be less important than the craic, choir concert performance on tour is consistently good to excellent.

Unlike most sports, wives and families also go on New Mill MVC tours. Men only is reserved for rehearsal weekends in Llandudno and Scarborough. Kirkby Lonsdale is said to be the first tour. Since then we have been to Northern Italy (including Verona and Venice), Barcelona, The Czech Republic and Poland. Hence the final outcome from a choir tour is to visit places we would not have considered for our normal holidays.