News for Members

Dorothy Evans (1947-2015)

Jon and Dorothy on tour with the choir at Canons Ashby in May 2013

With great sadness, we report the death of Dorothy Evans.  Dorothy, wife of choir bass Jon, died at Croydon University Hospital on Thursday, 22 October. She was 68 and had suffered from a return of cancer which first affected her in 2008.  Dorothy and Jon were married for 46 years and have two sons, Nick and Laurence.  Dorothy was widely popular for her sociable and ebullient character and she was a frequent presence at choir events.  The choir offers its profound sympathy to Jon and his family.  

THE NEW CHOIR PHOTOS

JWT has delivered the new choir group photos that were taken to mark our fortieth anniversary.    Printed copies are now on sale from JWT.

Names, left to right, from back:

Ernest Williams, Nick Hewitt, Jon Evans, Peter L Gillman, Roger Parkinson, Matthew Wood, Dave Bannister, Ken Chesson, Ralph Osborne, John Hills

Steve Kelly, Dick Jones, Bulla Robinson, Jeff Burtt, Neil Pontin, Tom Jones, Gerry Upjohn, Neville Clark, John Giffen, Bob Mackay

Brian Cantrell, George Young, Keith Sandland, Rob Newall, Paul Binge, Chris Beckley, Martin Perkins, Mark Hughes, Steve Lloyd, Michael Rowe

Octavio Lopez-Garcia, George Stevens, Alex Callender, Vic Wallace, Michael Pardon, John Marshall, Dave Brooker, Bernard Maguire, Ian Martin, Andrew Dadley, Hugh Evans

Phil Blewett, Peter Gillman, Ben Kennedy, Stewart Robinson, John Ward Turner, Frances Ringer, Richard Hoyle, Darren Wilkins, Roger Lee, Tim Ramskill, Tony Keel, Trevor Watkins  

Also members: Kimball Ormond, John Aitkenhead, Ted Mouat, Dick Diplock, Phil Talmage, Jay Rastall, Mike Lane, John Dale, Phil Lewis, Keith Meredith, Peter Smith, Dave Berry

 

 

Names, left to right, from back:

Ernest Williams, Nick Hewitt, Jon Evans, Peter L Gillman, Roger Parkinson, Matthew Wood, Dave Bannister, Ken Chesson, Ralph Osborne, John Hills

Steve Kelly, Dick Jones, Bulla Robinson, Jeff Burtt, Neil Pontin, Tom Jones, Gerry Upjohn, Neville Clark, John Giffen, Bob Mackay

Brian Cantrell, George Young, Keith Sandland, Rob Newall, Paul Binge, Chris Beckley, Martin Perkins, Mark Hughes, Steve Lloyd, Michael Rowe, Brian Cousins

Octavio Lopez-Garcia, George Stevens, Alex Callender, Vic Wallace, Michael Pardon, John Marshall, Dave Brooker, Bernard Maguire, Ian Martin, Andrew Dadley, Hugh Evans

Phil Blewett, Peter Gillman, Ben Kennedy, Stewart Robinson, John Ward Turner, Frances Ringer, Richard Hoyle, Darren Wilkins, Roger Lee, Tim Ramskill, Tony Keel, Trevor Watkins 

Also members: Kimball Ormond, John Aitkenhead, Ted Mouat, Dick Diplock, Phil Talmage, Jay Rastall, Mike Lane, John Dale, Phil Lewis, Keith Meredith, Peter Smith, Dave Berry

PS One member appears in this photo but not the one at the top.  Can you spot him?

MEANWHILE IN KESTON....

While the wedding of the year was taking place in Croydon on Sunday 9 August, across in Keston a happy band of members, family and friends gathered for the choir barbecue, graciously hosted by Kimball and Annie Ormond, choir chair and consort respectively.

The 50-strong barbecue-goers ate, drank and sang the afternoon away. The musical highlight was the serenading of baritone Mark and Janine Hughes, who were celebrating their wedding anniversary, with the Anniversary Waltz, conducted by choir stalwart ‘Big’ Nev Clark.

Other features included the presentation of a new urn of Ashes to Aussie Jon Evans, made by Pete Smith with a suitably gloating speech; and failed attempts by Paul Binge (baritone) and Peter Gillman (bass) to walk the log across the Ormonds’ sumptuous swimming pool.   Only Sally Binge made the crossing successfully.

We are pleased to present a selection of photographs taken by John Ward Turner, Keith Sandland and Peter Gillman.

Pete Smith and Aussie Jon see the funny side of England's Ashes win

The choir serenades Mark and Janine Hughes

Members display their culinary skills

Big Nev conducts

Peter Gillman loses his balance and dignity during log-walking test

POLLY'S FAREWELL

Second tenor Martin ‘Polly’ Perkins had a rapturous send-off from choir members at the Royal Standard pub on Saturday March 19.

Martin was retiring after many decades as the Standard guvnor, having concluded that he had served enough pints by then for anyone’s good. Choir chair Kim Ormond presented Martin with a framed drawing of the Standard which was done by JWT.

Kim gives Martin his prezzie

A sizeable contingent of the choir serenaded Martin to his rest with the tried and tested apres repertoire, led with gusto by Nev Clark and Banners Bannister.

There were free drinks and food for choir members for a generous part of the evening. The mega-hot sausages and chicken were firm favourites.

Martin displays JWT's drawing (photo JWT)

Pub regulars would not be drawn on how far they felt Martin had contributed to drunkenness and alcoholism in the central Croydon area. Martin has always emphasised the importance of responsible drinking and has done his best to set an example himself.

So farewell then, Polly Perkins

Martin said afterwards: “The choir members did me proud with their present and their drinking. I think some of them thought I was retiring from the choir too and I am sorry to disappoint them.”

A highlight of the evening was the spectacular fire-stick display performed by the popular new Standard barman, Blake Gillman – a multi-talented young man who takes after his grandfather Peter Gillman.

 

Blake Gillman does his stuff

STEWART AWARDED ALAN SHIELD 

Stewart Robinson was awarded the CMVC Alan Robertshaw Shield at the choir's annual dinner on Saturday January 10. Baritone Stewart was honoured for his outstanding work as the choir's new concert organiser.

Choir chair Kimball Ormond, who presented the shield, praised Stewart for his vital work in his new role.  Kim added that Stewart may not have been fully aware of just how much work it entailed, but it was all the more impressive and valuable for that.

Stewart said afterwards that he was both surprised and delighted to receive the shield.  He added: "This is the most humble day of my life."

Stewart Robinson: "The most humble day of my life". (Photo: JWT)

The Alan Shield is awarded every year to choir members judged by the committee to have made an important contribution to the choir's activities.  Last year's Alan shield winner was the choir's ebullient archivist, Vic Wallace.

The award announcement was a highlight of another successful choir dinner at Shirley Golf Club.  A key aim of the dinner - formerly known as Ladies Night -  is to thank choir wives and partners for their endeavours in assisting and sustaining the choir and its members during the year.

Ladies have fun at choir dinner (Photo: Keith Sandland)

The diners also noted, with regret, the retirement of David Henderson, a popular top tenor and choir stalwart for many years.  Dave is well-known for his work in support of the children's hospice charity, Demelza.  He accepted a cheque for £460 from Kim at the dinner (see Home Page).  The choir  raised the funds through its singing and collecting at the Whitgift Centre before Christmas.

 

 

MORE SOUTHWARK PHOTOS BY MICHAEL PARDON

Just elegant:  JWT and Matthew before the performance

Gerry says Hi during the apres

 

Gloria and Nev enjoy a joke

 

 

MIDLANDS TOUR PHOTOS

Here is a selection of photos from our 2013 Midlands tour

The choir assembles at St Peter's, Wolfhamcote

Banners gives instructions at St Peter's

The choir waits to go on at Rugby

Bulla and Nick at Rugby

The three wise men at Canons Ashby - Ben, John, Dick

Mr and Mrs Evans at Canons Ashby

Mr and Mrs Callender at Canons Ashby

 

JWT taken by surprise at Canons Ashby (photos by Peter Gillman)

And two more by JWT: Jean Cantrell leads the way at Canons Ashby

 

The choir at Canons Ashby

 

 

 

DICK AND BANNERS STAND DOWN 

Two long-standing choir officials have stood down from their posts after more than a decade of unstinting service. Dick Diplock has retired as stage manager after fourteen years and Dave Bannister steps down after twelve years as concert secretary.  They are succeeded in both roles by Stewart Robinson  - like both Dick and Dave, a member of the baritone section.

Dick, who directed the choir to its places at more than 200 concerts, including five mass-choir events at Fairfield Halls, said it was "time for someone else to have this wonderful opportunity of interacting with so many buddies - so I won't be selfish and stand in anyone's way."

Diplock: renowned for his irony

Dick was renowned for his stern sergeant-major approach to recalcitrant choir members but performed his duties with a keen sense of irony that endeared him to all. "I wish to record my thanks to everyone for getting things right and tidy on most occasions," Dick says. He correctly notes that audiences often praised the choir's professional appearance and confident stage presence.  He was the star of the choir's DVD depicting the 2012 Fairfield Hall concert, doing his patient utmost to corral 400 singers into their allotted places.

Choir chair Kimball Ormond has thanked Dick for his "unstinting, conscientious dedication to telling us what to do. To get some sixty blokes to listen, with bated breath and eager anticipation, to his commands is a remarkble gift.  His fierce  adherence to formality and a rigid line-up is a lesson to us all.  His gentle humour, perspicacity and careful cajoling left even the most sensitive soul with a warmn glow, basking in the knowledge that Dick just loved him."

Bannister: legendary knowledge of Croydon churches

As Concert Secretary, Dave was tireless in his pursuit of venues that could accommodate our ever-growing choir, always inspecting them and being ready to reject them if he deemed them below his exacting standards. His knowledge of churches, whether large or small, to be found in and around Croydon is now legendary. He steered us to such memorable locations as the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall, where for several years the choir took part in Remembrance Day commemorations. 

Dave also acted as stand-by stage manager, stepping in for Dick when necessary. Banners retains a place on the choir committee, where he is now the choir members' representative;

Kim also paid tribute to Dave. “In his twelve years as Concert Secretary Banners has carefully and considerately led us astray. He has sorted out and inspected venue far and wide – some huge and some tiny, always cajoling venues to sell tickets and tune their pianos – not always successfully! Often accompanied by Dick, they also took on the onerous task of finding a local hostelry to accommodate the après – well, someone had to do it.”

Robinson: hard acts to follow

Stewart is already planning for his work ahead as concert secretary, and will be looking to add to the concerts currently on the choir schedule.  Stewart says:  "I am not sure I have the presence of Banners or the non-PC humour of Dick but I will do my best."

Stewart feels that his experience as an active rugby referee will serve him in good stead - though admitting that while players call him 'Sir' to his face, he does not know what they call him behind his back.  He adds that Dick has recommended the choir carries out homework on how to tell left from right.

Kim has extended a warm welcome to Stewart as he steps into his demanding dual role. “These are hard acts to follow but I’m sure you are up to it.”

The double switch follows a previous significant change, with patrons' secretary Bernard Maguire stepping down last year after a lengthy and productive stint, to be replaced by bass member Tim Ramskill.

 

CHOIR PHOTO GALLERY

 

The choir photo gallery contains photos of choir members.  Click on the first link below. You can click on each photo to show the members' names.  We are still updating the gallery, so watch this space. Photos by Phil Talmage and Peter Gillman.

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/petercgillman/ChoirGallery#

 

There are photos from the 2010 Holland tour on this link:

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/petercgillman/Holland2010#

(If you can't click on to this link directly, paste it into your browser address line)

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