Before the Choir Hall in Mill Lane was built, the choir would practice in Green Lane School and then make its’ way to the local Haywain public house for a welcome thirst quencher and a bit of a sing song. Since 1996 when the choir hall was opened with its own bar, this twice weekly trek to the pub was no longer necessary.
Many choristers live quite near to the pub which is still regarded by many as the choir’s local and so it becomes an annual tradition that every Christmas we entertain the clientèle with a round of Christmas songs and carols in which audience participation is compulsory. So it was that after practice we made our way up the road to the warming (sweltering) packed, standing room only atmosphere of the Haywain. Conducted by Shirley Ann James and accompanied by John Nicholson we jammed ourselves cosily into the bar and sang renditions of Casatchok, a Christmas Medley, God Rest You Merry Gentlemem and Joy to the World before inviting the audience to sing familiar carols such as O Come All ye Faithful, Once in Royal David’s City and The First Nowell.
Following on from the carolling, the choir continued with its traditional afterglow to round off, as usual for this event an enjoyable evening just right to set off the Christmas Season (in style???).
A raffle, directed by Richie Llewellyn in his own inimitable style and reindeer costume was held towards the end of the evening to raise funds for the choir and a donation and refreshments were provided by the landlord.
Photos by Colleen Gauntlett