Not all Choristers are grey haired, elderly Gentlemen

ANNUAL CONCERT 2019

It was reported in January that an active member of Caldicot Male Voice Choir, Bill Nash had remarkably reached his 98th birthday. Since then two members, Dave Kirton and Peter Hanks celebrated their 78th birthdays on the same day January 16th.

To many this would seem to perpetuate the myth that being in a Male Voice Choir is a pastime dedicated solely for grey haired, elderly gentlemen.  What is forgotten is that Bill joined his first Male Voice Choir at the age of 14 and that Dave, like so many of the Choir members joined the Choir over 30 years ago when they were in their forties or even younger.  In common with Bill Nash, current active choristers John Evans, Peter Heslop and Dave Gould have each completed over 50 years’ service and joined when they were in their twenties. Current vice chairman, Leon Jones joined 3 months before his 18th birthday and has completed over forty three years’ service.  Baritone Liam Evans at 25 and Craig Howells, also 25 are the Choir’s youngest. Craig joined in 2013 at 18 years of age and proudly followed his grandfather Owen and father Anthony into the Choir.

To further dispel the myth, in common with most Male choirs, Caldicot has a high proportion of choristers who are less than forty years old and some who are less than 30.  The Choir presents those who have served more than 25 years with a certificate and silver badge when they achieve this milestone. To date, and since the Choir was formed in 1963 there have been 37 recipients although sadly some are no longer with us.

Caldicot Male Voice Choir is not alone in being hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and has not been able to meet since it returned from its tour of Armagh in March 2020. This sensible approach has been taken to protect vulnerable members of the Choir from the effects of the virus and fortunately only a few caught the virus and these are on the way to a full recovery (there has been at least one case of hospitalisation reported in December).

The latest news is that most of the over seventies and many of the over sixties have now had either the Pfizer or Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine with almost no side effects apart from a temporary stiff arm  However, most had the injection in their non-drinking arm so their lives were not affected too much.

However, loneliness, depression and a sense of loss has hit a number of choristers who are dreadfully missing the comradeship of being in a Choir and it is hoped that when the vast majority have had the vaccine it will be able to meet again shortly and begin to sing not only in unison but in restored harmony.

The Choir would urge all of you, when invited to take up the vaccination to help save yours and others lives and bring an early end to this terrible situation.

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Choristers share the same birthday

Today, 9th January 2021 is a double birthday celebration in Caldicot Male Voice Choir. Bill Nash celebrates his 98th birthday today and shares it with 73 year old 2nd Tenor Mike Thurman. On behalf of the Choir may I wish them both a very happy birthday.

Bill’s celebration of his 98th birthday today surely must make him the oldest male voice chorister in Wales, if not the U.K. still actively and regularly singing.

Jo Barnes of the South Wales Argus has been kind enough to print my article and photos of Bill in a full page spread yesterday Friday 8th January

Until Corona virus restrictions were imposed, bottom bass Bill would make the journey to practice from the centre of Bristol to Caldicot twice a week aided by his family and is still able to make it to many of our concerts. I’m told that he still enthusiastically practices his song parts from his living room and is looking forward to returning to the Choir hall practices as soon as the Choir is able to practice again. We are all looking forward to that day.


Bill was born in Llanharan in 1923 to later sing, at the age of 14 with his father and brothers in Llanharan Male Voice Choir and attend Cowbridge Grammar School from where he left at 16 years old to serve in the RAF before and during the second World War as an aircraft fitter. He served in North Africa, Italy, South Africa and other countries before moving to Gloucester after the war and then to Bristol in 1952 to work many years for the British Aircraft Corporation and where he has lived since. He sang in Redland Male Choir in Bristol for many years before joining Caldicot Male Voice Choir in 1970.

He has, in his long history of over 80 years of male choral singing, sung in every section of a male voice choir. An incredible, probably unequalled record.

One of the many highlights of his almost 50 years in Caldicot Male Voice Choir was to be presented to HRH Prince Charles when the choir was honoured to sing at the Prince’s celebration of his 70th birthday at Buckingham Palace in May 2018.

Bill was presented with a well deserved Lifetime Achievement award and conferred as an Honorary Vice President of Caldicot Male Voice Choir at a special presentation by John Griffiths AM and Musical Director Siân Hatton at the Annual Concert in April 2014.

In 2019 Bill was awarded a tribute plaque and made an honorary member of the prestigious D M Davis Welsh Male Voice Choir of Jackson Ohio, USA and this was presented to him at his home in July 2020.

Bill has an incredible knowledge and expertise as a chorister and is always willing to pass on his experiences to younger and new members of the choir, not to mention our musical team.

The Choir would be interested to learn of any chorister who is of Bill’s age or older who is still active as a singer in any Welsh Male Voice Choir

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Top tenor Granville Sherborne Sadly Passes Away

The Choir was saddened to learn of the passing of one of Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s longest standing top tenors, chorister Granville Sherborne on 20th December. Until his retirement from the Choir two years ago, Granville had been a stalwart and loyal chorister for about forty years and this news will be heart breaking for many of us who regarded him as a friend.

Granville was extremely passionate about Welsh Rugby, surpassed only by his extensive knowledge and love of Male Choir music. The photograph above shows Granville, together with the late Colin Jones and chorister friend, Brian Press meeting Welsh Rugby International and British Lion Jamie Roberts at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff in 2012.

Granville toured with the Choir many times including to the USA and Canada and on two cruises. He was a participant at a number of Eisteddfodau and Royal Albert Hall performances. He also represented the Choir among others, at the World’s largest ever Male Choir at Cardiff Arms Park in 1993 and was at Wembley Stadium in 1996 to share the stage with the World famous, Three Tenors, Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras. Granville also toured Australia with Cor Meibion De and to New Zealand with the Lions tour of 2005.

The other photograph of Granville above was taken at Bromyard’s St Peter’s Church on July 30th, 2011 which it is hoped will bring back many memories of Granville and his time in the Choir.

The Choir’s condolences and sympathy go out to his wife Joan and all his family and friends at this very sad time.

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Choir Hall visited by local Member of Parliament

Caldicot Male Voice Choir is supporting the Caldicot Food Bank by providing the Choir Hall in Mill Lane as a warehouse and distribution centre. This valuable service, providing hundreds of food parcels and Christmas Gifts to the local community in these difficult times was visited on 11th December by Newport East Member of Parliament Jessica Morden MP who praised the efforts of the dozens of volunteers, sponsors and supporters of the Food Bank. You can see from the photos how much work is going into this.

A long standing and loyal supporter of the Choir, Jessica also took the opportunity for a sneak preview of the extension to the Choir Hall which is nearing completion. She also had a chat with vice chairman Leon Jones who has been mainly responsible for getting this project to its current position. Jessica is quoted as saying ‘ I am very much looking forward to seeing you all when we can! It looks great (the Choir Hall) and it’s wonderful that you are hosting the food bank’.

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Huge Progress on Choir Hall Extension


After intensive work by volunteers and others the extension is nearing completion. The roof is on, tiled and insulated. Ceilings have been installed and plastered by choristers Paul Thomas and Gary Smith and it’s just waiting for electrics to be installed, painting to be done and the frames and doors to be installed.
Following an appeal by chorister and project leader Leon Jones for funding to finally finish the project, an amazing £500 approximately has been pledged or donated by members of the choir. This shows amazing support for the Choir while it is unable to perform or practice during the pandemic restrictions.
If you would like to part of this wonderful group of people please contact us through Facebook, the web site or speak to someone you know is in the Choir. You will be made very welcome as soon as we get back together again.

Roof is on
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Choir receives generous donation from local company

In the past month there has been a tremendous amount of work done to the extension of Caldicot Choir Hall such that the building is now waterproof and is waiting for delivery of the tiles.

None of this would have been possible without the almost non-stop work of chorister Leon Jones who has not only from start to finish, managed the project, secured materials and funds from sponsors and carried out much of the work himself including labouring for the bricklayer Mark Shepherd, carpenter Andrew Little and roofers Shane and Lee Jeremiah.

Leon’s latest endeavour has been to secure a generous donation by Tim Williams of Cymru Plant Services Ltd of Caldicot of £2000 to help with the building fund. This together with other donations of labour, equipment materials, services and skills, not least that of chorister Mike Williams who designed the building extension and helped to secure planning permission, have enabled this essential project to near completion.

The photographs include the presentation of the cheque by Tim Williams to representatives of the Choir; chairman John Nicholson; architect Mike Williams; secretary Kenneth Cooper and Vice-chairman Leon Jones. Tim was pleased to receive a letter of thanks, a choir CD and a commemorative Choir tie as symbols of the Choir’s appreciation.

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Rogiet War Memorial Vandalised Yet Again

In October 2018 Caldicot Male Voice Choir was honoured and privileged to be invited to sing ‘Mansions of the Lord’ at the inauguration and dedication of the new War Memorial in Rogiet Recreational field. The Choir was conducted by Shirley Anne James and accompanied by John Nicholson. The service of dedication was conducted by Rev. Glyndwr Hackett.

Every chorister, along with many others will be saddened and distraught to learn that the exquisite and poignant Memorial, designed by then Rogiet Primary School pupil Teya Andrews and created by artist Felicity Bell has been cruelly vandalised once more by mindless individuals on Sunday 18th October. The adjoining Multi Use Games Area, which benefits all in the village was also seriously vandalised.

Do the perpetrators of this shameful act not realise that the memorial was erected to remember those from Rogiet who gave the ultimate sacrifice in two World Wars so that we can enjoy freedom from tyranny today?

Do they not realise that those who fell were the fathers, uncles, grand parents and great grand parents of many who still live in the village? The beautiful, simple Memorial is intended to keep alive the memory of loved ones who so tragically died in such tragic times.

There is a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat as I write this to think that there are individuals in our society who are capable of such a moronic, selfish act. You may not be caught, you may laugh, you may even be proud of this shameful deed and boast about what you’ve done but one day and I hope it will be soon, that you will be ashamed of what you did last Sunday.

You may have broken a few tiles in the mosaic which can be be replaced but you have also broken the hearts of many who made this Memorial possible and these will not so easily be mended. Shame is not a strong enough word.

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Fabulous support for Hall Extension Build

Fabulous support from the Grassroots section of the South Wales Argus again to print another article about Caldicot Male Voice Choir this week. The photos were taken by Vice-chairman Leon Jones, who is managing the extension project, spending many hours overseeing the building work and carrying out much of the work himself. They show the recent progression of the building work on the hall extension.

The write up is an edited version of that previously posted on the Choir’s and on local Community Facebook pages. I would dearly love to write an article about us returning to singing again though. Keep following the Choir in the meantime though.

Thanks to South Wales Argus Grassroots for publishing

The collage shows Matthew Hooper and Ben Olerenshaw of HLM Scaffolding; choristers John Nicholson, Ken Cooper, Mark Antell, Peter Williams, Leon Jones and Chris Richards taking delivery of the roof timbers; Darren Leach, Neville Stocking, Carl Vale and coordinator Georgie Davies of Griffiths Construction with choristers; Vice chairman, Leon Jones, Secretary Ken Cooper and Chairman John Nicholson and finally, bricklayer Mark Shepherd looked on by his brother, chorister Tony.

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Scaffolding erected on extension build

Thanks to Matthew Hooper and Ben Olerenshaw for their generous offer to supply materials and erect scaffolding to allow work on the extension of Caldicot Choir Hall to continue. HLM Scaffolding are one of sponsors of the Caldicot Male Voice Choir during the extension build.

Great work in the pouring rain this weekend. Much appreciated. Photos by Leon Jones.

The Choir would also like to thank Griffiths Civil Construction, Crown Hill Topsoil and Aggregates, Premier Forest Products of Newport and bricklayer, Mark Shepherd for their tremendous support and sponsorship.

If you think you can help to support our project then please get in touch via the web site Contacts page. It would be greatly appreciated. Caldicot Male Voice Choir is a registered charity.

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