Once again the choir is grateful for the continuing support of the Grassroots section of the South Wales Argus for including this report by PRO Lyn Gauntlett, of the 99th birthday of Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s oldest member, Bill Nash.
The photo shows Bill proudly holding the certificate, presented by Jessica Morden MP and Musical Director SIan Hatton to commemorate his 50 years of continuous service to the Choir at a special outdoor ceremony last year.
On the same day, fellow chorister Peter Heslop also received the same award. Previous recipients of this award have been the late Colin Jones, choristers John Evans and Dave Gould.
The Welsh Blood Service will again be accepting blood donations at the Choir Hall in Mill Lane and several other venues during January and February. Please click on the link to book your session. It only takes a few minutes and your donation could save a life.
Once again, Caldicot Male Voice Choir is grateful to the Grassroots section of the South Wales Argus for publishing a short article about the choir’s penultimate practice of 2021. Dressed in Christmas attire the Choir was forced to sing its Christmas repertoire without an audience due to Covid restrictions. Let’s hope things get better in 2022 and we can sing together in front of an audience.
The Choir welcomes newcomers to its ranks so if you are interested in a new hobby in the New Year please get in touch via the Contacts tab.
Once again choristers from Caldicot Male Voice Choir faced the freezing conditions at the special Saturday Christmas market in Caldicot Town Centre on 4th December.
Why, may you ask? The Choir is keen to invite local men over the age of 18 to join in with a fabulous hobby which teaches new skills, is proven to relieve stress and helps to encourage a longer, more fulfilling life in great company. The choristers stood in the cold to hand out invitations to visit the Choir Hall in Mill Lane, Caldicot and have a listen. If it takes your fancy, why not join in with a really friendly bunch who absolutely love singing together.
The Choir currently has about 60 members of all ages ranging from mid twenties to over 80’s. The singing together is all about blending the voices in harmony so you don’t need to be a great singer, just be able to hold a note. The Choir meets every Monday and Thursday evening, except Bank Holiday and around Christmas time at the Choir Hall in Mill Lane, Caldicot NP26 5DD
Following Caldicot Male Voice Choir’s fund raising for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity this year, it is pleased to announce that it is supporting local, Undy based charity Ready, Steady, Go in 2022.
Ready, Steady, Go is a registered charity (no. 1183203) and organises much needed events and activity suitable for children with autism at its base in Undy and in the community. It also provides peer support for parents and carers of the children who take part in these activities. The club helps develop social interaction and friendship by providing opportunities through supported play in a safe, comfortable, positive and considerate environment.
At practice on Monday 22nd November it was delighted to welcome five members of the Ready, Steady Go committee to its Choir Hall who were thrilled to listen to the Choir go through a short repertoire.
An opportunity was given to Cathryn Duke to relate a summary of the purpose and aims of the charity to the choristers during a break in practice. Charity chairperson, Tracy Stafford expressed her profound, sincere thanks to the Choir for selecting Ready, Steady, Go as its nominated charity for next year and is looking forward to working with the Choir to maximise the fund raising potential.
The club meets at Undy Church Hall and will shortly be taking over the lease of this building. This will allow expansion of its activities and support and the Choir hopes that through its fund raising efforts in 2022 the money raised will significantly help in this endeavour.
To learn more about Ready, Steady, Go please e-mail Tracy at email@example.com
Due to Covid-19 restrictions Caldicot Male Voice Choir has been unable to perform its programme of concerts for about 19 months. A consequence of this is that it has been unable to recruit new members as well. Sadly during the pandemic a number of choristers have passed away or retired and have not been replaced.
To offset this the Choir has started a drive to invite men from the area to join. This began on Saturday 6th November when a number of choristers braved the freezing weather at Caldicot Town Centre to invite male passers-by to learn a little about the choir and invite them to visit the Choir Hall in Mill Lane to listen to its practice. To the choristers’ delight, several men showed an interest and promised to give it some thought.
Choristers will repeat this invitation at the two special Saturday Markets in December. Please look out for them. If you are interested please come along to any practice on a Monday or Thursday evening from 7-00pm for a listen and a chat.
You do not need to be a great singer to be part of this Choir because we all sing in harmony and sometimes in unison. There is no obligation to join so come in from the cold and have a look and a listen. You will be surprised.
At practice on 25th October Caldicot Male Voice Choir was pleased to present a cheque for £2375 to Wendy McManus the Community Fund Raiser for Wales Air Ambulance Service. With Gift Aid this amount will increase further.
Wendy is quoted as saying ‘A huge thank you to everyone in Caldicot Male Voice Choir for its fabulous fund raising in challenging times. We really do appreciate your support to keep our helicopters flying.’
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the choir’s charity events organiser, Tony Griffiths said that it has been difficult to organise events but nevertheless through golf days, cycling and running events and even virtual challenges, this amount has been raised.
Apart from concerts, the Choir’s charity events have raised about £50,000 for local and national charities over the past 10 years.
Next year the Choir will be raising funds for ‘Ready Steady Go’ a local charity based in Undy which supports the needs of autistic children in the area.
It was with the greatest sadness that Caldicot Male Voice Choir was presented with the news that long standing, devoted chorister Mervyn Roberts passed away at the Grange Hospital on Thursday 14th October. Mervyn had been ill for some time and suffered the effects of Covid-19 alongside other symptoms soon after being admitted.
Mervyn was born on the 4th October 1935 in Resolven, Neath and celebrated his 87th birthday 10 days before his death. Like so many others, he transferred from Port Talbot steelworks to Llanwern steelworks in 1962 as a Heater in the Soaking Mill at where he remained for 27 years.
Mervyn joined the Choir as a baritone in 1989 following his retirement and was unique, according to Musical Director, Sian Hatton that instead of singing up and down the scales for his voice test he sang ‘I am the Lord High Executioner’ from the Mikado. This has never been repeated and is a testimony to Mervyn’s sense of humour.
Mervyn served for many years on the Committee and accepted the post of Treasurer at the crucial time of the building of the new Choir Hall in Mill Lane, Caldicot. Mervyn was exemplary in this role and thanks to his diligence and attention to detail kept the finances under control and within budget.
Mervyn, along with many others was awarded a certificate and silver lapel badge in 2013 to recognise his continuous service to the Choir for over 25 years. In 2018 he was a warded a Lifetime Achievement Award and conferred as an Honorary Vice President in recognition of his significant contribution over many years to Welsh Male Choral Singing at Caldicot.
Mervyn also spent many years supporting RAOB (The Buffs) and helped raise several thousands of pounds to aid St David’s Hospice and other charities. The Choir is proud that it joined in enthusiastically to help The Buffs in its and Mervyn’s endeavours.
Together with his late brother Theo, Mervyn had a unique joint sense of fun and both are often remembered for their antics on the call to get on the bus after an afterglow by rushing to the bar to order a final glass of whisky. On many occasions one or other was in serious danger of being left behind.
Mervyn formed many long lasting friendships with other choristers and he would often be seen reminiscing about past events including his train journeys and outings to the Mumbles and elsewhere from his home in Resolven as a child.
Mervyn was a truly dedicated chorister and rarely missed practice or concerts and it is so sad that his long career, like others had to end prematurely due to the effects of the Covid-19 virus.
Despite the tragic loss of his daughter Susan, in 2018 and the effects of his wife Kath suffering a severe stroke in January 2021, Mervyn maintained his sense of humour and would always greet choristers with a smile or a joke. Many will remember being greeted often by Mervyn in a terrible Indian accent. He maintained a brave public face throughout but those close to him knew how much he must have suffered.
Mervyn was a much loved chorister, a gentle gentleman and will be remembered and missed for a very long time. Thank you Mervyn for your devoted service to the Caldicot Male Voice Choir, your continual sense of humour and kindness which has touched all who have been privileged and honoured to have known you. Rest in Peace, dear friend.