All posts by Lyndon

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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Birdie Boys in the paper again

My report of the Golf Day at Llanwern Golf Club to raise funds for the Wales Air Ambulance was published in Grassroots section of the South Wales Argus yesterday. Over £400 was raised on the day. Well done all the ‘Birdie Boys’ of Caldicot Male Voice Choir. The photos show choristers Maurice Penny, Robert Stallard, Dave Gould, John Nicholson, Karl Gregory, Andy McDonnell, Stephen Davies, Anthony Griffiths, Ron Powell and David Hennesey as well as the lady supporters.

Apologies to other choristers Tony Howells, Paul Thomas, Bob Brown and Peter Hanks for not including them in the photos. Not enough room sorry.

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Bill Nash shows off his D M Davies Award with his family

Because of Corona Virus restrictions it wasn’t possible to present the D M Davis Choir of Jackson, Ohio USA awards made to our oldest chorister, 97 year old Bill Nash with Caldicot Male Voice Choir present.

These awards were sent to Bill in Bristol and Lyn asked if photographs could be taken with his family. His daughter, Jane Buckland sent him these yesterday and he thought you might like this one.

Others in the photos are his wife Eileen, daughter Jane, his son Andrew, another daughter Sharon and Ian, Jane’s husband. Bill is recovering from shingles and its good to see him looking well. Very best wishes from all of us at Caldicot Male Voice Choir and we hope to be able to see you soon.

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Crownhill Topsoil donates material for Choir Hall extension build

The new extension at the Caldicot Choir Hall is now underway and is thankful to Griffiths Civil Construction for starting it off by digging out the foundation trench and filling it with concrete. As soon as they have the resources the firm will build the blockwork up to DPC level and lay the base flooring,

In addition the Choir is grateful to Simon Stone at Crownhill Topsoil and Aggregates based at Caerwent who, after discussions with vice chairman Leon Jones donated and delivered 3 tons of sand to the hall on Monday 17th August.

The Choir is a registered charity which in normal years raises thousands of pounds for charities and good causes locally and nationally but the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 virus means that this year our events programme has not been possible.

The closure of the hall has also imposed many issues financially and although able to maintain the Hall the choir is not able to raise sufficient funds to progress the building work as quickly as we would like.

The Choir would welcome any donation or contribution to this project whether by labour or material donation. Please get in touch if you can.

PS The Leisure centre has let us have 2 parking spaces and Griffiths Civil Construction has supplied fencing and supports. Signage to follow. Thanks Leon Jones for organising.

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Choristers work together to clean up slabs

Caldicot Male Voice choristers have not remained idle during this pandemic lockdown. Just like the other 8000 male voice choristers in Wales who are frustrated by not being allowed to sing together they are finding other things to do.Caldicot MVC has its own Choir Hall which while closed still needs to be maintained and cared for.

To this end a few choristers got together on Sunday 16th August to clean up some paving slabs ready for re-laying after the extension is built, do some weeding and clear the spider wildlife from inside. A small team of Leon Jones, Lyn Gauntlett, Chris Richards, Grahame Morton, Dai Gould, Russ Woodward, Colleen Gauntlett and one other willing volunteer busied themselves for a couple of hours to achieve their goal before getting together at a social distance inside to enjoy Dai Gould’s home made rock cakes and a welcome cup of coffee made by Grahame.

The Choir would like to thank all those who have contributed materials and work to getting the extension started.

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Extension Build Started By Griffiths Civil Construction

This is where the extension will be built
Concrete laid in preparation for blockwork

If you’ve been over to the Leisure Centre recently you will have noticed that some building work is going on at the Choir Hall. The Choir Hall has recently increased its flexibility by offering the use of 16 round tables at various functions as well as rectangular tables and seating for about 200.

This has resulted in the need for extra storage space so all this furniture need not be stored in the main hall and so create extra floor space at events, concerts and functions. To this end planning permission was obtained to use the side of the hall to build an extension but building work was delayed due to funds being available.

Griffiths Civil Engineering are currently involved in renovation of Caldicot Town Centre and the company was approached by the Choir in February to see if they could help in any way as part of their community projects. Following this meeting which included a video presentation, Griffiths Civil Engineering agreed to provide the materials, equipment and labour to build the footings, foundations and brickwork up to floor level.

Work was delayed due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic but the concrete foundations have now been laid in preparation for the brickwork to be completed in the next two weeks.

Funds, equipment and materials will be needed to enable completion of the work so if you’re out there and are feel you can contribute in any way, please get in touch via our web site and the Choir will be more than happy to contact you.

Meanwhile, the Choir is extremely grateful to Griffiths Civil Engineering for their help so far into this project.

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Choristers remain active during lockdown

The lockdown period to restrict the spread of Covid-19 has led to a huge restriction of several groups and societies ability to get together, socialise and enjoy their favourite hobby.

However, they have been keeping healthy and active with a huge variety of activities; never have gardens, sheds, allotments looked so well. Hundreds of little jobs around the house which have been waiting for years have now been undertaken and completed.
As well as painting and decorating, many have taken up new hobbies, revisited old ones by dusting down the piano keyboard for example, learned new skills such as baking and cooking and even started to learn a language such as Welsh.
The choristers and music team of Caldicot Male Voice Choir, like so many others cannot wait to come back.

Caldicot Male Voice Choir has been unable to practice since mid-March and its nearly seventy members cannot enjoy their favourite pastime of singing together at its Choir Hall. For most this is their major social activity and has really been missed by all.
Many have continued to work in key areas of the NHS, transport, essential retailing; others have been furloughed and many have been shielding or self-isolating at home.

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Davey Scott Passes Away on July 5th 2020

David Scott with his Lifetime Achievement Award

Caldicot Male Voice Choir choristers were saddened to learn of the death of long standing chorister David Scott at the Royal Gwent Hospital on July 5th after a short illness. David was 85 years old.

David, (Davey, Dai) was a long standing member of the choir following his move from Scotland as a young man to work in the Central Engineering Workshops at Llanwern steelworks until his retirement. Never forgetting his roots, he nevertheless became an adopted Welshman by joining Caldicot Male Voice Choir as a second tenor in about 1966. Although he left for a short while he rejoined in the 1970’s, joined the bass section and received a 25 year long service award, alongside many others in 2013.

A long serving committee member and no longer able to sing in concerts due to ill health, he finally retired from the choir in January 2017 at the age of 82 but was still an ever present at the Annual and Gala concerts with his wife Ellen. He was delighted at the Annual Concert in 2016 to be honoured with the Choir’s Lifetime Achievement Award and conferred as an honorary Vice President. The certificate, presented by John Griffiths AM hangs proudly on his living room wall alongside his 25 year long service award.

Davey was a true gentleman, always willing to join in a friendly chat or sing along in an afterglow. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him, both in the Choir and in the Caldicot community. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to his wife Ellen and his family at this sorrowful time.

Rest in Peace, dear friend.

Footnote: The funeral will take place at Langstone Crematorium on July 21st at 10-30 am but due to Covid 19 restrictions only family and informed friends are allowed to attend. The cortege will be passing through Mill Lane, past the Choir Hall en-route at about 10-00 am.

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