WITH Thurnscoe Harmonic Male Voice Choir celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, we’ve gone back in time to look at another group’s milestone.

Cudworth Male Voice Choir, sadly now inactive, celebrated 50 years of existence in April 2001.

They did so with a concert and supper held in The Wesley Hall in their own village.

Then chairman Ray Mellor wrote in the evening’s programme: “We have three founder members still with the choir, our conductor Bernard Bagworth and Derek Bonds.

“The third founder member, Percy (Curly) Whitmore is the only member with unbroken service. The choir very much appreciates your continued support over the years and hopes you enjoy the concert and supper.”

Wesley Aston explained the group’s history.

He wrote: “One Sunday evening in the summer of 1950 Jerry Rogerson and I were about this and that whilst waiting for our wives to announce supper was ready.

“We got round to reminiscing about men’s weekends at the chapel, we thought that there had been two, in 1938 and 1939. They were rather modest, men occupries the choir stalls for the two services and in the afternoon we gave one or two male voice choir items.

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“It was probably in 1939 that Arthur Manning, the organist at the Barnsley Ritz cinema joined us to give some items on the chapel organ.

“We thought it might be a good idea to revive them if there was likely to be sufficient support. We did a bit of sounding out among people like Cliff and Green Thorpe, Cliff Stothard, Lloyd Jones, Curly, George Pygott, Mervin Hambleton, Len Tiggardine and Bill Clare.

I recall that the latter two said: ‘we’re daft enough for owt’ which was their way of saying: count us in.”

Wesley added: “We arranged an evening concert, with supper, for the first Saturday in 1951.

“The chairman was Wesley Kenworthy, who was a legend in his own lifetime, the accompanist was Raymond Thorpe (Green’s son) and the soloist was Jerry’s brother, Len, who was the possessor of a very fine bass voice.

“For a first occasion, the evening went well. The meal, prepared and served by the men was glorious and organised chaos. Nobody had given thought to restricting the number of tickets but we fought our way through.

“Although it was in the early hours of Sunday morning before we had finished clearing away, we were there for morning service a few hours later when the preacher was Dr Clifford Towlson, headmaster of Woodhouse Grove School.

“The project was deemed to have been a success, so much so that was worth repeating the following year and the next and the next...”

The programme featured Vivaldi’s Gloria as a spritely inroduction and Welsh hymn Cwm Rhondda as part of a religious section.

Songs in memory were also sung before a duo of love songs.

Battle songs incuded Do You Hear The People Sing? from Les Miserables and the ever popular When The Saints Go Marching In.

Morte Criste (When I Survey The Wondrous Cross) was sang to finish the show and was in dedication to all men past and present who had performed with the choir.

The group back then was:

First Tenors: Derek Bonds, Douglas Brooks, Kenneth Burgess, Ernest Eversedge, Sydney Pinkney, Geoffrey Stables, Alwyn Taylor and Percy Whitmore.

Second Tenors: Barrie Broadhurst, Malcolm Brown, Derek Byfield and Herbert Jones.

Baritones: Eddie Beecroft, John Burton, Alan Clare, Bob Roberts, John Williams.

Bass: Ossie Brear, John Coughlan, John Hambleton, Kenneth Martin, Raymind Mellor, Arthur Schofield, Trevor Ward.