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News, notices, musical job vacancies, achievements and items of interest
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To post your choir's news items or notices on this site contact the Federation Secretary, Linda Jones on
linda@fed-cornishchoirs.org.uk or tel: (01726) 61180

If you would like to be notified when new items are added to this page, or receive other information circulated to choirs, contact Linda Jones, Secretary, with your email address.

DISCLAIMER: Any opinion expressed and advice offered in this website is not necessarily that of the Federation or its officials and no responsibility can be accepted for the results of following contributors' advice.


Sent by Jim Christophers, Federation Publicity Officer
Item posted 18/08/2014

Burraton Male Voice Choir celebrate 40th Anniversary

Like several other choirs, Burraton is celebrating an historic landmark during 2014. We commenced formal celebrations on Saturday 12 July at Saltash Wesley Methodist Church with Newquay Male Voice Choir who are also celebrating their 40th anniversary. The following Saturday, 19 July, we are travelling to Lanhydrock Golf & Country Club for an Anniversary Dinner. On October 4th at Saltash Wesley we will be holding a Massed Choir Anniversary Concert with the combined voices of Pelynt, Launceston & Burraton male voice choirs. Then 2 weeks later on 18th October we join with St Keverne Male Voice Choir at Saltash Wesley who are also celebrating their anniversary year.

Sent by Brian Stephens, Burraton MVC
Item posted 18/07/2014


The recent closure of Newlyn Male Choir, first formed in 1921, was reported on this newspage with great sadness. (News Item dated 26 March 2014). Bryan Marshall, formerly a choir officer of Newlyn MC, has sent the following message:

"I am pleased to say that 12 of us have joined the Marazion Apollo Male Voice Choir. Needless to say we were made very welcome. Although we were members of a choir, as per their choir rules we had to take a voice test to make sure we could keep in tune and were in the right section. This was done this week and we were all successful and accepted into the choir. Sadly we are no longer Newlyn Men, but proud to be Marazion Apollo Men and look forward to spending many many hours with them."

Sent by Bryan Marshall, Marazion Apollo MVC
Item posted 22/05/2014

Military Wives Sing with Mevagissey Men at Minack

The Military Wives Choir with Mevagissey MC at Minack

Television’s Military Wives Choir joined Mevagissey Male Choir for an exhilarating evening of singing at the Minack Theatre on 10th May. A capacity 700 audience packed into the spectacular cliff top venue on a windy but (almost) dry night.

The Plymouth Military Wives Choir, created by Gareth Malone in 2013 and now directed by Rob Young, performed their No. 1 hit, ‘Wherever You Are’, which had raised over half a million pounds for the armed forces charity, SSAFA, and The Royal British Legion. It was only one of ten songs in the Military Wives’ programme, while Mevagissey Male Choir performed a selection from their popular recent CD ‘Mevagissey Bay’, along with other pieces that have been prepared specially for this year’s 40th Anniversary celebrations.

Fans of the Military Wives will have another opportunity to see them next week at another prestigious venue, the Eden Project, when they will appear at Mevagissey Male Choir’s Anniversary Gala Concert on Friday 30th May. Sponsored by St Austell Brewery, the Gala Concert will also feature the Cornish Sinfonia Orchestra and other special guests. See news item dated 31/03/2014, further down this page.

Tickets for the Gala Concert are available via the Mevagissey Male Choir’s website – www.meva-choir.co.uk – or from Mevagissey Post Office, from Alias Smith in St Austell or to personal callers at the Tourist Information Office, Southborne Road, St Austell.

Mevagissey Male Choir at Minack

Sent by Mike Tate, Mevagissey MC
Item posted 20/05/2014

goes to ... NEWQUAY MVC!

Six member choirs submitted entries for this year's President's Plate Award: Launceston MVC, Loveny MVC, Holman Climax MVC, Mousehole MVC, Nankersey MC and Newquay MVC. The Federation Executive committee were delighted to receive these entries and give their congratulations and thanks to all the participants.

This year's entries showed fine examples of charity fund raising concerts in various venues, workshops at local schools, Christmas Carol concerts sung with school children, musical events involving local Scout groups and visits to Young Farmers or to pubs in order to reach a wider audience. There is free entertainment given to elderly people at care homes and successful Community Evenings which include audience participation and bring in guest artists from the local community.

The judges say the standard is high and it was a difficult choice to make. The Plate this year was awarded to Newquay MVC. At the Federation's recent Annual General Meeting Judith Pinguey, Musical Director, together with chorister and choir committee member, Rob Spowart, received the President's Plate from the Federation Chairman on behalf of their choir.

On behalf of Newquay MVC, Rob Spowart and Judith Pinguey
receive the President's Plate for 2014 from Federation Chairman, Terry Hodge

To read Newquay Male Voice Choir's winning entry Click Here.

Item posted 19/05/2014


Anyone wishing to join the choir and supporters on this tour, please contact Fred Bidgood on 01326 373984 or email: familybidgood@hotmail.co.uk.

Five days and four nights, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast at the Tewkesbury Park Hotel, nr Tewkesbury. Website: www.www.tewkesburypark.co.uk. The hotel offer all rooms with private facilities. See further details in poster below:

Sent by Fred Bidgood, Nankersey MC
Item posted 06/05/2014

Kernowyon A Gan (Men of Cornwall Sing)!
Royal Albert Hall Charity Concert rasies: £73,426.71

Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs disburses proceeds of the massed male voice choir charity concert, Kernowyon A Gan (Men of Cornwall Sing), to recipients
Photograph by Eric Heesom

There was much to talk about when over 100 invited representatives of Cornish male voice choirs gathered together at the Lanhydrock Hotel on Friday, 7th March, to witness the disbursement of the proceeds of the massed male voice choir charity concert organised by the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs at the Royal Albert Hall in London last November. A total of £73,426.71 was presented to the RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care and the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal, each charity receiving a sum of £24,475.57.

Terry Hodge, Chairman of the Federation, reflected on “a truly remarkable evening at the Royal Albert Hall” and thanked “all those involved, including those who attended the concert and filled the venue, for their effort and support in raising such a magnificent sum for the three charities. It was beyond our wildest dreams that so much would be raised. There is no doubt that the funds presented this evening will have a significant impact on the work of three excellent charities for the benefit of people in and of Cornwall.”

Guy Botterill, RNLI Fundraising Manager for the south west, and Suzanne Tanner, representing the St Ives RNLI branch, received their donation to the RNLI from John Trethewey, Treasurer of the Federation and president of Looe RNLI. They explained that the money would be used to help to provide a new tractor for the St Ives lifeboat. Suzanne was astonished by the amount which meant that they had just about reached their target.

In receiving the donation for Cornwall Hospice Care, made by Terry Hodge, Chairman of the Federation, Kevin Marsh, Facilities Manager, emphasised how important fundraising is for the work of the organisation and thanked those involved with the concert who had helped to raise such an impressive amount.

Daphne Skinnard, Assistant Editor for BBC Radio Cornwall, accepted the cheque on behalf of the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal from Phil Taylor, Vice-chairman of the Federation. She explained that the appeal now would be raising funds to support local community initiatives. The amount donated to the appeal was several times more than anything expected and gives the new appeal a tremendous start.

The above photograph shows the presenters and recipients of the cheques surrounded by representatives of some of the choirs who participated in the concert and attended the presentation evening. During the evening souvenir photographs were presented to the four Musical Directors, Stephen Lawry, Elaine Tangye, Judith Pinguey and Phil Taylor, who prepared and conducted the massed choir, and to Bishop Tim Thornton who so expertly compered the event. Others recognised by the Federation were accompanists, Annette Turton, Elizabeth Sidebotham, George Smith and Chris Bennett, along with organist, Jonathan Delbridge, and guests, Angela Renshaw, on behalf of Cambiata Cornwall, and Tim Boulton, on behalf of the Cornwall Youth Orchestra. Eric Pinch, the singing cyclist, was also recognised for his efforts in single-handedly raising over £1,000 as a result of his sponsored cycle ride from Tavistock to the Royal Albert Hall. George Smith, a stalwart within male voice choir circles, has since passed away. The news of George’s passing was met with great sadness and regret by all members of the Federation.

Sent by Jim Christophers, Publicity Officer, CFMVC

Message from Eric Pinch

I would like to thank the Federation in presenting to me a certificate of appreciation for my cycle ride to the Royal Albert Hall last November. Also to the various choirs and individuals that sponsored me and to those who gave to me on my journey.

It is just 2 years since I joined the Tamar Valley Choir and what a time it has been - so many memories, with the Albert Hall right at the top. Next cycling adventure a circular: Essex, the Norfolk Broads to Yorkshire and return. In 2015 a cycling tour of the Cornwall International Male Voice Choir Festival catching a few concerts around the Duchy as well as attending our own concert in Callington.

Once again Many Thanks,
Eric "The Singing Cyclist"

Item posted 01/05/2014


Roger Pinsent
Treverva Male Voice Choir has appointed a new Musical Director, having undergone significant changes in recent times. In the year following the choir’s 75th Anniversary, its historic base of Treverva Methodist Chapel held its last regular service in July 2012. Following this, the last Choir event, the Christmas Carolare, was held in the December. As the chapel was being placed on the market, the search for new base led to the move in March 2013 to The Space at Penryn Rugby Club. The new location has proved to be a very successful venue for rehearsals - although we do miss the occasional use of the chapel organ.

The year 2014 has heralded a change in the music team with the departure of MD, John Adams, and Deputy Terry Reed for personal and business reasons. The choir gratefully acknowledges the contributions they have made to the choir over a number of years.

The new Musical Director, Roger Pinsent originally comes from Surrey but failed to go back after hitchhiking around Cornwall when he was 20. He came from a household that had music going on all the time and a piano in the front room. He remembers standing watching his Grandad playing trad jazz on the piano when he was barely tall enough to look along the keyboard and being awe struck at the movement of the fingers and the sounds they produced. His other grandfather conducted the highly successful Warnham Choral Society for more than twenty years.

After gaining a BA (Hons) in music at Dartington College of Arts and an ALCM in voice, he started teaching for the Cornwall Music Service. He taught for 18 years before gaining an MA in Composing for Film and Television and starting up an audio book production company.

He has conducted various ensembles since his comically disastrous debut at the age of 16 with the school wind band but has always felt most at home directing choirs. His vocal ensembles have won classes in festivals around the county and as far afield as Surrey and have varied from children’s choirs of more than 300 to barber shop quartets and madrigal groups. This looks like a good pedigree for taking on Treverva and he has already created positive vibes in the short time he has spent with the choir. His first concerts with the choir will be at Princess Pavilion on Monday 19 May and at All Saints, Falmouth in a concert with the visiting Solent Choir on Sunday 25 May.

The Choir meets each Monday, 7.30pm to 9.30pm at The Space and each section will make any new singers welcome. Our Secretary is Ann Trudgen 01326210444 or email: ann.trevervachoir@hotmail.co.uk

Sent by John Barraclough, Treverva MVC
Item posted 16/04/2014


It is with regret that Nankersey Male Choir announce the death of George Smith on Sunday 9th March 2014. George will be greatly missed as one of the County's finest musicians and certainly as one of the musical team at Nankersey.

George had enjoyed a lifetime of involvement with music and singing. He studied music at Bretton Hall College of Arts (Leeds University). Whilst at College he sang in vocal and choral groups and played the tuba in the band. He also undertook roles in operas and oratorios and accompanied various soloists and ensembles.

Back in Hampshire after graduation George:-

Founded the Basingstoke Junior Orchestra
Performed in leading roles with the Basingstoke Operatic and Musical Societies
Took part in two successful piano duet partnerships
Became a member of the BBC Choral Society
At the age of 24 became Musical Director of the Basingstoke Male Voice Choir - staying with them for 6 years
Assisted the Basingstoke Ladies Choir in an emergency and was with them when they visited Cornwall to sing with the Holman Climax MVC

George liked Cornwall so much he moved down in 1972 and had been actively involved with Cornish music ever since. He continued his career as a Music Teacher in schools in Newquay and was later appointed Advisory Music Teacher for Kerrier and Penwith schools.

George became Musical Director of Holman Climax MVC for some 18 years. He also took on the Musical Director role with Newquay Amateur Operatic Society where he met his eventual wife, Karen. Under his leadership many choirs have entered and been successful in local, national and international festivals. Often singing with the Three Spires Choir, George was also MD and then Accompanist for the County of Cornwall Male Choir. Again under his leadership choirs have appeared on Radio and TV and made recordings and toured extensively in both North America and Europe.

George had worked with many of Cornwall’s internationally renowned singers and musicians and has sung under many respected conductors including Sir Colin Davis, Brian Kay, John Rutter and Sir David Willcocks.

In 2000 Nankersey Male Choir acquired George’s services in an emergency and he accompanied the Choir for 14 years. George was one of the accompanists at the Massed Male Voice Choir Charity Concert held by the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2013.

Nankersey Male Choir would like to thank and acknowledge those choirs and individuals who have expressed condolences both to the choir and to George’s widow, Karen.

Sent by Fred Bidgood, Nankersey MC
Item posted 02/04/2014

with the Military Wives Choir, Cornish Sinfonia Orchestra, soloist Alison Harvey - and a surprise guest!

Friday 30 May 2014, Gallery Room, Eden Probject

Tickets for the Mevagissey Male Choir’s eagerly awaited 40th Anniversary Gala Concert have now gone on general sale. Generously sponsored by St Austell Brewery, the Gala Concert will take place on Friday 30th May at the Eden Project’s Gallery Room, and will feature the Plymouth Military Wives’ Choir, the Cornish Sinfonia Orchestra and popular local soprano Alison Harvey, as well as a special surprise guest – and the Mevagissey Male Choir itself of course.

The highly popular Military Wives' Choir was formed by Gareth Malone in Plymouth in 2011 as a source of comfort to military wives while their husbands and partners were on tours of duty. The choir became an instant TV success and within months had notched up a No 1 hit – Wherever You Are. Mevagissey Male Choir enjoyed a highly successful joint concert with the Military Wives in Ashburton last October and the two choirs have already been booked to share the opening of the Minack Theatre season on 10th May.

The Gala Concert is being held to celebrate 40 successful years for the Choir which started life in Percy Mitchell’s boatyard in the autumn of 1974. The programme will include favourites from every decade, notably both the first song ever performed by the Choir and the most recent, as well as some of its most popular and challenging modern pieces.

Priced at £25, tickets are available via the Mevagissey Male Choir’s website www.meva-choir.co.uk or from Mevagissey Post Office, from 'Alias Smith' in St Austell or at the Tourist Information Office on Southborne Road, St Austell.

For more information contact Mike Tate: 01726 812046 or 07730 683324; email: miketate@live.co.uk.

Sent by Mike Tate, Mevagissey MC
Item updated 31/03/2014


It is with great regret and sadness that the Newlyn Male Choir is no longer in a position to continue and will be disbanded. The decision was taken by the members at rehearsal recently and was officially endorsed at a Committee meeting on Monday 10th March 2014.

The choir's closure is down to lack of members. We were fortunate to recruit a couple of new members recently but at the same time three existing members decided, for various reasons, to leave, leaving us with thirteen. After giving the matter a lot of thought and lengthy discussion, it was decided we were no longer in a position to continue. This decision was not taken lightly. We are/were the third oldest male voice choir in the County having been formed in 1921. So it will be a great loss to the Cornish music scene.

The choir has travelled extensively over the years covering many parts of the country and performed in many lovely venues. Most probably the greatest achievement was to perform in Westminster Abbey. The choir performed in many Cornish venues and took part in two of the combined concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, London and also took part in the Cornwall International Festivals. There were three overseas trips to Brittany representing Newlyn and Cornwall in an international Folk Festival with that other great Cornish performer, Brenda Wooten.

We express our grateful thanks to our past Musical Directors and Accompanists, and to all past loyal and dedicated members for their support. Also of course to you the public for all your support over the years. You will all be greatly missed.

I am pleased to say that after all the necessary details have been sorted out a small group of us intend to join another local choir. You will know all in due course. Thank you again everyone.

Any enquiries to Bryan Marshall: 01736 361189.

Sent by Bryan Marshall, Newlyn MVC
Item posted 26/03/2014


2014 marks the 40th Anniversary of the reformation of Newquay Male Voice Choir. The milestone will be celebrated with friends and family by enjoying some treats, providing some surprises, having lots of fun and eating cake! A number of special events are planned for the year with the intention of showing how full of life, energy and enthusiasm the choir remains after 40 years. There will be many opportunities to see and hear the choir in action, with some exciting concerts in Newquay itself, while the choir will also be touring the County performing with other choirs who are helping them to celebrate their anniversary. In October the choir is planning to go international, visiting Newquay’s twin town of Dinard in France. Under its present MD, Judith Pinguey, Newquay Male Voice Choir has developed into a forward looking, prize winning choir with a lively, entertaining modern repertoire of music, making Newquay MVC concerts fun and enjoyable for all. A good night out is guaranteed at any performance. Newquay MVC is keen to support the local community and many of their concerts raise funds for local charities.

Three present members of the choir, Arnold Lancaster, Stuart Tamblyn and Roy Truscott were there at the start and many other members have enjoyed long and distinguished service. They have many stories to share about the history of the choir as it has developed over the years. However, the choir is interested to hear the reminiscences of former members and friends, so do come to the concerts and catch up with us. The Choir would welcome your support in this, their special year.

Look out for details of individual concerts and additional events in the local media over the coming year. Next up is the Spring Concert with the Coastal Belles, on 22 February at 7.30pm, Crantock Village Hall.

As always details of all aspects of the choir and its activities can be found on its website, www.NewquayMaleVoiceChoir.co.uk . Or contact the choir Secretary, David Bendall, on 01726 860193.

You can also find the choir's concert dates here on the Federation website, Future Concerts .

Sent by Jim Christophers, Newquay MVC
Item posted 02/02/2014

TRELAWNY MALE CHOIR proposed tour of Eastern Canada, 2015

To be a member of the Trelawny Male Choir (TMC) choristers have to be members of properly constituted Cornish male voice choirs and groups. Consequently, by and large, it is composed of singers of member choirs of the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs. TMC's main intention is to take Cornish Male Voice Choir singing to the Cornish diaspora, seeking out and entertaining Cornish communities wherever it goes. The MD is Elaine Tangye with Phil Taylor as deputy MD/organist and Elizabeth Sidebotham as pianist; three people well known to those who sang at the Royal Albert Hall!

Following highly successful tours of Singapore and New Zealand (2007) and Western Canada (2011), the choir is now proposing to tour Eastern Canada in 2015. Choristers who may have an interest in joining this tour are invited to attend a preliminary practice at Liskeard Methodist Church on Sunday 26th January (2-4 pm). A very warm welcome is guaranteed with no obligation for any definite commitment at this stage. The choir will then rehearse monthly, much as we did for the Royal Albert Hall concert, at venues within the county.

As well as choristers and their immediate families, previous tours have included a number of supporters. This reflects the very sociable nature of the choir community, something which is reflected and reinforced in the regular social events that are held prior to departure.

For further details please contact Elaine on 01872 865755 or just turn up on the 26th.

Sent by Jim Christophers, Publicity Officer
Item posted 12/01/2014


Newquay Male Voice Choir was recently saddened to hear of the untimely death of a very enthusiastic and supportive member. Fred Boreham died peacefully in his sleep after an illness that saw him admitted to The Royal Cornwall Hospital back in December.

Many of you will have positive memories of this very tenacious yet gently spoken man who worked tirelessly, not only for Newquay Male Voice Choir but also for the wider community of Male Voice Choral singing over a number of years. As a result of his efforts Newquay MVC has benefited in many different ways over recent years, including his research and introduction of new technical and recording kit, his accessing new arrangements of music, access to new concert venues, provision of new uniforms and organisation of photographs and publicity images.

In the wider choral community it was Fred, working with Bill Russell and others, who reinstated the tour to the USA for the “County of Cornwall Male Voice Choir”, back in the 1980s when earlier plans were abandoned and, more recently, it was Fred who worked with me (and others) to provide photographs for the souvenir programme for the recent (2013) Royal Albert Hall Concert.

Fred’s funeral has been arranged at Penmount crematorium for Friday 10th January at 11.00 am. As you may not have been in contact with mutual friends or Newquay choristers over this holiday season, I thought it appropriate to make Federation Choristers aware of this sad piece of news. I'm sure that all our thoughts and good wishes are with his wife, Julie, and the rest of his family at this time.

Sent by Rob Spowart, Newquay MVC

Item posted 02/01/2014

Fred Boreham

from sponsored cycle ride to the Royal Albert Hall

Eric Pinch of Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir, is delighted to report that his final total raised for the Concert's three charities, Cornwall Hospice Care, the RNLI and BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal, amounts to £1139.71. He says: "Out of that £90.71 went direct to Cornwall Hospice from my collecting tin on my bike". In addition Eric did a separate sponsorship for Mary Tavy Methodist Chapel, (he is a member) which raised £125. "Well worth the effort" says Eric.

Scroll down this page to a news item dated 5 December to read Eric's entertaining daily diary of his cycle ride from Tavistock to the Royal Albert Hall, where he took part as a chorister in the Federation's charity concert. There is also a printable version of Eric's tale, if you prefer a hard copy.

Thank you Eric and Congratulations! on your wonderful and hard earned achievement.

Item posted 07/12/2013

CD of the final Carolare recorded at Treverva Chapel

This Christmas recording was the last live performance of the annual Carolare by Treverva Male Voice Choir and Mabe Ladies Choir to be held at Treverva Chapel. Both choirs have come together since 1948 to sing a selection of Cornish and traditional Carols, music associated with Christmas and some favourite pieces the choirs just love to sing. The organ used for many of the Carols has also given its final performance.

The Chapel has been the home of Treverva Male Voice Choir since its inception in 1936. Unfortunately, along with many other churches and chapels around the County, we have reached another milestone in the history of the Chapel where, sadly, it has now closed its doors to Sunday Services, ending a 77 year association with the building and the village.

The CD can be obtained from Ann Trudgen, Treverva MVC's Secretary at email: ann.trevervachoir@hotmail.co.uk, or phone: 01326 210444, price £10 plus postage.

Sent by Clive Gregor, Treverva MVC
Item posted 06/12/2013


Southward Cathedral
Further to the visit of the Mousehole Male Voice Choir to Southwark Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall in November 2013, our Transport Officer, John Hobbs, received a remarkable letter from Southwark Cathedral's Visitors' Officer:

Dear John

It was a delight to be able to have you here and we hope that you are able to return sometime in the future.

The afternoon of All Saints Day, 1 November 2013, saw Southwark Cathedral's Nave packed to capacity for an informal concert given by Mousehole Male Voice Choir.

Advance publicity, undertaken by both the choir and the Cathedral, attracted a large audience. Some were what could be described as choir 'groupies', well aware of the reputation and standards of this choir, whilst for a large majority this was the first time they had heard them. All within the audience left uplifted but wanting more.

The fine acoustics of the Cathedral, the warm and friendly atmosphere, and the outstanding standard of the singing and choice of repertoire, all contributed to a feast of music which would not have been out of place in any international concert hall. The choir exhibited a true ambassadorial role for Mousehole and Cornwall, and male voice choirs. Southwark Cathedral wishes the Choir continued success and looks forward to possibly welcoming them again on some future occasion.


David Payne, Visitors' Officer
Southwark Cathedral

Sent by Trevor Walker, Mousehole MVC
Item posted 05/12/2013


The Federation greatly appreciates the kind communications received since the concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Here is another kind letter recently received:

"Please convey to the Federation and contributing choirs our thanks for a wonderful evening on the 2nd November – it was truly thrilling. The mix of musical styles, new and old tunes together with the wonderful talents and skills of all who contributed was an utter joy.

This was the first time we have been to the Royal Albert Hall and it could not have been a more emotional occasion. For me, Cornish through and through but living in exile (in Devon) it was the event of the decade, and my advance 2013 Christmas present. The three hours or so of the event passed so quickly, we could happily have come back on Sunday to hear it all again.

Please convey to the Federation and contributing choirs our thanks for a wonderful evening on the 2nd November – it was truly thrilling. The mix of musical styles, new and old tunes together with the wonderful talents and skills of all who contributed was an utter joy.

I know it must be a huge amount of work for everyone to organise such an event, but believe me, it was very much appreciated. Let us know when the next date at the RAH is booked – we will be there!

Kind regards

April Arnatt"

Item posted 05/12/2013


via the south coast, Route 2 of the National Cycle Network
390 miles 400 yards 2 ft 3 ins, to be precise




Here we go, a fairly early start from home just 200 metres before I am on route 27 accompanied by fellow choir member Ray Stenning. Lots of photos on this first stretch through the Grenofen tunnel over the new Gem bridge. Soon at Yelverton and down to Plymouth along the Plym Valley trail. At Marsh Mills we get onto route 2 and back roads through Plympton skirting the A38 before entering Ivybridge to meet up with Fellow Chorister Jeff Campbell for a coffee break. On to Jeremy and Enid Wells gaff but they were not at home.

Further back roads to Harbourneford where I parted company with Stenning. It was just as well; despite carrying Choir Mascot “Tamar Tom” he was holding me up. Slower than a three speed walking stick springs to mind. A delightful traffic free stretch from Dartington to Totnes. No alternative from Totnes to Torbay and beyond to Dawlish as the route has yet to be defined having to stay on main roads.

Bad: Uphill out of Totnes and Torquay. Left phone charger at guest house.

Good: Rough looking guy came across the road when I paused for breath going uphill and surprised me, dropping a note in my Cornwall Hospice care collecting box. Never tell a book by its cover. A lady waved me down in Torbay to again give me money. Downhill into Teignmouth.

Stopover The Seaway Guest House, Meal at Drakes Restaurant, Northumberland Terrace.

Eric Pinch and Ray Stenning, who accompanied Eric
on the first leg of the journey,
to Harbourneford.


A short hop to get to the Starcross to Exmouth Ferry. Delightful crossing and good conversation with a couple of gents collecting their Caravan to take back to brummie. Speedo playing up and got that sorted in Exmouth. Big climbs out of Budleigh Salterton, Otterton, Sidmouth, Branscombe, Seaton and Colyford.

Bad: the climbs. Got soaked walking for a Ruby in Axminster. Left pannier cover at Axminster.

Good: the Curry and the Hotel. Stopover: the Kerryington Hotel.

Tamar Tom, the Tamar Valley MVC Mascot
packed and ready to go!

Starcross Ferry

Another big climb out of Axminster towards Raymond Hill and the Dorset Border but a relatively quiet back road. Soon into Bridport looking for a chapel service but to no avail - had to settle for a Costa coffee. Did find a local Sunday Independent but not until much later found out it was a week old. Donations and a good chat from a London Family. Quiet roads out of Bridport heading towards Hardy’s monument. The heavens opened up before I reached the summit but I soon stopped it. I donned my foul weather gear. End of rain. A lovely downhill into Dorchester. A good flat ride on minor roads with a welcome tea break at Moreton. The home of Lawrence of Arabia. Into Wareham and with light fading onto Upton Poole to my son’s home. An excellent meal of beef and home grown veg. The storm that had been threatening then came with a vengeance and lasted through to the early hours.

Bad: The climbs, the big shower for over an hour, mid afternoon. Good: The views from Hardy’s monument, downhill ride to Dorchester, flat roads to Poole, Moreton Tea rooms.


I waited quite late before setting off again towards Bournemouth, Boscombe and Christchurch but a pleasant ride along the coast before heading inland to the New Forest. Signing then became a problem and I found myself on the A35. Not where I should be. But pressing on I came to civilisation to ask a lady “where am I?” - reply “Brockenhurst”. Eureka, exactly where I wanted to be. A hot chocolate brownie and Dorset cream and a pot of tea along with Elvis singing along - perfect. We were ready for a few more miles. Road ahead closed did not deter me as I sped on through the forest. Ever mindful of the time and thinking the ferry would stop at dusk there was no stopping. Arrived at 4/4-30 to be greeted that the last ferry did go at 9pm.

Ferry across and then difficulty in getting out of Southampton, found myself at Saints footy ground but got back on track despite a fall off the bike going up a slope and having to turn back on oneself; went flying but no damage. Into the dark at Netley. No room at the Inn not even a stable.

On towards Hamble and first set of shops, nothing here mensab, Southampton nearest. I was not going back. Right in the village now making enquiries. Yes says one man, The Compass, number on door to ring: no reply. Two people outside pub. They have some numbers inside. Left my phone charger in Teignmouth, had to use landlady’s - first try no good, full up. They then came to the rescue with The Farthings guest house - they could take me. Sorted. Up to house, unload, shower, back to pub for some welcome nosh. Enquiries as to what time the ferry left in the morning. Ranged from 8am to 9-30.

Bad: Lost bearings in Christchurch. Information to the rescue with local map; lost bearings in New Forest, falling off bike; lost bearings in Southampton. Difficulty in getting accommodation in Netley/Hamble.

Good: Seafront Poole, Bournemouth, Boscombe. The ride through the New Forest, despite bearing lost. The Ferry Hythe/Southampton. Finding digs in Hamble, the meal at the Victory Inn Hamble.


Good breakfast and conversation at The Farthings. Off at 8-15am to take a detour away from the ferry but had second thoughts and turned back to find the ferryman waiting. What time do you leave? What time do you want to leave? Half an hour ago. On board with a look-alike granddad from Fools and Horses and we were away across the water on delightful morning. Out of Warsash and met up with a gent cycling to Titchfield Conservation Park Haven.

Great ride to Lee on Solent, visited HMS Sultan Engineering School. Served there in 1969 and 1972. Onto Gosport - bought a phone charger on the street. Picked up some monies on the street for Cornwall Hospice Care.

Across the water, Gosport to Portsmouth followed by a pleasant ride to Southsea and on to the Hayling Island ferry. A pleasant ferry crossing and in conversation with the ferryman. Onto the Billy Way old rail line towards Havant. Route not well signed around Havant/Chichester. The wind was still blowing in a southwest direction and whilst proceeding on a legitimate pavement and going between two sign posts, a gust of wind caught me and I glanced my little finger against post and handlebar, bent the wedding ring as well; a shout of “Botheration!” went out and I was in some discomfort for a few miles. Got sorted with a change of kit and a plaster from the cafe where I stopped. On again to Bognor and Felpham and after a couple of enquiries found the Beachcroft Hotel right on the route. A very good meal and tiredness had caught up with me as I dropped off at the dining table for a couple of seconds and so off to bed.

Found out I could have ordered a packed lunch but it had to have been in by 9pm. Wrote a sob story of a letter to give to the Chef via reception offering to make the sandwiches myself. It worked; after breakfast a pack was waiting for me and I got them for nothing as my bill had already been prepared. The paper bag would come in handy (see next part of journey).

Bad: hurt finger, tiredness.

Good: The three ferry crossings, hot chocolate at Hayling, The Billy Way old rail line. Gosport High Street. Beachcroft Hotel, perfect location meal and packed lunch.


An early morning stroll along the beachfront, splendid sunrise – on to a newsagent for the papers. Haddock, toms and toast for brekkie. Got going at 8-45 but looking for signs instead of road numbers. Off track again somewhat but on track again after a few miles. Stopped at a place called Ferring, past Littlehampton. A delightful but busy cafe. Panic on leaving; could not find the mobile. Two ladies to my assistance but no joy. Where had I been? The toilet - no joy. Had it been handed in? Yes, deep deep joy. Pinchy buck up was the word.

On to Worthing and again a delightful sea front traffic-free ride heading towards Shoreham-on-Sea where I would alter course and head inland for the first time in 300 miles. Lack of directions found me down on a dog leg in Shoreham but found my way back after asking for directions. Back to the road bridge and onto the Airdrome road and eventually onto the Downs Link route. 40 miles of almost traffic-free along the old Shoreham to Guilford rail line. Storms the previous days had done their damage with appx 6/8 trees down but all passable after some difficulty. The afternoon was closing in when I met up with a young man (Charlie) from nearby Christ Station, near to Horsham. Into conversation with him and Guilford was my next stop. But on his advice it seemed that Horsham would be my evening port of call with a Travelodge being recommended by him. We bid farewell at Christ Station for my short ride into Horsham. After tying up the steed it was into The Lodge. Room was available. Where could the bike go safely and secure? Around the back in our open but closed circuit TV car park was the answer. Having looked around I wasn’t too happy but looked in one darkened corner under the fire escape - would have to do. Everything off the bike, panniers, tool bags, drink bottles, saddle, front wheel, pump and all travelling kit. Around the front, two trips into Reception, Room 117. Get there - room not serviced. Back to Reception to inform Dianne that chambermaid needs sacking. She checks room. Change of room to 207 next floor up. Again two trips. Dianne informs me it is a disabled room. I can limp as good as the rest. Excellent, spacious. A sit down shower - Bliss. For my troubles she gave me two packed breakfasts.

Italian meal in town bella, bella. Made myself known to the night man before retiring.

Hamble Ferry

Name of dog unknown!


Early night and up before the lark, lots to pack before getting going. Arrive at Reception at 6-15am with all kit. I (Nightman) will let you down the lift and you can go out the other door to the car park. He is with me; the lift door opens into a store, holding linen, with spacious room for my bike. Bruv, why could Dianne not allow me to put bike in here? Told him to tell her; next bike person here: this is the store for bike. So, so Simple. LOGIC. This is all about knowing everything about where you work.

Made the decision to get the train back to Christ Station. It would get me back on track (excuse the pun) quite quickly. I was soon at the Station and low and behold a Premier Inn right there. Why oh why did not Charlie tell me about this one? I would have taken the short hop last night as well. People just do not think enough. The train would take me and my bike at 7-12am. So half an hour to spare. Breakfast in the panniers, coffee available on the platform. Found myself on the up line with many commuters on the opposite side. Decided I would give them a rendering of ‘Sitting at a railway station, got a ticket for my destination’. Train arrives on time, back on track. Despite all the strong winds of the week this was the first long period of rain for the entire journey. It rained constantly from 6 am until 11 am. But I was fully covered and on this unused rail line and was eating up the miles.

Going along at a good pace when just ahead it looked like it was veering off the line and as I slowly went up hill, down and to my right the signs of a fenced off tunnel appeared. So it was over the top we had to go. A big call of nature then started to rumble. I had already passed a lady walking her dog and a man appeared with his almost on the summit of this tunnel. It was close to the Surrey/Sussex border. But we were in secluded woods and plenty of leaves afoot. It is not something I do on a regular basis, well not outside, but when you have got to go, you have got to go. The serviettes from breakfast and the packed lunch bag from the previous day came in handy. Getting back to the bike just a short distance away I proceeded on and all of a sudden, where were my glasses? In all the excitement they had fallen off at the scene and I had to retrace my steps to gather them.

A lengthy stop in Cranleigh. Cycle shop sorted out my saddle that had somehow worked loose. Another change of top clothing at the coffee stop. More fallen trees had to be tackled before I got my self into Guilford. Another pleasant surprise with a street entertainer blasting out some rock and roll. Could not resist a bit of clapping and bopping along to him. Now onto route 223 to Woking and Chertsey. Not well signed out of Guilford but got out eventually. Woking proved difficult and then onto Chertsey to pick up route 4 into Richmond. This proved difficult as well as I found myself going up river when I should have been going down. Decided then to take the roads to Hounslow and rolled into The Master Robert Hotel at 5-45pm in the dim and dark.

THE MASTER ROBERT: A great entrance and met by Abdul on the desk. Room allocated for the weekend. Gill to join me on the Friday. Got to the room to be greeted by a warm blast of air, heating full on, TV on. Tried to change channel and lost the picture, bang went Deal or No Deal. Bike panniers, shoe covers, leggings and back of jacket had taken a pounding during the day and were covered in mud. Only one thing for it, chuck it all in the bath and hose it down with the shower cap. Hung out to dry and into the bath we go. Then noticed a noise coming from outside. A blast from one of Richard Branson Virgins had the room trembling and landing tyre marks on the roof. That “nice” Mr Nice had billeted us at the end of Heathrow Runway. A good night’s sleep NOT guaranteed.

Into reception to report to Abdul about the TV before proceeding for dinner. It was like walking into the restaurant of the Mary Celeste. One lone man reading a book and somebody else out of sight. The bar didn’t have anything suitable for my real ale palate and had to settle for a Guinness. We only have cans sir with a widget to give it a head. Selecting prawn cocktail, gigot of lamb and testing Gill’s sweet for the following evening Knockerbockerglory. The prawn cocktail was superb, loads of prawns and plenty of bread. I was let down by the Lamb. I should have complained at the time but the veg that went with it was very good. On reflection it tasted like an old ram or as I further thought it was a descendant of the Master Robert himself (A grand national winner 1924). The KBG came up to expectations. Having paid my bill I then proceeded to Reception where Abdul informed me that the TV was up and running. Explaining to me about the two remote controls. I do believe he told me the opposite way around and with my first push of a button I lost the picture yet again.

Only one thing for it, an early night. Branson had given up flying around midnight and somehow I drifted off only to wake up at 2 am with the room assembling a Swedish sauna. The control on the heater had been removed. I managed to turn it with a pair of pliers I had, only to make things worse. The control on the wall did not seem to have any dial to turn and very reluctantly I dialled 0 for reception at 3 am. After 5 or 6 goes I finally got an answer. Jeremy was trying to explain what I had to do but it was like talking to a brick wall. He finally came up with an answer, Shall I come around? Yes please. Jeremy duly arrived in whistle and flute and dickey bow. I thought a bit over the top for nights. Straight in and turned down a thermostat half way up the wall which I could not see. All was then well with the heat. While you are here sort out the TV. Finally got that going but hardly any sound. It is now pushing 3-30 am, the heater kicks in at a lower temperature but what a racket, it was like a tractor starting up. We drifted off again until 4-40 am when Branson decides to land his first Virgin of the day followed by one every 10 mins. Sleep baby sleep, no chance.

Eric arrives at destination

I could not fault the breakfast but felt I needed a change of room. Vishal had taken over from Jeremy and I made a simple request: Could I have a room where I could hear the TV and not the heater?

8-10 am - wanting for me to wait around until 9 am for Joanna. Not an option - I was wanting to get going for my final leg to the Albert Hall and be back for lunchtime and an afternoon of rest. Pack your kit Mr Pinch and we will see what we can do. 8-45 am - yes all sorted you will be in room 5 on your return.

Main roads to Royal Albert Hall just 8 miles. Got there around 10-30/11 after a coffee break. Big emotion on sighting the RAH. Bigger emotion on sighting fellow Chorister Huw Phillips and a slight one when talking to Tiffany Truscott of Radio Cornwall. Photo call, coffee and then to proceed back to the hotel via the river. Took a little navigating to get to the river but then lost bearings and found I was going up river when wanting to go down. The afternoon was progressing as I passed Fulham Football Ground in the correct direction to be greeted by a tree down and workman erecting a fence to physically stop everyone. But out of the blue a young thing with a fold up cycle was between the fences asking for help. I got the bike over, she somehow clambered over the fence. Well you will not be the last to do that. Transpires a car was close by, she was a physio on another appointment. I could have done with her at that moment. A little detour back onto roads, met up with a fellow cyclist who lived in London but hailed from Budleigh Salterton. Onwards back to Hounslow arriving just before 5pm and even then beating the bus by a whisker.

The new room was acres better than the old one, TV on the wall, High bed, newly fitted Shower. I was well pleased. Evening meal with the choir was very good. My curry was excellent; those who had the Gigot said no complaints. I must just have had a rogue Lamb. Then invited to make an after dinner speech about my ride (I still have not been paid).

Off to bed with another early morning call 4-40 am.

SATURDAY 2ND NOV - 400 yards +

On the bus at 10-30, bike in the boot, dropped off 400 yards 2ft and 3 inches for a short pedal to RAH, photo call, lunch, rehearsal, dinner down in Knightsbridge with Gill, Dave Draper and Gosha.

The Concert was Awesome.

I can only say that “Eric Pinch felt 10 feet tall in the Royal Albert Hall”.

Back to Master Robert at midnight, a drink then off to bed. A little lie-in on Sunday 4-20am. Tea in bed with Gill at 5. Only one thing for it, get out on the bike for an hour before breakfast viewing Heathrow from a shorter distance. On the bus at 10-15 am, arrived back home at 4 pm.

What a cycle journey, what a concert. It will long live in the memory.

Gra’massy,” Onen hag Oll” Tereba nessa
Thank you One and All Till the next time

Eric “The Singing Cyclist” Pinch

If you would like a printable copy of Eric's original report, click here Eric Pinch's Report.

Item posted 5 December 2013

(Men of Cornwall Sing)

A massed male voice choir charity concert in aid of the RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care and the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal
2nd November 2013

After almost 3 years of planning and 2 years of rehearsals, a charity concert in aid of the RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care and the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal took place in the Royal Albert Hall, London on 2nd November. A massed male voice choir of 600 voices drawn from 25 member choirs and 2 associate member choirs of the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs, supported by Cornwall Cambiata, a 100 strong boys choir, the 70 strong Cornwall Youth Orchestra and an audience of over 4,000 raised the roof of the iconic venue on an evening that will live loud and long in the memories of all who were there.

Celebrating their 30th anniversary, this was the fourth time that The Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs had organised and presented a massed male voice choir charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall, the last time being in 2000 and in 1994 and 1988 before that. The Federation itself was formed after the pioneering initial concert held in 1983.

The Hall on the morning of 2 November
The first piano tuning of the day

Afternoon Rehearsal

Jonathan Delbridge at the Royal Albert Hall Organ
A comment, received from a member of the audience at the Royal Albert Hall, attempts to capture the essence of what was a truly remarkable evening of Cornish ‘hwyl’ and ‘hiraeth’ in a packed and pulsating venue:

“Saturday night was a triumph! The choirs looked and sounded splendid, the Bishop was in fine form and it was great to see young people involved in making music: a great showcase for them. I thought, too, the conductors were splendid. ... Choirs give a chance for people from all walks of life to be part of a greater whole. The dignity and sense of belonging they derive from that is invaluable."

The finale to the evening was, of course, the singing of Trelawny, when the massed choir, Cornwall Cambiata, the Cornwall Youth Orchestra and Jonathan Delbridge on the organ united with the audience in a wild and uninhibited celebration of Cornish passion and identity that even surprised the RAH staff present at the time. The Hall erupted in a flurry of Cornish flags and Cornish tartan as everyone stood to make their presence felt. However, this was just the icing on the cake of an evening that was full of highlights from beginning to end.

The programme presented by the massed male voice choir was divided into four sections with each section conducted by a local Cornish male voice choir musical director with their own accompanist. Stephen Lawry, Elaine Tangye, Judith Pinguey and Phil Taylor each brought their own stamp and style to the pieces they had chosen producing a programme of great variety and vitality. ‘Big’ male voice choir pieces such as ‘A Roman War Song’ and ‘Let There be Light’ sat alongside more modern pieces such as ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘You Raise Me Up’; songs from musical theatre such as ‘Bring Him Home’ and ‘With Cat-like Tread’ found themselves next to familiar Cornish classics like ‘Hail to the Homeland’ and ‘The White Rose’; there were songs of the sea, rousing spirituals (including ‘Ride the Chariot’ with a solo from Ted Pinguey of Newquay Male Voice Choir) and wonderful arrangements of religious music, ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ and ‘Deus Salutis’. And no one will ever forget the performance of Nessun Dorma that closed the first half of the concert.

Within this there were first class performances from the Federation’s young guest artistes. Cornwall Cambiata, a choir for boys whose voices are changing and drawn form a range of Cornish Secondary Schools, led by Angela Renshaw and supported by well known Cornish instrumentalists, Dalla, sang 5 pieces ranging from the hauntingly evocative ‘Estren (The Stranger)/Belong to be’ to the well known folk ballad ‘Cousin Jack’. Their programme also included the premier of a piece composed by Russell Pascoe, ‘Kernow Bys Vikken. The enthusiasm and commitment of the boys, nurtured by the teachers who support Angela, bodes well for the future of male choral singing within the Duchy. Some mention should also be made of Angus Webster, the 14 year-old accompanist of Cornwall Cambiata. Angus is an exciting musical prospect who now holds the accolade of being the youngest person to be permitted to play the great Royal Albert Hall organ.

The second half of the concert began with a performance of Wagner’s ‘Meistersinger Overture’ by the Cornwall Youth Orchestra. This very appropriately titled piece was selected and conducted by Tim Boulton who also conducted the ‘Four Cornish Dances’ played by the orchestra later in the programme before bringing orchestra and choir together in a performance of Verdi’s ‘Speed Your Journey’ that proved to be something of a show stopper. A chorister commented afterwards, It will never quite be the same singing this with just a piano accompaniment in the future. The quality of the performance of the orchestra was something to take one’s breath away and belied the age of the musicians drawn from the schools of Cornwall. Their playing brought a different and exciting dimension to the evening that considerably enhanced the experience offered to the audience. As if all this was not enough, Jonathan Delbridge played the organ for a number of massed choir pieces and presented his own solo, ‘Theme and Variations on Trelawny’.

And what of the Bishop? The Rt Revd Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro, compered the evening in what was a masterclass of how to engage with a large audience while maintaining interest and flow, especially during times of quite complex transition within the programme.

So, thank you to all those who supported the Federation in this adventure, whether participant or supporter. Without you it just would not have been the same! But now it is all over and the choristers have gone back to their individual choirs with memories that will last a life time and that will form the subject of much yarning as they meet one another in years to come. You see, for most choirs the Royal Albert Hall concert was part, albeit the central part, of a ‘weekend away’ with friends and supporters. Something summed up with the comments below:

"What can I say? A fantastic weekend of music, friendship and enjoyment! Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way to such a wonderful and memorable weekend. Here's to the next time - if I'm not too old then!!"

“Thanks for including us in this wonderful weekend. Sitting outside the Coach and Horses on Sunday, caught up in the throng of singers, made me recall the pleasure I used to get from being in a choir. As soon as I retire ... I must get involved again: the experience is so uplifting and positive.”

The evening will be captured on a CD to be produced by PM Sound and available in the New Year (details are available on this website -go to the Home page) but nothing can substitute for what one supporter summed up as ‘the real thing’.

I leave the final word to one of the choristers who sang in the massed male voice choir:

"A year ago I could not have dreamt that I would be involved in that amazing concert at the Albert Hall. Everyone in the Choir has been so welcoming and supportive to me and I will never forget being part of that evening and at present I cannot get it out of my head. The sight of all those Cornish flags when we sang Trelawny was very moving. My wife knew it would be brilliant, but it far exceeded her expectations. She said the contrasts between the immense power through to really sweet sounding quieter bits were fantastic. Apparently she cried in about 4 of the songs, much to my daughter's embarrassment!"

What next for the Federation? Watch this space as we begin to make plans for a big event west of the Tamar in 2015!

Jim Christophers (Publicity Officer, Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs)

Item posted 13 November 2013

KERNOWYON A GAN (Men of Cornwall Sing!)

The Federation's fantastic weekend in London will live long in the memory of all those who were there. Already we are receiving people's enthusiastic messages after the concert, and also a few queries, such as 'Will there be a CD?' The answer is yes; see below.

Watch this space - more will be added to this section in the next few days. It will take a while before we know how much we have raised for our 3 concert charities, Cornwall Hospice Care, BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal and the RNLI - and we look forward to hearing from Eric Pinch, the Singing Cyclist! Information will be added to this site as it becomes available.

Terry Hodge, Chairman, gives a vote of thanks before the close of the concert.

A CD RECORDED AT THE CONCERT will become available in the New Year. Click on this box for an Order Form: CD Order Form

YOUTUBE CLIP of the glorious final moments of the concert, with Cornish flag waving, the great sound of the organ and the joyous singing of Trelawny by everyone in the house: Trelawny at the RAH Concert

YOUTUBE: Recording made by Allan Bishop (see Comments) of 'Bring Him Home' from 'Les Miserables':
Bring Him Home at the RAH Concert


"I attended the Concert at the RAH this year to watch my father (Phil Bishop, Burraton MVC) sing. It was an amazing evening and the Massed Choirs knocked my socks off!!"
Allan Bishop

"I know that the Hall thoroughly enjoyed having the CFMVC here – the Duty Manager and Chief Steward commented how lovely and appreciative the audience were."
RAH Staff

"I know how much work the Committee put into the planning. I thought the massed choirs' management was excellent – they all knew what they were doing and when - and that takes something! I thoroughly enjoyed the bits of the concert I saw/heard on the monitors".
Shuki Sen – Senior manager RAH

"Many thanks for the wonderful weekend with the Choir. The trip went extremely well which was a testament to your thorough organisation - you did a fantastic job and we all enjoyed a brilliant concert at the RAH!"

"What can we say except huge thank you to all choirs and wives, great support - fantastic organisation and terrific company, great concert and hotel sing! Thanks. Take a bow!"

"Thank you so much for a wonderful weekend. I know from experience that for an event to go so well, it is as a result of the hard work and dedication of a few people! It was great to meet everyone, including some of the Trelawny contingent! From the accommodation to the Royal Albert Hall Concert and the trip down the Thames to Greenwich it was truly amazing and I will remember it for a long time. Best wishes to "One and All"!"

"Congratulations on the Printed programme. It really is excellent. At Federation meetings, etc, I noted your sincere acknowlegements to others - but somebody has to hold it all together. Brilliant. Well done!"

"Thanks for including us in this wonderful weekend. Sitting outside the Coach and Horses on Sunday, caught up in the throng of singers, made me recall the pleasure I used to get from being in a choir. As soon as I retire ... I must get involved again: the experience is so uplifting and positive.
Saturday night was a triumph! The choirs looked splendid, the bishop was in fine form and it was great to see young people involved in making music: a great showcase for them. I thought, too, the conductors were splendid. ... Choirs give a chance for people from all walks of life to be part of a greater whole. The dignity and sense of belonging they derive form that is invaluable."

"We would like to express our appreciation for all the hard work you put in to make the weekend the success it undoubtedly was. I understand the complexities perhaps more than most people. Thanks also for allowing us "furriners" onto your bus. Job well done!"

"Thank you for a great trip. It was great and Saturday evening was out of this world! The organisation was fantastic, as were the Buses and their drivers who both did a sterling job over the three days."

"Thank you for organising such a memorable weekend. Keep us posted on your concerts."

"What can I say? A fantastic weekend of music, friendship and enjoyment! Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way to such a wonderful and memorable weekend. Here's to the next time - if I'm not too old then!!"

"Just a quick line to say how much we enjoyed the Cornish Male Voice Choir concert last week end; it was wonderful. We also very much enjoyed the boat trip up the Thames".

Items posted 06/11/2013

"What a fantastic weekend! Not sure who enjoyed it the most, us or the audience, when are we doing the next one?!"
David Draper, Tamar Valley MVC

"Thanks to all you wonderful people who worked so hard to create what I am sure you already know was a truly superb evening at the RAH on Saturday.
Quite remarkable - thank you all so very very much!"

"A year ago I could not have dreamt that I would be involved in that amazing concert at the Albert Hall. Everyone in the Choir has been so nice and supportive to me and I will never forget being part of that evening and at present I cannot get it out of my head. The sight of all those Cornish flags when we sang Trelawny was very moving.
My wife knew it would be brilliant, but it far exceeded her expectations. She said the contrasts between the immense power through to really sweet sounding quieter bits were fantastic. Apparently she cried in about 4 of the songs, much to my daughter's embarrassment!"

"Thank you to all the conducting and non-conducting teams for all they've done to give us such a memorable experience - over the year and yesterday. Greatly enjoyed - and a treasured memory."

"All ... who came thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Those [choristers] who had not done it before were, in the modern idiom, "blown away with the experience"! It was a magnificent evening. Well done for a great achievement!"
John Larke, City of Truro

"I do not think that I have come down to earth completely yet!"
Phil Taylor, MD for Burraton MVC and Conductor of final section of the RAH Concert

Comments posted 05/11/2013

Eric Pinch, Singing Cyclist, arrives at the RAH

Cornish flag waving!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD YOUR COMMENTS, MESSAGES OR PHOTOS for this webpage please send them to the Secretary, Linda Jones, at: linda@fed-cornishchoirs.org.uk , tel: 01726 61180.

Eric Pinch, the Singing Cyclist, with singers and supporters
outside the Royal Albert Hall

View from the Choir during Interval

Main Item first posted 05/11/2013

David Wherry, 1936-2013, member of Loveny MVC

David Wherry
The whole Loveny Family was hugely saddened when, following a protracted illness, our President David Wherry was called home on Thursday 19 September, surrounded, as always, by his own family.

David was born in Millpool, adjacent to the Chapel and he and his family have always been staunch members of that community.

But it was as a valued bass chorister that we in the Loveny Choir knew him best. He may not have been a Founder Member in the strict sense of the word, but in fact he was at the very beginnings of the Choir, and as much as anyone, took an active part in laying the foundations which saw the infant Loveny rising from being an ambitious dream of a few local men, to become one of the great choirs of Cornwall.

David was a tireless worker on behalf of his Choir, and that was reflected early on when, at the AGM of 1980, he was unanimously voted in as Choir Chairman, a post he held for several years. It was under his Chairmanship that Loveny really came of age, spreading its wings to carry the 'Loveny Sound' to even wider audiences. From the familiar venues on and around Bodmin Moor, suddenly places as varied as Tintagel, Falmouth, Truro and Penzance featured on our concert calendar.

It was largely through David's hard work and enthusiasm that during his first year in office we boarded a magnificent coach to travel all the way to Wales where we were the guests of Tonna Choir from the Vale of Neath. Since then the choir has travelled widely across the Tamar into England as well as Wales and across the channel into Brittany, Holland, Malta and Italy.

From little acorns mighty oaks do grow - David's untiring efforts in Loveny's infancy lead us all to the position we now find ourselves in and the Loveny choristers will always owe him a great debt of gratitude.

Sent by Jack Roberts, Loveny MVC
Item posted 25/10/2013

Here we go, here we go, here we go!

Eric, the singing cyclist!

Ready for the off with "Tufty" up front and "Tamar Tom" as rear gun lookout.
The Cornish flag with The Tamar Valley Choir pennant and other flags in descending order!

Eric Pinch, the singing cyclist from Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir, making his preparations to set off this Friday for the start of his marathon charity cycle ride to the Royal Albert Hall where he will sing for the Federation's massed male voice choir charity concert on 2nd November.

Eric is seeking sponsorship, in aid of the three beneficiaries of the concert, the RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care and the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal. Sponsorship donations can be made via member choirs or the Federation.

Good luck, Eric. We will ensure that you have a soft seat on the stage!

Item posted 23/10/2013

Cornwall County Council send you all their good wishes!

Item posted 23/10/2013

on 2 November 2013

On Sunday 13 October the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs held their last rehearsal in the county in preparation for the massed choir concert at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 2 November. The Methodist Church at Redruth resounded with the voices of nearly 600 men, accompanied by the glorious sound of the church's organ, played by Jonathan Delbridge. All of the Federation choirs of Cornwall were represented, and the two Associate Members who are also taking part in this wonderful concert - Newton St Petrock MVC had travelled from Devon and Bois Goetre-hen a'r Cylch MC had journeyed from Wales. Each of the four Musical Directors took the massed choir through their parts of the programme - Stephen Lawry, Elaine Tangye and Judith Pinguey - the last section being taken by Phil Taylor who, with great gusto, rallied the men into giving their all for the final piece.

To see more photos click: ADDITIONAL PHOTOS

Item posted 14/10/2013


Massed male voice choir charity concert in aid of RNLI, Cornwall Hospice Care and the BBC Radio Cornwall Appeal
to be held at the Royal Albert Hall, London on 2nd November 2013, 7.30pm

Poster design created and kindly donated by Asami Matsufuji
After more than two years of planning and over twelve months of practices the date of this magnificent charity event is almost here.

The 600+ voices of the massed choir of the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs meet for their final practice at 1.30pm in Redruth Methodist Church on 13th October. The atmosphere will be full of excitement and anticipation as MDs, Stephen Lawry, Elaine Tangye, Judith Pinguey and Phil Taylor, with accompanists, Annette Turton, George Smith, Chris Bennett and Elizabeth Sidebotham, rehearse the full choir for one last time. In some pieces organist, Jonathan Delbridge, will add another dimension to the power of the wall of sound produced by the choir in what will be an experience that all present are sure to remember for years to come – and all this even before setting foot in the Royal Albert Hall itself.

This concert celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Federation and it is 13 years since the Federation last organised such an event. However, for some choir members it will be the fifth time that they have sung in a massed male voice choir at the Royal Albert Hall and it is true to say that they are as excited and enthusiastic now as they were when they first went there in 1983. Other choristers will be making their first appearance and, while many stories of previous concerts have been shared during practices, there is nothing that can really prepare anyone going for the first time for the experience that awaits them in a packed, pulsating Royal Albert Hall.

On this occasion the massed choir has as its guest artistes Cornwall Cambiata and the Cornwall Youth Orchestra, under the direction of Angela Renshaw and Tim Boulton respectively. Also, well known Cornish group, Dala, will be bringing their own energy and musicianship to some of the Cambiata pieces.

One highlight of the evening will certainly be the performance of ‘Speed Your Journey’ (Verdi’s famous chorus from Nabucco), with the Cornwall Youth Orchestra accompanying the massed choir. However, there is no doubt that ‘Trelawny’ will bring the house down with all the performers and the audience of over 4,000 joining together in an emotional, full-blooded finale. This in itself will be something not to be missed.

All in all then one can quickly see that this concert is going to be something of a celebration of all that is good about the quality and passion of music in Cornwall, right in the middle of London! Youth and ‘experience’ will be brought together to present a programme of huge variety and vitality.

For most choirs and their SWAPs (supporters, wives and partners) the concert at the Royal Albert Hall forms part of a social ‘weekend away’ including concerts at venues on the way up and/or on the way back, shopping excursions, trips to historic landmarks and even evenings out at West End shows. Thousands will be travelling by coach to and from London so those on the M5 and M4 on either Friday or Sunday should look out for impromptu ‘flash’ performances in service stations as coach parties take a ‘comfort break’ and choirs find themselves at the same place at the same time.

For a number of weeks now the concert has been a sell-out with all the 3,500 tickets initially available to the Federation being sold. However, something over 500 stall and box seats are owned by debenture holders. While some owners of these seats will attend the concert, a number will return their tickets, thereby freeing up their seats. These seats are now becoming available to the public via the Royal Albert Hall box office (0845 401 5034 or via the RAH website). Some may be interested in upgrading the tickets they have already purchased. This can be done by contacting the box office and, subject to availability, can even be done on the day.

Sent by Jim Christophers, Publicity Officer, CFMVC
Item posted 2/10/2013


At Treverva Male Voice Choir's Concert at Princess Pavilion on Monday 16 September, presentations were made by Choir President Mike Varney, honouring the long service of four choristers who between them have around 120 years of singing with Treverva. Michael O’Hara and Mickey Norman received badges for 35 years, Melvyn Hocking and Barry Norman for 25 years. At the time they joined, it was a larger choir and the average age much lower than today. However, we are very encouraged by the new members who have joined us since we moved our base to Penryn following the closure of our long-term home at Treverva Chapel. We welcome new members, young and not so young, in all sections.

Practices are on Mondays from 7.30-9.30pm at The Space, Penryn's Community Centre at Penryn Rugby Club. If you want to see whether joining the Choir is for you, why not come along? You can contact Choir Secretary, Ann Trudgen 01326 210444 or email: ann.trevervachoir@hotmail.co.uk.

left-right: Barry Norman(25 years), Melvyn Hocking (25 years), Mike Varney (President), Mickey Norman (35 years), Michael O’Hara (35 years).

Sent by John Barraclough, Treverva MVC
Item posted 19/09/2013

Mike Steer, Musical Director of City of Truro MC


City of Truro Male Choir is delighted to introduce their new Musical Director, Mike Steer.

Mike obtained his Bachelor of Music degree from Cardiff University in 1985. This was followed by his PGCE from Homerton College, Cambridge a year later. He completed his MA from Cardiff University in 2001. His teaching career has led him over the country, firstly to Penrice School, St Austell where he was Head of Music, Creative Arts and Head of Year, Malton School, North Yorkshire as Head of Music, Nailsea in Somerset and finally to his current posts as Music Teacher at Hayle Community School and Truro High School.

Outside of teaching, Mike’s music has equally been varied commencing singing with Jesus College Cambridge, Associate Conductor of Neath Male Voice Choir, Choir Master of Mevagissey URC and St Sampson, Golant. His Bass voice has resonated with Cantorion Dewi Sant Touring Choir and for the last eight years with Truro Cathedral Choir.

Mike is married to Jill, with one son Tom, and enjoys rugby, volleyball and cricket. His tastes in music are wide and varied from the classical to the musical, from folk song to the pop song. He likes to challenge and innovate and feels that we have a responsibility to pass on our love of singing to the next generation.

Sent by Simon Bromage, City of Truro MC
Item posted 10/09/2013


Mousehole Male Voice Choir's 81st Summer Festival Concert in St Mary's Church, Penzance on Sunday, 4th August, was a night of musical triumph and, despite heavy rain, played to a capacity audience which gave the choir a lengthy standing ovation at the end. Demands for more were met with a moving performance of The Lord's Prayer before the choir finally left the stage.

Musical Director Stephen Lawry had chosen a widely varying programme which included a setting in Cornish of The White Rose and several other new pieces which have been introduced to the repertoire especially for this concert. The composer, Tony Cliff, was in the audience for the very first public performance of his new piece, the Mermaid Of Zennor. This year's special guest was the Soprano Jennifer Rust, who had travelled from Manchester especially for this concert and returned home with a basket of assorted Cornish goodies presented by Tim James, the Choir Secretary. Jennifer has a versatile voice which is heard frequently on Classic FM and enables her to move comfortably from oratorio to opera and the concert stage. Her performance enthralled the audience and they would not let her go without an encore. Throughout her programme she had the support of the choir's very talented Accompanist, Annette Turton, who deserves a 'Wonder Woman' costume for her skill. There were moments when the choir showed the vocal power of its large membership and John Harry, who was the choir's Accompanist for 22 years before retiring, provided back-up on the church's recently installed computer-controlled organ.

Mousehole Male Voice Choir is noted for the loyalty of its members and for being a mutually supportive fellowship. Sixty years of membership have been recorded in the past, sadly for men who are now singing in the heavenly choir; there are present members with 50 years of service and Tenor Greg Williams has joined those with 40 years of service, an occasion marked by the Choir President, Revd Julyan Drew, with the award of a 40-year lapel badge. A 20-year lapel badge was awarded to Bass, Trevor Walker, and 10-year badges to Baritones Roy Eddy and Charles Law, who is also the Choir Chairman.

After the concert, the choir members and Jennifer transferred to The Bath Inn where the singing continued until nearly midnight to the delight of the other customers in the pub. Despite all of this, the weekly rehearsal was held on Monday evening because the choir has a full diary of engagements into 2014 and beyond. On the Tuesday afternoon, the choir sang at the funeral of the Revd Canon Harvey Pentreath who was formerly their President for many years; in the morning, members of the choir attended the funeral of Bill Ward who, for several years, was the Choir Chairman.

Soprano, Jennifer Rust
and Choir Secretary, Tim James

Sent by Trevor Walker, Mousehole MVC
Item posted 17/08/2013


A new Song Book has been compiled by members of Nankersey Male Choir. The Song Book contains 51 well known songs and hymns and is intended to be used on informal occasions (possibly with a pint in hand!) whenever choir members get together for a sing song outside of concert "conditions". It is also intended to act as an aide memoire for those who find themselves at a loss to join in because the words are either unknown or temporarily forgotten! Thanks to everyone who has helped in the compilation.

We are pricing the Song Book competitively at £2.50 only and this must represent good value as it is handily sized for placing in a jacket pocket and the cover is laminated for durability. The Song Book is dedicated to Nankersey's 12 founder members and a photograph of those worthy gentlemen appears in the book.

Choir members within the Federation qualify for this bargain price provided the song book(s) can be delivered by hand (at a Federation meeting for instance) or song books may be obtained for £3.50 by post. Anyone who is interested in obtaining a copy or copies should please get in touch with Fred Bidgood, tel: 01326 373984;
e-mail: familybidgood@hotmail.co.uk

Sent by Fred Bidgood, Nankersey MC


We have received an update on a previous news item, with revised contact details. Truro Cathedral Old Choristers Association is open to ex-choristers from any Cathedral. There may be old choristers who are not aware they would be eligible to join the Association and some may be singing in Cornish male voice choirs. Once a year, usually the third Saturday in September, members of the Association sing Evensong in the Cathedral with the present choir, followed by a dinner.

If there are any people who used to sing with any Cathedral choir the Association would like to welcome them to join in.

Please contact The Association's Chairman, Andrew Pool email: office@andrewpool.co.uk, or write to him, c/o Truro Cathedral Office, 14 St Mary's Street, Truro TR1 2AF. Or if anyone would like a quiet word, just phone Andrew on (01326) 374433.

Sent by Andrew Pool, Nankersey MC


Cat Laminates, a small business run by Trevor Walker of Mousehole MVC, produces a variety of small gifts which can be personalised with the name of your choir and can include an illustration, provided by you. There is a variety of items available, including jotters, self stick notes, gift cards and fridge magnets; each can bear the logo of your choir and a photo or illustration. These are souvenirs that you may wish to sell at your concerts or other events in order to raise funds. The items can be purchased in sets of 50 and are offered at reduced rates for Federation members. For more information contact Trevor Walker, email: twpzchoral1@btconnect.com or tel: (01736) 731096.

sample souvenir Sample cover page of a Self-Stick Notes pad


Neil Shepherd, MD of “Laudate!” and also a qualified travel agent and tour operator has kindly offered suggestions and advice to choirs planning tours.

This item first posted June 2009 and retained for reference. Click on the link below.


This page last updated: 18 August 2014 - Linda Jones