Beverley Festival, 10th December 2017
Our annual opportunity to support our Town by singing at the Festival. A full church for our share of the proceedings and the streets of Beverley thronged with, apparently, up to 50,000 visitors. We always enjoy this very relaxed event and the enthusiastic participation of the audience.
Concert at Brough Golf Course, 8th December 2017
Our third Christmas concert in Brough and again very much enjoyed by us and, apparently, by the golfers. A mixture of regular and festive songs with very vigorous audience participation.
There were mince pies and mulled wine and a jolly festive atmosphere.
There was “An African Prayer” and “African Noel” for the especial nostalgia of South African club steward Wes.
There were Hughie and Wilx hilariously misguiding the audience through “12 Days of Christmas”, which was slightly disrupted when, as our MC pointed out, every time we got to “Four”, all the golfers hit the deck and spilled their drinks.
There was Pat Cave on piano again, snuggled cosily with her keyboard beneath the boughs of a massive Christmas tree.
Harry Burton, 1934-2017
It is with much sadness that we learned of the death of our old friend and fellow chorister Harry Burton. Harry was one of the hardest-working members of our choir, having served us as Baritone, President, Patrons Coordinator and a very effective Public Relations Officer. In his 84th year and just 5 months after celebrating his Golden Wedding Anniversary, Harry finally succumbed to the cancer with which he had been battling for quite some time.
Harry was also our link man with our sponsors, the Beverley Lions Club, also recruiting many Lions as Patrons and ensuring their support at regular concerts, specifically the annual concert in Beverley Memorial Hall for Lions’ Charities. Though quite ill, he had announced his intention to try to join the choir on stage for a few songs at the most recent of these on 19th November. It was sadly not be, as he was in hospital by then and died just five days after it.
It is perhaps typical of Harry that in a phone call from hospital to a choir member just three days before his death, he was concerned that the switching on of the Christmas lights in Beverley should take place without any hitches. Being a master electrician, he had been involved with the event for 20 years. He was also keen to check that arrangements for the annual BMVC/Beverley Lions carol singing in Tesco on 12th December were in place!
The funeral was at Haltemprice Crematorium on Thursday 7th December and a packed chapel bore witness to the very high regard in which various sections of the community held Harry. A good turnout from the choir sang Gwa Hoddhiad and Cwm Rhondda, for which the ever-organised Harry had left his final request of his choir.
We shall very much miss Harry and our thoughts are very much with Jean and her very strong and supportive family at this sad time.
Concert for Bridlington Rotary Club, 1st December 2017
A concert in St John Burlington Methodist Church, Bridlington, to raise funds for the Bridlington Rotarians on behalf of St Catherine’s Hospice. We were joined and out-charmed by the very talented children of The Choir of Quay Academy, who sang out strong and loud with great musicality and enthusiasm under the inspirational direction of their Musical Director Tim Wilson.
The concert was a part of the Festival of Christmas Trees and there was a very good audience turn-out … lots of parents with cameras, who probably turned out on a cold and slushy December evening just to watch the Beverley Male Voice Choir!!
Pianist Emily was unavailable and Pat Cave again turned out for us – again returning from her notional retirement.
(Click photos to enlarge and again for full screen)
We wonder whether any of the boys in the children’s choir were looking round at us and reflecting that if they play their cards right they could still be enjoying their singing just as much in another half century (or more).
Concert for Beverley Lions’ Club, 18th November
Our annual Concert in the Memorial Hall for Beverley Lions’ Charities. A little too early this year for our usual Community Carols, but the audience were still invited to join in with “Songs of the First World War” – and did so with great gusto and humour.
The guest artiste was Alice Kitchings, a singing student of MD Liz Wilson. She sang us five songs, including songs from “Anastasia” and “My Fair Lady”. The audience clearly much appreciated the fun and sparkle Alice brought to the proceedings.
Pianist Emily being otherwise occupied, now reserve Pat Cave stepped into the breach. Always good to see her back with us.
Sad to report, one of our members, John Burt, became ill during the concert and was taken to hospital. We are glad to say though that by the next morning he was well on the road to recovery. We wish John and Val well and very much look forward to John’s return to our ranks.
Wedding in Hornsea of Emma and Kristan Webb, 17th November
A delightful wedding in Hornsea’s United Reformed Church. The choir enjoyed joining the guests in the hymns – “One More Step Along the World I Go”, “Morning Has Broken” and “Lead us Heavenly Father. ”
In keeping with the “Disney theme” of the wedding, the choir sang “Can You Feel the Love” from Lion King and the bride left the church to the strains of Mickey Mouse’s “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah”.
We thank the happy bride and groom for the pleasure of singing for them and send them all our very best wishes for their future together.
Joint Concert with the Seer Green Singers, 27th October
A most enjoyable visit by our new friends from the South! An excellent selection of songs by Seer Green (Buckinghamshire), enthusiastically led by MD Jane Smith, gave much pleasure to both an appreciative audience and to the home choir members. There was even some vigorous and refreshing choreography in the execution of “Bring me Sunshine” and “Always look on the Bright Side of Life”. We could do that too! Couldn’t we? Erm…
The evening had something of an international flavour, with BMVC singing in French and Xhosa, Seer Green in Italian, Latin and Russian. The joint songs of the finale, a love song, “Yesterday” and a patriotic one, “Anthem” were passionately delivered and very well received.
Tom Danter again stepped in at the last minute as Choir Marshal, with his usual unruffled organisational skill, Mel Watson having needed to send his apologies at the last moment due to Rita being unwell. We wish her a speedy recovery.
The concert was followed by our usual “afterglow” in Beverley’s Conservative Club, with a light buffet and exchange of banter and presents.
Yet again, all four principals, Liz, Emily, Jane and Kerry-Anne stole the show from the male majority! They were better-looking too. Jane emailed: “Many thanks for a wonderful evening last night. My guys had a great time, and your hospitality was very generous”.
This was Chairman Terry Lynn’s first major venture and he cannot fail to be pleased with how well it went.
One sad aspect of the evening was that we were saying farewell to one of our most popular members, first tenor George Birch, who is emigrating to the West Riding of Yorkshire. We wish George all the very best for the future and hope he will call in to rehearsal if ever he finds himself in Beverley on a Monday evening.
Choir Annual Dinner, 7th October
At Cave Castle Hotel, South Cave, and a great success. The evening, very efficiently organised by Chairman Terry Lynn, was well attended and the meal and service were excellent. Also very popular was the after-dinner speaker, Chris Whitfield, who regaled us all with some of his hilarious tales of farming life in Wetwang and area. President Kate Andrews emailed:
” Terry, what a splendid choir event! Thank you for organising everything. Those who did not attend will soon get to know just what they missed! A special evening.”
Photos courtesy of Nigel Clarke. Click on individual photos to view then click again to see full screen.
Concert in Goole Parish Church, 29th September
Our annual concert in Goole. A good turnout as usual, choir and audience, and some grand solo singing from Chris Szafran.
Wedding in North Cave, 23rd September
The delightful wedding in All Saints Church, North Cave, of Helen Kite and David Dawson. Conducted by vicar and BMVC friend Rev. Barry Worsdale, and therefore full of fun and warmth.
We have sung at North Cave Church on 4 occasions over the past two years and it is always a great pleasure. To sing at the happy occasion of this lovely bride and her handsome groom was indeed a joy.
Hornsea Lions Concert, 8th September
A successful concert in aid of Hornsea Lions charities. Solos were by Chris Szafran (accompanied by Pat Cave, out of retirement for the evening) and Liz Wilson (accompanied by Emily). In attendance were President Kate Andrews and VC Paul Camm. Mel Watson was MC, who displayed his usual charm and humour.
An impressively hirsute past-President Andrew Eastwood was also present in his capacity as consort to the Driffield Mayor, Anne Willis.
Choir Wives Evening, 4th September
New President Kate Andrew kindly invited the choir wives to a gathering at Lucia’s Italian restaurant in Beverley. The evening went down very well and Kate’s generosity was very much appreciate by all of the wives who attended.
Friday,11th August – Choir Social
Our Annual event for the general amusement of ourselves and our Patrons. After a successful “Afterglow” in Beverley’s Conservative Club in June we decided to use the venue again and the staff again looked after us very well indeed.
The event was again organised superbly by Linda and Chris Szafran with technical and other assistance from Nigel Clarke.
Love songs to guitar accompaniment – Malcolm Mathias.
Bagpipe solo – Nick Hart.
Comedy Musical – Martyn Mellodew and assistants.
Magic – Ray Burrell.
Comedy songs – Nigel Clarke.
Comedy Sketch – Peter Goonan and David Cross.
Comedy songs – Bernard Norris and Colin Stow.
Gravity-defying contortions – Steve Watts.
Chris of course did lots of delightful singing and we were delighted that Pat Cave returned from retirement to accompany him.
A few words of appreciation were expressed by Kate Andrews on this her first occasion as our President.
Tuesday, 1st August
The choir sang at Tickton Grange on the occasion of the Civic Dinner hosted by Beverley’s new mayor, Cllr Anne Willis. The occasion being Yorkshire Day, we were happy to sing “A Yorkshire Mixture” and, among others, the Mayor’s request, the “Hippopotamus Song”. The move from the bar to the dining room by the guests having taken place a little later than anticipated, audience participation in the latter was rather more enthusiastic than is usual.
Beverley Town Council being generous sponsors of our choir, we were happy to provide our services fee-free for the Mayor’s event.
Monday, 31st July –AGM-and the handover of President and Chairman.
Andrew Eastwood said how much he had enjoyed his term as President and the choir expressed their appreciation for all that he has done to help keep the Choir in the public eye and to host our various dignitaries at concerts. He expressed the gratitude of his chosen charity, Hornsea Inshore Rescue, for the funds we produced for them, £1640, at our joint concert in June.
He was presented with a “Past President” badge, which bestows upon him the status also of Honorary Life Member.
Andrew handed over to Kate Andrews who in turn handed over the Vice President badge to Paul Camm who, with wife Kathy, is a Patron of the Choir and has strongly supported us over the years.
Kate has been a stalwart Vice President over the past two years and she expressed her desire to work closely with choir wives, our most important supporters and critics. She immediately invited all wives to a social get-together in a local restaurant on 4th September. It is understood that wives’ response has been enthusiastic.
Peter Goonan handed over as Chairman to Terry Lynn, who in turn was pleased to welcome David Cross as his deputy. Terry announced his intention to step up recruiting and urged members to approach any singing friends they might have. He also exhorted them to make regular use of the recordings produced for them by Nigel to ensure we continue always to sing without needing to hold copy in front of us at concerts.
David will also assist Peter in his new post as Website Administrator.
The Choir kindly presented Peter with two handsome whiskey tumblers to mark the end of his two years as Chairman.
Steve Horner was appointed PRO, the post having been relinquished by Harry Burton after years of sterling work. Harry remains a choir member, though ill health has led him to surrender, with much reluctance, this Committee post.
Saturday 22nd July
Our second trip out in two days and at 36 members a concert it would be hard to fault commitment. It would however be easy to feel sympathy for those members who missed this concert as guests of the highly-acclaimed East Yorkshire Motor Services Brass Band, under the baton of their Danish conductor, Stig Maersk – Liz Wilson being back with us from her sickbed and even managing a soprano solo with her usual aplomb!
It was generally agreed that the brass and voices made for a very balanced and contrasting mix. The audience clearly thought so and there was a standing ovation after the finale – the Band and Choir combining for the very rousing “Battle Hymn of the Republic”.
The EYMS band is acknowledged as one of the top Brass Bands in the world. It is easy to see why and we felt honoured to be invited as their guests.
The concert took place in the newly-dedicated Hull Minster, currently undergoing extensive building work, one result of which was the leaking onto some band and choir members of water trickling through the roof. We have in our repertoire a song called “Wade in the Water”. If we’d known we would have included it!
Friday 21st July
Our first concert with our new accompanist, Emily Blackridge, and those who were at the concert I’m sure will agree we have found a star. What a great relief after losing to retirement our Pat Cave after so many very successful years. After only three rehearsals, Emily also has become an integral and very popular member of the choir with seemingly little effort (apart from the mere fact that she has clearly been practicing her socks off at home while also holding down a day job). Well done, Em.
The concert was for the Rotary Club of South Cave and Wolds in support of their Operation Freetown, the aim being to provide an operating theatre in Sierra Leone’s only public hospital (to serve a population of about 7 million!).
We are delighted to note that the concert raised over £700 for this worthy cause. Hats off also to our ever-supportive wives and Patrons – 26 of them – whose ticket purchases helped significantly.
Liz Wilson was unwell and Nigel Clarke again proved how lucky we are, and she is, to have such a very able deputy.
8th July, Wedding of Bill Waddington and Nikki
The choir turned out in force for the wedding of Bill and Nikki in the beautiful All Saints Church in Hessle. It was a special occasion for us as Bill is an old friend of the choir and technically a member. He came to a few rehearsals a while ago and then took a ten-year sabbatical! He is a fine bass and we very much look forward to his return. Bill is a very busy and senior local solicitor who has been described as “spreading himself a bit thin” Nevertheless, he should have time for us now that he is no longer darning his own socks. Our very best wishes go with our lucky friend and his very lovely bride.
Harry and Jean Burton
Harry and Jean will be celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary later this month having been married at St Michael’s and All Angels Church on Holderness High Road, Hull on the 22nd June 1957. They have two grown-up twin daughters, Janet Hall and Linda White, four Grandchildren and two Great Grandchildren. Very Happy Anniversary from us.
Roy Kaye, 20th June 2017
It was our sad privilege to sing at the funeral of Roy Kaye. We hope we did him proud. He would have wholeheartedly approved of our choice of songs – “Let all Men Sing” and “As long as I have Music”, sentiments which played a major role in Roy’s life.
Roy joined the choir as a guest singer some years ago for a choir visit to Lemgo, Germany, Beverley’s twin town. He was loaned a choir uniform for the occasion and decided not to return it – becoming one of our most enthusiastic and loyal members. In fact, judging by the tributes paid to Roy by family members, loyalty was very much a watchword with Roy and we are pleased and privileged to have benefited from it.
He was a very fine second tenor who sang his songs with great joy and enthusiasm.
Our thoughts are very much with his children and grandchildren and also with his partner Pauline, herself a good friend of the choir, who supported him so tirelessly throughout a long and very difficult illness.
2nd June, Joint Concert with Mansfield and District Male Voice Choir
Our President’s Charity Concert for Hornsea Inshore Rescue was quite an administrative feat, with 90 choristers on stage. We were fortunate to be able to sing in Toll Gavel Church with the highly-acclaimed Mansfield and District Male Voice Choir and to raise a total of £1600 for our charity. The cheque was presented by Vice President Kate Andrews after the concert at an “afterglow” in the Conservative Club, Beverley.
Beverley Town Council provided a grant to meet most of our costs for the occasion, so that all of the receipts from ticket and programme sales could go to the Charity
A recording of the finale, “An American Trilogy”, can be seen, courtesy of Ian Wilson, husband of our MD Liz, on YouTube at:
– Mansfield MD Meryl Chambers conducting.
Ian also provided the photos.
Guests of honour were Chairman of East Riding of Yorkshire Council Caroline Fox, Beverley Mayor Anne Willis and Hornsea Mayor Ann Padgett.
At the “Afterglow”, Mansfield presented a very attractive “Robin Hood” clock and a custom-made plaque commemorating the event. BMVC responded with a “Yorkshire Mixture” hamper put together by Jan Capel and including parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme picked that afternoon but already, like the two choirs, wilting a bit by 11pm!
Sad though we are to be losing “Our Pat”, who retires at the end of June, we are delighted to have managed to find a new, and similarly talented Musical Accompanist to replace her.
Emily Blackledge came along to rehearsal on Monday 8th May and picked up the threads seamlessly. We had seen her play Bartok in Hull on the viola on Sunday and there she was knocking out “Don’t Fence Me In”, to coconut shell percussion, on Monday!
See the extremely accomplished Emily’s website at:
Emily will play her first concert with us at South Cave’s All Saints’ Church on 21st July. See the Events page for details.
Eric Godson – 26th May 2016
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death after a long battle with cancer of one of our longest-standing and best-loved members. Eric was not only a very good second tenor, but also the choir’s most prominent comedian, a real comic with a real talent.
He and his late wife Margaret for many years organised our annual social evening and audiences at our concerts for many years would have struggled to find the fire exits without the advice and guidance of Erica the air hostess! He also organised and directed with great humour both choir and audience in our annual “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. His will be a hard act to follow.
At his funeral in the majestic Beverley Minster, the choir sang the the songs Eric had requested, “The Rose”, “Gwahoddiad” and “Softly as I leave You”, songs that we also sang for Margaret some years ago. Son Will Godson delivered a very moving “Recollections of Dad’s Life” and daughters Jenny and Jan read an equally moving eulogy and a poem to say goodbye to their father. Our thoughts are very much with them at this sad time.
22nd April – Last Night of the Proms concert, Snaith Priory
A repeat of last year’s concert and just as successful. the audience were stunned by our new uniforms and the concert was again very professionally organised.
In the absence of Pat, Sue Finn accompanied us as well as providing a solo spot, playing “Over the Rainbow” and a fascinating rendition of “Fire,Fire”, early 20th-century silent movie accompaniment. Those of us old enough, well, all of us actually, could almost see the Fire Engines dashing along with people falling off!
Liz was as usual a mellifluent Britannia for the patriotic stuff, or as MC Mark calls it “The Brexit Medley” and Chris Szafran sang very beautifully three songs of his choosing, “Granada”, Nessun Dorma” and “I’ll Walk with God” from the Student Prince.
Must have been alright as we were immediately asked to come back next year
18th April – Beverley Mayor’s Civic Dinner
The choir was pleased to be invited to sing for the Beverley Mayor Cllr Rob Begnett and his guests before his Civic Dinner at the East Riding Theatre. A good turnout and a good opportunity to thank Beverley Town Council for generously sponsoring our choir over the years.
9th April – Patron’s Concert
It was a very hot Sunday afternoon for our concert this year, and again with Liz away we were lead by our deputy Nigel Clarke.
Peter Goonan unusually entertained us with a couple of Russian songs half way through, and then at the end he introduced Terry Lynn, who will be our chairman later this year, and David Cross, who will be his vice-chairman. He then made a presentation to our pianist for 17 years, Pat Cave. We will miss her very much as our accompanist, although hopefully we’ll regularly see her at our concerts and socials.
1st April – Last night of the Proms Concert
What seems to have become our annual Concert in the Church of St Michael and all the Saints in Cherry Burton (already booked for 21/4/18). Very efficiently organised by the Friends of St Michael and our own Barry “Dynamo” Gibson, the church was a riot of flags, bunting and patriotic fervour – a true celebration of Brexit, even by the remainers. The concert raised more than £1200 towards the rebuilding of the church porch.
Britannia this year was the delightful Deb Henderson (pictured above), who sang the patriotic songs most beautifully, as she had done some years ago at the opening of the KC Stadium in Hull. Deb and her daughter, Kate Sweeting, herself well-known locally as a presenter with BBC Humberside, also sang together a Mozart duet and the Flower Duet from Delibes opera “Lakme” as well as a solo each – more Mozart from Deb and a lovely rendering of “Summer Time” from Kate. A tear or two was apparent in the eyes of several handsome hell-raisers in bright scarlet blazers.
Bouquets were presented to Deb and Kate and to our Pat, who sadly will be retiring as piano accompanist later this year after 17 years.
In the absence on holiday of Liz Wilson, Nigel Clarke conducted the choir very capably indeed and a further well-received contribution was made by second tenor Glyn Cohen, who sang “If ever I should leave you” from Camelot and a very lovely song most of us had not heard before, “Annabel Lee” by, would you believe, Edgar Allan Poe!
11th March – East Yorkshire Voices
Our first concert of the year was a joint one with Driffield Male Voice Choir in Driffield.
It was great fun, and we tried out many new songs.
18th December – Prelude to Christmas
A departure from the norm this year as we invited Driffield Male Voice Choir, rather than a local children’s choir, to sing with us . It was a very successful and jolly affair attended by about 250, who made quite a bit of noise during the “12 Days of Christmas”, this year conducted by Hugh Walton and Nick Andrews.
They did it very well indeed, though many will have been picturing our Eric up there as he was for so many years.
Guests of Honour were Beverley Deputy Mayor Cllr Ann Willis, Beverley Lions President Bill Rice and crewmen Tom Columbari and Damian Grimley from our charity this year, Hornsea Inshore Rescue.
Nigel Clarke made a CD which audience members, or anyone else for that matter, may buy for a modest £4 including p&p. Email Nigel on:
with your address and he will tell you how to make payment.
In thanks for their having supported us in this event, we shall reciprocate by singing with Driffield at their Spring Concert, in Driffield, on Saturday 11th March 2017. Watch our events page, and theirs, for details.
Pub Nights in Beverley and Snaith
Monday 12th December saw us on our annual trip to sing carols in Beverley Tesco on behalf of Beverley Lions. It was as always a successful venture raising more than £200 for local charities. This was again followed by our annual visit to the Dog and Duck for pies, peas and more carols.
A new venue was added this year to our carolling tour with a visit on 15th December to the Brewers Arms in Snaith, a bit outside our usual area so we went by charabanc with a crate of Broon Ale in the boot. Landlord Chris seemed extremely pleased to see us, providing sustenance with very tasty hot pork rolls and making a very generous contribution to choir funds.
The evening was billed also as our Choir’s “Christmas party” and hopefully this will continue in later years. We all had a grand time and really let our scalps down.
December 9th Carol Concert – Brough Golf Club
The second year we have provided this very enjoyable concert. Choir attendance reflects the warm reception and hot mince pies we received last year. We ate quite a lot of them – maybe we won’t be invited back.
November 28th – 90th Birthday Party for Peter Newall
Beverley Male Voice Choir’s most senior member is 90 on Friday, 2nd December! The picture portrays all it takes to reach that age and still look good. Peter Newall, of Skirlaugh, joined the choir 35 years ago and has been one of its most enthusiastic members ever since, including a long period as Hon Secretary. Peter served briefly in both the RAF and the Eighth Army “Desert Rats” towards the end of World War 2 and before demob was responsible for supervising specialist German PoWs in Tel-al-Kebir, Egypt. During the choir’s recent trip to Lemgo, Beverley’s twin town in Germany, he was seen to be keeping a wary eye on 80-year-old-plus passers-by! After the war he joined the “Pru” and became a financial adviser.
A surprise party held in the Dog and Duck, Beverley, was very well attended by both choir members and Peter’s family, including his two daughters, Julie and Lesley.
October 8th – Choir Dinner
The dinner, in Beverley Lairgate Hotel, which seems to have become our default venue, was very pleasant indeed, as was the service as always.
Tom Richardson, the Hotel Manager, provided complimentary drinks on arrival in recognition of the Hotel having become one of our sponsors this year.
We decided this year to forego a guest speaker in favour of a little self-provided entertainment. Ray Burrell, first tenor and secretary of the Hull Branch of the Magic Circle, again bamboozled everyone with his remarkable performance.
Chris Szafran, also first tenor, got on his costume and paint to sing the very moving aria from Pagliacci. Tears and wine – oh, dear. Nigel recorded the event and placed it on Youtube. See it at :
September 16th – Concert for Hornsea Lions
An annual event which is invariably enjoyed immensely by Choir and audience alike. Excellent solo performances by Chris Szafran, Andrew Eastwood and a new friend, Emily Fox, who sang most beautifully for us.
It was a pleasure to meet John and Kym Pugh, representatives of our Charity for this year, Hornsea Inshore Rescue (HIR), who came along to meet the choir and also very much enjoyed the concert – well, they said they did.
Two new songs were given their first hearing of recent times, Flanders and Swann’s “Hippopotamus Song” and our new opening number “Let All Men Sing”. Both songs seemed to survive the experience quite well.
We were pleased to see a good turnout as we are always glad of the opportunity to boost income in support of the excellent work of the Lions.