Rootling among the old family photos I came across a little moment of glory for the Wesley Chapel Choir in 1924. From news reports at the time it seems they had a needle match with West End Congregational choir, singing the test piece ‘He wants not friends’ a capella.
On closer investigation, there was quite a bit of family interest in the picture. My maternal grandfather Clifford is on the back row; that was he of the tenor voice ‘like a golden trumpet’ who ran away with the opera! I only met him once, I think. He sang professionally as Morton Clifford.
In front of him stands my great-uncle Willie Marsden, a lovely man who was in the Royal Flying Corps during WWI. I did get to know him as a youngster. Like Clifford, he was a useful rugby player and they were both stalwarts of the Boys’ Brigade at Wesley (10th Hx).
At the front sits my great-aunt Dora, who was also very much a mainstay of the church, including supporting the Boys’ Brigade. She was in her latter years very much a focal point of the family and her abiding interest in all that was going on led to her being affectionately dubbed ‘Eyes and Ears of the World’. I thought at first it might be my grandmother, Hilda, Dora’s sister (and later Clifford’s wife) as they looked quite similar, but as my aunt told me her mother couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, she thought it had to be Dora!
I am not sure if Willie’s first wife-to-be, Elsie Chambers, was also in the choir; they married the following year.
I wonder if anyone can add a few more names to this?