Wandsworth School Choir 50th Year Anniversary

By Ray Pritchard

Choir Reunion 2004

Glynn Harvey (left) presents 90th birthday gifts to Martin Lince (centre) & Ted Bacchus (right). Seated left to right are ex-staff Ron Hollis, Nigel Spearing, Wilf Finbow

Choir Reunion 2004

Left to right - Mike Cough, Ray Pritchard, John Lally and Robin Jones

The fourth anniversary reunion of the Shool’s world famous choir took place at St Paul’s Community Centre, SW18 on Saturday, 30th October, 2004.

51 members of the choir gathered for a most enjoyable evening, which rekindled the great friendship that developed within the choir in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Previous reunions, held in 1997, 2000 and 2002, had also been evenings full of wonderful memories of the many occasions when the choir enjoyed international acclaim, and this reunion was no exception.

What did set this year’s event apart from the others was the fact that 50 years had passed since the still much missed Russell Burgess had started as the School’s Director of Music. Sadly, it was also 25 years since Russell had so tragically died at the early age of 48, but on a happier note, two of his colleagues on the staff, Ted Bacchus and Martin Lince both celebrated their 90th birthdays in 2004 – Ted in February and Martin in October.

As with the previous two reunions, we would like to express our appreciation for the grant that is provided by the OW’s Memorial Trust, which helps enormously to keep the costs down.

Old concert programmes, CD’s featuring the choir and general memorabilia were on display, all bringing back happy memories of what was a unique period in the history of Wandsworth School. How lucky we all were to have coincided at some stage with Russell’s career and so many of us still refer to the influence he had on our own lives.

We can now look forward to the next reunion, which will probably be held in two years time.

Attendance List

Damian Allain, Ted Bacchus, Phil Cadman, Iain Coombes, Mike Coysh, Keith Eldridge, Mark Emney, Wilf Finbow, Graham Harbage, Glyn Harvey, Ron Hollis, lawrence Hooker, Jim Hughes, David Hyde, Jenny Hyde, Shaun Islip, Trevor Johnston, Brian Johnstone, Chris Jolly, Robin Jones, John Lally, Martin Lince, Peter Love, Shaun McMurray, Dan Milne, Pat Morgan, David Munden, John Munden, Michael Nicholls, Barry O’Shea, Kenneth Paine, Geoff Park, Graham Preston, Ray Pritchard, Pat Read, Nelson Roberts, Fred Shaub, Brian Sawyer, Albert Shrewsbury, Andy Smetham, Nigel Spearing, Mark Stevens, Phil Stoneham, Adrain Thompson, Judy Thomson, John Tobin, Geoff West, Les West, George Willis, Alan Woods, Ian York.

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