One of Bridlington’s best-known and loved youth organisations will finally come to an end this month after 57 years in operation.
At its height, the Bridlington Girls Choir attracted between 50 and 60 members aged between eight to 18-plus. Now, with other commitments and a lack of numbers, the decision has been made to disband the long-serving choir.
Ben Couper, 33, has been director of the Bridlington Girls Choir since 2008 and said the decision was not taken lightly.
“It is a shame but due to my work commitments and the lack of numbers, we have had to call it a day with the choir,” he said. “It has served a real purpose for the past 57 years and it has been a pleasure to be involved with everyone.”
The choir, originally known as the Central Girls Choir because it was based at the Central Methodist Church, was started by Miss Marjorie North in 1959.
Following her death, Kenneth Lambert took over as musical director and the choir went from strength to strength. All girls were welcome - they just had to enjoy singing.
Rehearsing once a week, they gave many concerts in Bridlington, Scarborough, Driffield and Hull raising thousands of pounds in the process for a host of good causes.
In the early days the choir gave concerts in the Floral Pavilion on the seafront, sharing the programme with the Dodo Milner dancers. Later they joined forces with Judi Harris, Collette Tyler and other dance groups. The Folk Group, made up of some of the older girls, was a very important part of the choir, and they entertained at smaller venues and at weddings.
Many famous people have appeared with the choir, including Ronnie Hilton, Jeffrey Archer, and Paul Hockney.
Ben said: “I’d like to thank secretary Ann Rhodes who is like an anchor and has put a career length of time into the choir. I’d also like to thank the president and vice-president Stephanie Nealy and Marion Lambert as well as all the students and parents for supporting us for so long, past and present.”
The choir will perform one last concert on Monday June 6 at Christ Church which all members of the public are invited to at 7pm.
Member Marion Lambert said: “The choir owes its success in large part to the dedication of a loyal band of helpers and for them the end of the choir is a very sad day. Strong friendships were formed within the choir and many continued into adult life.”
The disband of Bridlington Girls Choir has opened a new venture for Ben when he starts the Bridlington Quay choir later this month. Aimed at work places, adult services and charity, some members have moved over choirs to continue their passion for singing. People interested in joining can call 01262 404100 for more information regarding the opening session on June 13.