During the 1960s and early 1970s, Rye parish church choir consisted of some 20 boy trebles and 15 to 20 men. The boys rehearsed on Wednesdays and Fridays and the men joined them on the Friday practice. They sang Matins and Evensong every week and there was an anthem for most services. They also used to perform regular concerts sometimes travelling to Le Touquet in France and several venues in the UK.
The then vicar, John Williams, sang in the choir and greatly encouraged all the activities. I was appointed organist and choir master in 1963, taking over from Captain Vivien Gray. A little later in the 1960s, a youth madrigal group was formed and many of the local girls joined this along with the boys.
On Saturday, May 4, some 20 of the ex-choirboys came together for a reunion at the Queen’s Head in Landgate, Rye. Many had not seen one another for some 50 years and a great many memories were recalled.
The idea for the reunion came from Ian Hickmot and was organised by Kevin Williams with assistance from Christopher Breeds. It is hoped to have another reunion of the group next year in Rye.
Image Credits: Kenneth Bird, Christopher Breeds.