Singing for fun commemorates World War 1

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by Jackie Rix Brown

PARTICIPANTS of a regular event in Purley, near Reading, enjoyed a good old wartime sing-song to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War. 01 Lead singers plus chorus P1080598

Singing for Fun is a social gathering that provides the chance to meet and sing for villagers every Thursday. It provides the chance to socialise for older people who may be less able to get out.

To mark WW1 they offered a full concert of rousing tunes reminiscent of 100 years ago. Barry Maskell, pianist accompanied eight singers, backed by a chorus of other Singing for Fun regulars. Quiet reflections were interspersed with music, with an account of research into one relative who had been “missing presumed killed”, along with poetry readings and stories. Cadets in uniform greeted the audience with a poppy and showed them to their seats. The lady singers were dressed as World War One nurses for the first half, then changed into elegant Music Hall attire for the second.

Project Purley had a display in the lobby with biographies of Purley men lost in the war. There was a raffle, bunting in the hall and Union Jacks given for everyone for the patriotic songs. Everyone was given a packet of poppy seeds and encouraged to plant them as a reminder of all those who have died to give us the life we enjoy today. Profit from the evening is going to The Royal British Legion.

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