Tuneful choir memories

Making music after all these years: St Laurence's Choir in 1993
Making music after all these years: St Laurence's Choir in 1993

When he saw himself in not one, but two photographs, on our Flashback page recently, Alan McClusky form Chorley rang to fill in the missing details.

The two pictures featured members of St Laurence’s Choir 45 years apart.

Alan was a member of the choir back in 1948 when the first photograph was taken. He can be seen second from the left on the front row, next to his good friend Ronnie Warburton (third from left).

In 1993, Alan and Ronnie decided to organise a reunion for members of that choir.

Alan said “We did a lot of ringing round trying to find people. It was difficult, as some of the girls had married and changed their names.

“Some had left the area. We contacted people as far away as Sunderland and Wolverhampton.”

The reunion took place on November 7 1993, when a service was held at St Laurence’s at 3.30pm.

Alan said “We all sang together again at the service. It was really strange because, without planning it, we all ended up in almost our usual places in the choir pews.”

After the service, there was plenty of time for people to meet up with old friends and share memories.

As the afternoon was drawing to a close, Alan invited people to pop in at his house for a cuppa.

“I expected just a handful to turn up,” he said “But in the end there were 38!

“We had to borrow chairs from the neighbours, and when I arrived back home there was nowhere to park my car.

“When they all left at about eight in the evening, they’d eaten us out of house and home!”

Alan told me that now most of the choir have passed away, including Ronnie his co-organiser, and that there are only about eight members still surviving.

In the later picture, taken by a Guardian photographer, Alan was second from the left on the back row and Ronnie was fifth from the right.