Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Video: Singing in aid of injured servicemen

MEMBERS of the Henley branch of the Royal British Legion held a sing-a-long night to promote the Poppy Appeal.

MEMBERS of the Henley branch of the Royal British Legion held a sing-a-long night to promote the Poppy Appeal.

Click here to watch our video of the event.

The event was just one of several to raise money for injured servicemen. Others included a Forties-style dinner dance at Henley town hall and a golf day.

The sing-song took place at the Bull in Bell Street, Henley, and several members of Aliquando chamber choir took part.

Branch treasurer Anne Evans, who is musical director of the choir, accompanied the singers on the grand piano.

They sang traditional British music hall songs, including It’s A Long Way To Tipperary, Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag and Waiting At The Church.

The singers encouraged customers to join in and handed out sheets with the song lyrics on. They also sold poppies.

Branch chairman John Green, who organised the event, said: “It came to me some months ago when I thought about how few opportunities there are to sing these days. You either sing on your own in the bath or after a rugby game.

“We thought this was a good time to get some people together and remind everybody of why the British Legion is here.

“The funny thing was that people started coming in when I stopped singing!”

Poppy Appeal organiser Shirley Lees said: “Lots of people came up to us afterwards to say how much they had enjoyed it.

“They said it was like the days before television and computers, when people went to the pub, sang together and communicated face-to-face. I suppose it’s social networking as it used to be done.”

Meanwhile, more than 50 people took part in the golf day at Temple Golf Club, near Hurley, organised by the Bix branch of the Royal British Legion.

The event, now in its third year, raises money for the Army Recovery Capability for wounded servicemen.The golfers, including 15 servicemen from RAF Benson, split into groups of three for the Stableford competition. The winners were the RAF Benson team of Steve Hollick, Daryl Walker and Al Ross with 63 points, just one point ahead of the Temple trio of Bob Reynolds, Len Hancock and Graham Pritchard-Smith.

Another RAF Benson team, comprising Lee Lawrence, Baz Reynolds and Jimmy Blunden, came third with 58 points.

Organiser David Doodson said he hoped the event will have raised more than £3,000.

He thanked the golf club for making the course available at low rates and the participants, who included players from golf clubs across the South-East, some of whom travelled from as far as Bristol.

More than £4,000 was raised at the big band dinner dance in aid of the Poppy Appeal.

About 120 people turned up at Henley town hall, many dressed in army uniforms and costumes from the Second World War era.

The Sound Force Big Band was dressed in khaki and played Glenn Miller-style music as well as more modern tunes.

Singer Maria von Hackemann entertained the guests with a cabaret performance which included German songs.

A fish and chip supper was provided by the Full House, of Friday Street. There was a raffle and an auction raised £900.

Former Henley Rowing Club captain and chief coach Ian Desmond bid £600 for a two-night stay at the Palace Hotel, Torquay, for two people.

Eve Minot-Tate bid £300 for dinner for two at Chelsea Arts Club accompanied by cartoonist Gray Joliffe with transport included.

Organiser Connie Butt said: “Everyone said it was a fantastic event.”

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