The two Walker ladies do it for charity

'Onesie' walk for Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Half of the charity Walker duo, Louise, is third from the right
Woodhead Rd, Hinchliffe Mill

Pure self-indulgence. I sit over there - no cushions.

Zipwire right up into top corner

The other half of the charity duo, Sheila,
'Forget-Me-Not' childrens' hospice
The stadium

New Mill and Lindley Juniors

Come and join us. 
New Mill Male Voice Choir and the award-winning Lindley Junior School Choir. 
Sat June 6th, St Stephens Church, Lindley, 7pm

Not what we'd planned

I was responsible for the route - one of the four out of Brooklands. Meet at New Mill crossroads, next to the toilets. Sheila had a hair appointment, so around 11.30am. Okay so far.
I forgot the route and returned home while Sheila and Eric talked about stuff and then she went to have her hair done.
When I got back 'Let's get up to Brooklands'.
'How far is it?'
'Just up there, maybe a mile'.
'Fine.' Eric set off to walk.
'We really need to drive.'
'I haven't got the car'.
So neither of us had a car as Sheila was with Forget-Me-Not all afternoon. A mess; Eric said we'll walk back to your house. So we did. New Mill Dike, Hepworth, Dickinson's, Arrunden, Compo's.

Wildspur Mill

Holy Trinity, Hepworth

New Mill join with Lindley Junior School Choir


New Mill Male Voice Choir travel to Lindley for their next concert, to share the stage with the award-winning school choir. Lindley School choir was formed in 1997. In 2008 and 2014 they won the BBC Songs of Praise choir contest and were finalists in 2015. In 2014, they also won the Llangollen International Music Festival. In October 2012, they were 'Children’s Choir of the Year' and progressed to the Grand Final of 'Choir of the year' 2012', held in the Royal Festival Hall where they competed against five adult choirs.
 The school have five choirs: Lindley Junior School Choir, Lindley Junior School Training Choir, Lindley Junior School Boys Choir, Lindley Musicals Group (a choir that sings favourites from the musicals) and Lindley Community Choir. Alison North, Lindley Junior School teacher, runs them all except for Lindley Musicals, which are organised by colleagues Mark Breen and Zoe Clarkson.
  New Mill are excited to be singing in such company and are rehearsing hard to be concert ready.

Spring into Summer: June 6th, 7.00pm, St Stephens Church, Lindley. £8

Huddersfield New College RUFC reunion 1958-1966

Former rugby players from Huddersfield New College met last night at the latest of their biennial reunion dinners. The venue was Lockwood Park, home of Huddersfield RUFC. The attendees were mostly from the early days of New College which was founded in 1958 when the old College merged with Hillhouse Technical School. Ron Capper was the coach and inspiration behind that initial team, followed in the 1960s by 'Tubby' Hawes. I was in the first and second forms when most of the guys in the photo were playing, though there was a handful with whom I overlapped. At 68 I was the youngest there. Sadly no one from teams after 1965 were represented and as the last admission of 11-year-olds was in 1972, I think school sports and rugby must have subsequently gone into decline.
  So a short and fondly remembered era. Many went on to play for clubs and good ones at that. The middle 1960s team helped form a colts side at Huddersfield RUFC (with St Gregory's and Holme Valley GS).

Alan Roberts chairs the after dinner session

  John Berry, a county player, gave the address, extolling the virtues of Ron Capper. He also hinted at some breaches of 'Health and Safety' in some of our fixtures. What about 'boys vs masters', an annual mismatch? The masters were no good but had enough enforcers to stop the boys; notably George Redmond, a french teacher who eventually became well known for writing books about local history and place names. John reminded me of an unsavoury incident from just such a game. A geography teacher, Mr. Hargreaves, strayed offside at a lineout, and I encouraged him to return to his allotted space. I can't remember whether I shoulder-charged or smacked him, but he threatened to report me to the headmaster. No sense of humour. Fairness to him, he came and apologised at the after match meal.

  John concluded that Ron had helped us all to love rugby; its many guises, cultures and friendships. I played until I was 44 (HNC, Dalton St Pauls and Deighton ARLFC, Huddersfield, Waterloo nr Southport, Llandaff in Cardiff, Saddleworth Rangers ARLFC, Northallerton vets and Old Brodleians vets - its a kind of CV which can be written in many different ways, like hairdressers - see

ps. this blog was posted on Facebook's 'Huddersfield then and now' group, yielding 2 comments about Ron moving to Royds Hall in the early 1960s.

Brilliant book launch - 'Photos on the Wall: a short history of New Mill and the Great War"

Neil Tinker talks about the British Legion (the author is bottom right)
New Mill Male Voice Choir in the background

Everyone present agreed we had a brilliant night for Tom Ashworth's book launch, 'Photos on the Wall: a short history of New Mill and the Great War', down at New Mill Club. Over fifty attended, listening to short presentations by Rev. Sean Robertshaw (Christ Church, New Mill), Neil Tinker from The British Legion and the author himself. The final act was a short set from New Mill Male Voice Choir, fresh from their successful Cornish tour.
Also in attendance were Jason McCartney MP, Geoffrey Lockwood (Chair of the Memorial Room Trustees), Paul Ward (Professor of Modern British History, University of Huddersfield) with representatives from Holmfirth Rotary, Holmfirth Probus, Huddersfield Historical Society, Hepworth and Holmfirth Holy Trinity Churches and Holmfirth Parish Council.
Book availability from publisher, author and amazon
Shalliley Books
Tom Ashworth

New Mill go to Cornwall 2015

It is understood that the Festival trip is busy with travelling and singing. What spare time we had was spent on the coast at Newquay and Sennen Cove, along with some sight-seeing in Truro. The weather was mixed. but we weren't drowned or frozen. It's fair to say Newquay may not be everyone's choice of destination. The life boat visit to Sennen Cove was appreciated.

Tolcarne beach huts and surfing, Newquay 

  Month in month out, the feedback the choir receives is genuine and well-intentioned. It comes from our supporters, mostly friends and relatives who like our style if not always our repertoire. A festival raises the bar: by comparison with other choirs and, if competing, by constructive criticism from highly qualified experts. New Mill have just returned from the Cornwall Festival for male voice choirs and what a musical white knuckle ride.
  Three concerts in religious institutions, a short set on a bandstand at Land's End and a contest at 'The Hall For Cornwall'. Whilst we shared the three church concerts with traditional male voice choirs, the performances also contained ensembles from the European mainland comprising young, well-trained boys and youths who sang beautifully. In Latin and other languages we couldn't understand, many of their songs, though brilliant, sadly merged into each other. There were exceptions: 'Wimoweh' ('The Lion Sleeps Tonight'), 'The Alleluia Chorus' from Handel's 'Messiah' (the boy sopranos vaulted superbly over those top notes) and John Lennon's 'Imagine'.

Friday night, we were in our comfort zone down at St Pol de Leon, with our friends from St Buryans MVC. Great set and we were happy. Saturday, we struggled in the contest and later, had technical problems in the austere setting of a non-conformist chapel. The choir was disappointed and it showed. We only had ourselves to blame. Sunday - how would we follow Colne Valley? The setting was a windy concert bandstand in Land's End theme park. Clad in their three-piece suits, Colne Valley sang within themselves, competent and good to listen to. We assembled and went for it. 'Let All Men Sing' fortissimo, two of our bankers 'Let it be Me' and 'He Ain't Heavy' and finally, 'Just George' with actions blew the audience away. We can be rough around the edges at times, yet we perform, entertain and enjoy. And that's what we'd just done. It rescued us.

  Monday, the stunning Truro Cathedral and its complex natural reverberations. 'Ave Verum', 'Nella', 'In Flanders Fields' and 'Abide with Me' were simply brilliant. We were well and truly back on the horse; back to our old selves. Patricia Whiteley, one of our supporters and a singer herself wrote 'Great concert in really marvellous surroundings. The choir were awesome and spine chillingly wonderful'. Can't better that.

  We couldn't have done it without Anne, standing in for Emma, and Alan. He chose appropriate concert pieces, managed the echoes and encouraged us with wide eyes and fist pumps. Had he been polynesian with tattoos, he'd have been doing a haka.
  During our concert performances, compared to other male voice choirs, New Mill were up there with the best. Whilst we await a review of the adjudicators' comments, which apparently contain basic constructive advice, the discipline of contest preparation and execution can only benefit the choir. Just how far have we come from the small 1991 village choir?
  There was an issue with the boiled sweets on the way home. Supplies were down so sadly, one between two.

Sennen Cove

New Miill in Cornwall day 2 - sunny, wild and windy

New Mill are on their way

Just who do you meet at a motorway service station miles from anywhere?
Colne Valley MVC.