2011 Archive

Once again The choir enjoyed a very successful evening at their annual dinner dance at the Greenmeadow Golf Club, Hope the following pictures will amuse you all.

View photos

Posted 26th December 2011

On 19th November, St. Julian’s Methodist Church on Caerleon Road once again hosted the 42nd Gwent Police Choir Annual Concert, this was their 10th visit to the lovely church.

With thirty eight choristers and sixty three ladies from Kidderminster aptly called the Kidderminster Valentines, the capacity audience looked forward to a wealth of music and song. They were not disappointed. From the choir’s first rendition of Rachie followed by two heart stirring numbers from Les Miserables the choir set their inimitable stamp on the evening. Their musical director Rodger Appleby’s arrangement of ‘Didn’t it Rain’ plus two other numbers ended their first set.

Chairman Phil Humphreys welcomed the ladies to the stage and what a treat, in black and sparkling red outfits they regaled us with a wonderful variety of songs including Gonna Rise up Singing, As Long as I Have Music and their own version of I Will. A rousing version of Speed Your Journey sung by the combined choirs ended the first half.

The ladies opened the second half and what a joy they were, their four part harmonies conducted by Pam Cunningham, (incidentally the sister of Rodger Appleby) delighted us all, from African Prayer to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Chatanooga Choo Choo had the audience tapping their feet and I’m sure singing along. Not to be outdone, the gents American Trilogy , Shenandoah, Summertime, You Raise Me Up and of course the ultimate Welsh Hymn Cwm Rhondda received tremendous applause.

Rounding the evening off with another combined number ‘Thuringian Folksong’ English and Welsh national anthems.

What a night, if you were unable to purchase tickets for this event check their website for future concerts at gwent-police-choir.co.uk. If you would like to join us
ring Ron Comfort 01633 667899 or to enquire about booking a concert, ring Roy Berry 01633 793076.

Posted 24th November 2011

Monday October 3rd began a busy week for the choir, a return visit to the senior citizens at Orchard Lane. A very receptive audience enjoyed all the usual favourite songs with Rodger delighting them with his piano solo’s, a Chopin Waltz, his own composition called Midsummer and a Debussy Arabesque.

Their second venue Trinity Methodist Church at Glasllwch Newport was in aid of Action for Children, this year we are celebrating 100 years of this charity in Wales. Formerly the National Children’s Homes the charity helps vulnerable children and their families.

Beginning with Rachie followed by Down by the Salley Gardens, the choir concluded their first set with Do You Hear the People Sing from Les Miserables.

The first soloist the minister of the church Rev Louise Gough delighted everyone with a Bach Arpeggio and an Elgar piece called Serious Doll, beautifully played on her flute, her accompanist Margaret Worthington has played the organ for 50 years.

The choir then sang Rodger’s arrangement of The Lord’s Prayer followed by When Love Comes Trickalin’ Down

Our own soloist tenor Don Martin sang two solos – Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific and Bette Midler’s song The Rose.

It was the turn of the choir again to conclude the first half with I Dreamed a Dream and the very beautiful Nirvana.

Following the interval the choir sang what Rodger calls the Tesco 3-for-1 offer The American Trilogy and a lovely version of Shenandoah.

Don’s unaccompanied comic version of the Jimmy Brown song received well deserved applause, as did his final solo – The Wind Beneath My Wings.

Back to choir again for Bring Him Home and a wonderful song written for Ty Hafren Children’s cancer charity called Another Day.

Rev. Louise Gough then played two compositions The Great Train Race and an Eric Coates piece called Green Hills of Somerset.

Concluding the evening with You Raise Me Up and Cwm Rhondda and as one might have guessed raising the roof as Welsh spirits were high after the success of Wales team in the Rugby World Cup.

A very successful evening thanks to Rodger, our wonderful accompanist Nicola Coker and of course our inimitable compere Mike Gough who kept everything running smoothly and the audience in stitches with his jokes and patter.

Submitted by Ann Sykes

28th September

Once again the choir were delighted to travel to Libanus Church Brynmawr to give a concert in memory of their well loved member and compere Ray Hapgood whose remarks concerning that “Little town nestling in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons” Put Brynmawr well and truly on the map. Lovely to see Rene Ray’s widow in the audience always supporting the choir whenever she can.

The choirs usual opening numbers Rachie, Down by the Salley Gardens and ‘Do you hear the People Sing’ got the evening off to a great start.

Our soloist Don Martin (also a Brynmawr boy) sang ‘Some Enchanted Evening and new to us ‘Annie’s Song’, so new he joked it was the first rehearsal.

After three more choir numbers Rodger played two of his own compositions Midsummer and Provence.

Two more numbers by the choir, Shenandoah and The American Trilogy received enthusiastic applause.

Don’s final numbers The Rose and Wind Beneath My Wings were perfect for his lovely tenor voice.

After the choirs final piece ‘You Raise Me Up’, presentations were made to Rodger, our accompanist Nicola and of course compere Mike Gough.

Proceeds from the evening were split between church funds and the Hospice of the Valleys.

Submitted by Ann Sykes

JIM, A member of Gwent Police Choir plus friends Bill and Sue.
On the 8/9/10 SEPT did the bike ride from
ST David’s to Chepstow.

For the last three months Sue, Jim and I Bill, have been training for up to 60 miles a day , three times a week to give ourselves an even chance of not only finishing the ride, but enjoying it as much as possible

We left Magor on Wednesday the 7th with a fully loaded car, four people, all the baggage and three adult Bikes on a rack at the back. I must admit I was quite relieved to arrive at our over night stop near St David’s without mishap.

Bike Ride

Thursday the 8th dawned cloudy but dry, most importantly the wind was behind us. We were waved on our way by Chris and my cousin Monica who lives in the area. We made good time to Haverford west, but from then on several long climbs slowed us down somewhat. We met Chris for a quick lunch stop at Narberth. By this time it was drizzling hard.

Proceeding west via Whitland, and St. Clears we entered the last undulating section leading into Carmarthen. Five miles from the town on a muddy downhill lane Sue came off her Bike bringing Jim down as well. Fortunately apart from a grazed knee and elbow all was well, but my heart was in my mouth for two or three minutes.. We arrived at our overnight stop in good heart having covered 60 miles.

Friday the 9th. Weather about the same. We left a little earlier as we had 70 miles to do. Some early climbs gave way to the flatlands through Pembrey forest, Pendine Sands, Burry Port and the Millennium coastal Path around Llanelli. The section was scenic and thanks to the wind direction quite fast. Just as well for we had Swansea and Port Talbot to negotiate on a Friday afternoon. Swansea was quite easy as they have an excellent coastal path around the Bay. Port Talbot was the exact opposite. Not the prettiest of places at the best of times, on a damp Friday evening not a place to be. We made progress by luck and Sue’s ability to see the Bike route signs regardless of where they had been hidden. We then had a hard climb round Margam Park, and went of course near Bridgend which had us climbing a long hill just to do a Grand Old Duke of York job and ride all the way back down again. Eventually at 6.30pm we arrived at our Wetherspoons Pub having covered 72 miles in just under 9 hours.

Saturday 10th dawned cloudy. The forecast had been dire, but at least the wind was still in the south west. This was our mountain crossing day and we were all a little apprehensive. Fortunately we had ridden the route in training which cut the delays down considerably. Twice in the first 20 miles we climbed over 400 feet, the second time the length of climb forcing us all to walk.

Lunch was taken in the grounds of Caerphilly Castle, which left us with just the mainly flat run in to Chepstow. The weather had the last laugh when with less than 5 miles to go the heavens opened and we got soaked to the skin. Fortunately the sun came out just before the finish, we crossed the line at Chepstow Methodist Church to a warm welcome from Michael Bale and the Chepstow committee, our nearest and dearest and friends. The good people of Chepstow provided us with an excellent tea .We had covered a further 62 miles making a total of 192.

Now there only remains the large job of getting the sponsor money in. If all is collected then we should exceed £2000.

I would like to thank my two companions for their company and support, our respective wives and husbands for their help and tolerance, and the many friends who have donated to Action for Children. If you would like to donated.

Please go to www.moneygiving.com/bigbikeride

The choir are delighted to welcome three new members

Mark Entwistle 2nd Tenor
Paul Croke 2nd Base
Chris Lewis 2nd Base

Twas the night of the concert, the choirs were both there
But the ones who had planned it were tearing their hair
The piano was there in a prominent spot
But the key to unlock it - well, someone forgot!
There were flurries of phone calls and bunches of keys
But the lid was locked didn't match one of these!
The time for the start of the concert drew near
But the key was still missing and hearts filled with fear.
How would they manage their music that night?
To sing a capella just didn't seem right.
But then as the clock moved to just half past seven
A key was inserted and thanks given to heaven.
A musical flourish, a sound of delight
And everyone said what a jolly good night!

Submitted by Ann Sykes

An Evening of Musical Entertainment

The choir combined with members of the Cor Casnyewydd young people's choir for a musical evening in aid of the Parkinson's Society UK held at St Patrick's Roman Catholic church on Friday 8th July 2011. As usual the choir were wonderfully supported by Nicola Coker on the piano and Rodger Appleby as musical director. The evening was very ably assisted by Mike Gough who entertained with his usual brand of humour between the changeover of the choirs.

It was good to see some of the younger members of the Cor Casnewydd choir as well as some of the senior girls who we remembered from the 2010 Annual Concert when they were guests of the Police Choir. Their conductor is Emma Rowland who is the daughter of Steve Rowland, one of the stalwarts in the Police Choir.

The men began with their almost customary opening hymn, the stirring Rachie, following it with Rodger's version of the Lord's Prayer and finally the African Prayer, sung partly in Xsosa.

It was the turn of the young chorister who began by singing Adiemus, following this with Seasons of love, Circle of Life (The Lion King), and Learning to let go, featuring some of the solo voices. The Choir then concluded this spot with a composition of Emma's called Na wewe Africa, continuing the African theme.

The police choir then concluded the first half by singing one of theit newer songs, the delightful Love Came Trickling Down, following this with Down by the Salley Gardens and concluding with Another Day, the song written for the Ty Hafan Hospice.

During the interval the raffle was drawn, and later we were told that the evening (sale of tickets and raffle) had raised in excess of £800.

The police choir opened up the second half with I Dreamed a Dream (Les Miserables), another newer song which was a haunting version of the American folk song Shenandoah and concluded with Nirvana.

It was the turn of the younger choir again - and we were delighted to see that some young lads were members. The members of the Chamber Choir opened with Take me tp Heaven and the full choir followed with Joyful, Joyful, an Abba medley and finally the lovely John Rutter song The Lord bless you and keep you.

The police choir took the stage for the final set of songs which were comprised of the American Trilogy, You Raise me up and finally Cwm Rhondda.

The local secretary of the Parkinsons UK charity thanked everyone who had combined to make the evening such a success.

This was the final concert for the police choir untill September, as they will now be holding their Annual General Meeting in July before breaking up for their summer break. They will be resuming in September with a full programme taking them through the rest of 2011 and into 2012.

Submitted by Ann Sykes, Posted 13th July 2011

Look out for news of our next R & R weekend, Stuart has planned a few days in the beautiful Cotswold area in September. Hopefully there will be enough support for this visit to go ahead. Later in the year we will of course be holding our very successful annual concert and the ever popular Dinner/Dance.

Monday 23rd May 2011

Once again the Combined Summer Concert at High Cross primary School was a tremendous success. The choir started with their usual panache singing the ever popular ‘Rachie’ followed by The African Prayer which was well received by the mixed audience of teachers, parents and pupils and a number of choir spouses

Unfortunately the old adage of ‘never perform with children or animals’ came to the fore as the talented young High Cross Orchestra performed three numbers, De-scaling, Gobstopper Waltz and Skat Cat Swing, their dedication and enthusiasm was catching and many in the audience were tapping their feet. A great performance.

The wonderful High Cross Orchestra Bassaleg Year 9 Group then gave an outstanding musical rendering of the theme from the Pink Panther and Lord of the Dance. Some of the group then sang I’m Yours, the audience and GPC were delighted and showed their appreciation by prolonged applause.

Once again the choir performed a lovely version of ‘You Raise me Up’ and the very beautiful ‘Another Day’.

Then it was the turn of the High Cross Choir, wonderful to see so many children on stage giving their all, the teachers of this group must have been very proud as I’m sure their parents were. Their renditions of numbers including Buzzin’ Tonight, Dung Beetle Boogie (this raised a great laugh), and Praying Mantis Prayer were wonderful.

Three choir favourites ‘Nirvana’, ‘American Trilogy’ and Roger’s beautiful arrangement of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ were very favourably received

Bassaleg School Choir gave an exceptional performance, their first number The Magic’s In Me was beautifully sung, two contrasting songs Bendithia Di and Chatanooga Choo Choo, received a well deserved standing ovation.

The choir’s final choice were the two well known songs from Les Miserables. ‘Bring Him Home and ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ and of course ‘Cwm Rhondda’.

After the raffle, the headmaster of High Cross School spoke proudly of his schools success; he mentioned that his father was in the GPC and his son in the school choir.

Mention must be made of Roger and Nicola’s contribution, particularly Nicola as she is deputy head of High Cross, a very proud lady that night. Not forgetting the inimitable Mike Gough, trying valiantly to bridge the coming and going of so many performers.

The evening closed with a combined song from all the singers young and old. A truly magical night.

Posted 8th June 2011

On the 26th March 2011, 7:00pm, St; Julian's Methodist Church, Newport, the choir will be giving a concert in aid of LMBBS a little known society who support those children born with this distressing syndrome. Main symptoms of the condition are:

  • Visual impairment, often leading to blindness
  • Extra fingers and/or toes
  • Obesity
  • Development delay
  • Learning difficulties
  • Other health problems may also occur.

This society is close to our chairmen's heart and we hope to have a full house to raise as much as we can for this very deserving charity.

Posted 15th March 2011


The Choir held a Skittles Evening and buffet at The St Julian's Inn, Caerleon Road, Newport on Wednesday 2nd March 2011. It was a very successful evenings entertainment, well attended by choir members and their families who encouraged the players with lots of cheering and shouting

There were a few experienced players who managed to knock down most of the skittles, BUT, two wives managed to knock them all down (their husbands will never hear the end of it).

Stuart Ashdown and Jim Angel organised the score board and selected the teams, winners were TEAM 1.

The buffet provided was excellent and went down very well with beer and wine. A raffle was held and raised money for the choir funds.

A really good fun social night for all, ably organised by Stuart and his wife Gill. Roll on the next one. View photos

Posted 15th March 2011