Voice of the valley­s

TO raise money for The Hunts Post s New Life Appeal, a leading Welsh male voice choir is travelling up from Monmouthshire in Wales to sing in Huntingdon. The Caldicot Male Voice Choir performed at Buckingham Palace to mark the Queen s Golden Jubilee and h

TO raise money for The Hunts Post's New Life Appeal, a leading Welsh male voice choir is travelling up from Monmouthshire in Wales to sing in Huntingdon.

The Caldicot Male Voice Choir performed at Buckingham Palace to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee and has graced the same Wembley stage as the Three Tenors (Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras).

They have sung all over the world and will be coming to the Performing Arts Centre at Hinchingbrooke School to help our appeal for Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The choir has been invited to Huntingdon by a former member who sang with them for 33 years, David Islwyn Watkins, from Little Paxton, now 86.

The New Life Appeal Concert will be on Saturday, November 15. The programme and soloists are still to be arranged but Mr Watkins is looking for businesses who would like to sponsor the concert and have their logo and details on the programme.


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Mr Watkins moved to Little Paxton in 1999 because his wife, Margaret, was ill and their daughter, Rhian, a nurse, wanted the couple to live with her so she could look after them.

Mrs Watkins died on Christmas Day 2003. In gratitude for those who had cared for her, the staff at Eaton Socon Health Centre and Macmillan nurses at the Woodlands Centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Mr Watkins asked his choir to sing in a charity concert.

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The event, at the Performing Arts Centre in October 2006, raised £4,000.

Mr Watkins told The Hunts Post: "That concert was so successful that I wanted to put on another charity concert and when I read about the New Life Appeal in The Hunts Post, I thought - this is it!"

Mr Watkins' daughter Rhian Randall is deputy sister at the special care baby unit, which, along with maternity, will benefit from the £70,000 fundraising campaign.

Mr Watkins has also written a booklet with his reminiscences of the choir.

In the preface to his booklet, Mr Watkins wrote: "To sing is as natural to a Welshman as it is for him to wake up in the morning."

His own life is a telling history of Welsh life in the 20th century. Born in 1921, he started working in the pits at the age of 13 when his father died and he had to leave school. He was the eldest of nine children and worked in the mines for 30 years.

Mr Watkins also played full-back for Abercave Rugby Club, his home team, for 20 years. He then played for a season for Seven Sisters in the village where he worked. They became West Wales League champions and also won the West Wales League Cup.

INFORMATION: To sponsor the Caldicot Male Voice Choir in the New Life Appeal concert contact David Watkins on 01480 219695.

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