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(with links to selected photographic examples)


Visitors preferring a less detailed guide to the illustrations on this website may wish to consult the Summary of Photographs page.


The most recent records remain in the custody of the choir secretary or librarian. The older surviving records have now been transferred to the Cumbria Archive Centre at Barrow, where they may be inspected during normal office hours.


(1) Minute books  (2) Attendance records  (3) Newscutting albums (4) Choir diary

(5) Festival competitions (6) Photographs of Choir Members  (7) Programmes

(8) Photographs & publicity material relating to guest artistes (9) Miscellaneous


The minute book states in April 1933 that the new secretary reported receiving "certain information" from the late secretary, but that it was incomplete.  A minute made in October 1935 confirmed that the choir was inaugurated in July 1931.


1 MINUTE BOOKS  [► = in custody of the Secretary]:

Minute Books

1933-1937 (includes lists of members singing at various festivals 1933-1935)

1936-1951 (includes lists of members singing at various festivals 1937)

1951-1962 (indexed)


 [1980-1990 missing];


►box file of minutes 2005-2009 with associated correspondence.



Attendance registers 1966-1987 (including lists of members and addresses); 1988-2008; 2009-date. 


1950-1977; 1978-1983 (includes a few loose or stray cuttings from earlier and later years)



1969-1988 (includes details of concerts given, festivals attended and pieces performed).





- Barrow & District Musical Festival 1st Prize certificate, Male Voice Choirs, Oct 1932


- Morecambe Musical Competition Festival: adjudication sheet (unsigned) for "Hark, Jolly Shepherds" (Thomas Morley); "Zut, zut" (Elgar) and "Down among the Dead Men" (Vaughan Williams),  6 May 1933.


- Millom Musical Festival: adjudication sheet signed by Geoffrey Shaw (rough notes, pieces not stated), "1933"


- Workington Musical Festival: adjudication sheet signed by E Markham Lee for "After Many a Dusty Mile" (Elgar) and "Seamates Bold" (Ernest Markham Lee), "1933".


- Preston Festival of Music & Drama: 1st prize certificate, Feb 1950; also a further 1st prize certificate from Preston, undated.


- Southport Music Festival 3rd Prize certificate, 25-30 Sep 1950


- Stockton-on-Tees Annual Musical Festival: 1st prize certificate, 1952


- 56th Morecambe Musical Festival (founded 1891): 3rd place certificate, 5-14 May 1960; note of various pieces

  performed on reverse.


- 58th Morecambe Musical Festival: 2nd place certificate, 5-12 May 1962


- Southport Music Festival 2nd prize certificate, 1962


- Blackpool Musical Festival 3rd prize certificate in class 102, 1965


- Blackpool Musical Festival 3rd prize certificate in class 100, 1967; also a festival programme (incomplete). Winter Gardens, 23-28 Oct 1967.


 - Blackpool Musical Festival 1st prize certificate in class 101 with newscutting and associated correspondence attached, 1969


- Adjudication sheet, Blackpool Musical Festival, undated, signed by Jean Allister, c1960s.


- Adjudication sheet, ?Morecambe Musical Festival, no venue and undated, c1960s-70s.


- Adjudication sheet, Lytham St Annes Musical Festival with associated correspondence attached, 1970


- Morecambe Musical Festival 1st Place certificate April 1973, with adjudicator's remarks attached, 27 Apr-8 May 1971


- Morecambe Musical Festival 2nd Place certificate with adjudication sheet and associated correspondence attached, 2-14 Apr 1973.


- Freckleton Music Festival: correspondence and adjudicator's remarks, Dec 1973


- Fleetwood Music and Arts Festival: adjudicator's sheet, 1974


- Freckleton Music Festival 3rd prize certificate, 29 Nov - 8 Dec 1979. Adjudication sheet (undated) attached.


- Southport Music Festival 2nd prize certificate, 1982


- South Cumbria Musical Festival 1st prize certificate, undated [?- ?-- and Wallace Berry, adjudicators]; also a further 1st prize certificate dated 3 April 1982.



6 PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHOIR MEMBERS (with links to selected examples)


- Postcard: choir in practice room, annotated "C Dearden, 1932"


- Choir (mostly wearing bow ties and evening dress) outside Working Men's InstituteWorking Men's Institute with 2 trophies and 1 shield (early view; 5 copies, one being annotated "J C Dearden, 1935-36".


- Choir (mostly wearing neckties) outside Working Men's Institute, with conductor H H Thomas [centre front] and 3 trophies (2 copies, variously dated "mid-1930s"  and "JCD, Oct 1948").


- Choir (mostly wearing bow ties and evening dress) outside Working Men's Institute with 2 shields, early view, no date, c1930s.


- Choir wearing bow ties and evening dress; indoors in front of small stage; conductor H H Thomas; (2 copies, one marked 1935+ and another 1938), c1938


- 3 views of choir alongside Albert Memorial in London attending Festival of Britain concert (one loose, one mounted on card beneath photo of "James Hughes, 1959" and one small snapshot), 1951.


- Choir indoors in front of bookcase; Gilbert Uren holding baton behind two trophies (2 copies, one dated 1950 bearing Barrow News & Mail stamp), c1950.


- Choir just after Coming-of-Age concert outside Public Hall with conductor Gilbert Uren [centre front] (2 copies), c1952.


- Photo: Henry Webb, William Crawford, John Heddle Nash (guest in 1959, 1962, 1968 & 1970) & Gilbert Uren, 2 copies, c1960.


- Photo: Gilbert Uren, Harry Hall, Jack Byfield, Owen Brannigan and his friend Henry Webb (2 copies), Annual Concert 1961.


- Photo: J Noble (piano), J Lawrenson, J Honeyman, W Jacobs, 1966.


- Photo: choir under Gilbert Uren [in centre holding trophy] and captioned "Is this the team who won the prestigious Blackpool festival?" (2 copies), c1969.  [Since confirmed - it was!]


- Choir under Reg Lanworn [front, fifth from left] at rehearsal preparing for "Grand Sing" competition on BBC TV and Golden Jubilee concert in Civic Hall, (2 copies) c1980.


- Choir (mostly wearing new light blue shirts) ready for television appearance on "A Grand Sing" under conductor Reg Lanworn, 1980.


- Colour photo: choir on large curtained stage wearing white shirts and maroon ties; conductor Reg Lanworn, c1980s


- Colour snapshot: choir with maroon blazers in room with hospital signs behind; conductor Mike Petty, c1994.


- Colour snapshot (dark): choir with maroon blazers attending a performance, with several older ladies sitting in front row, conductor Mike Petty in white jacket, c1995.


- Folder containing four photographs of groups or individuals currently unidentified, various dates.


[Also: photo of choir members at Furness Abbey, preparing for 70th Anniversary celebrations in 2001 (loose item taken from newscutting album in Section 2, above)]





(a) Barrow Working Men's Choir/Barrow Male Voice Choir


Bundle of programmes from Annual Concerts 1952-1953, 1955-1986 inclusive, 1992-2006 inclusive, 2008-2009.

[Annual Concerts 1952-1971 were at the old Barrow Public Hall in Lawson Street.  This venue was replaced from April 1972-1986 by the new Barrow Civic Hall, for which the choir provided the inaugural event.  The Civic Hall subsequently underwent extensive redevelopment, reopening in April 1990 under its  new designation as Forum 28.  The earliest of these annual concerts had been held on 9 Dec 1952 and 26 November 1953.  They were afterwards held each year from 1955-1983 during the months of February, March or April.  Subsequent concerts were on 1 May 1984, 15 April 1985 (23 April has been deleted) and 15 April 1986. From 1992 onwards the revived concerts were held in late September or in October in the Lisdoonie Hotel, Barrow.  The first concert in 1952 was actually billed as the Coming-of-Age Concert and the 1981 event was advertised as the Golden Jubilee Concert. One copy of the 1959 programme has been autographed by members on the cover. The 1986 programme also includes a publicity poster.]


[Also a fragment (centre page & adverts) from a further Annual Concert programme, no date,  but guest artistes John Lawrenson and Kathleen Uren.]


Bundle of programmes for Concerts of Carols and Christmas Music (held in Barrow Civic Hall with Fairfield Ladies' Choir):

13 Dec 1960, 11 Dec 1962, 14 Dec 1964, 20 Dec 1966, 17 Dec 1968, 14 Dec 1970, 11-12 Dec 1972,  17 Dec 1974.


- Programme sheet: concert in aid of St John's Ambulance Brigade in St Matthew's Hall (with Fairfield Ladies Choir), 27 January 1959


- Programme: Celebrity Concert in Barrow Public Hall (the choir alongside Thomas Round, tenor, and Tony Drummond, violin), 15 Oct 1967.


- Programme: Choral Concert on behalf of Radio Lonsdale, Civic Hall, 8 June 1978


- Typed report and ticket for centenary concert (Brass & Voice Concert) of Askam Town Silver Band, in association with Barrow Male Voice Choir, in the Band Hall, Sandy Lane, Askam, 28 Feb 1989.


- Programme: with Barrow Working Men's Choir and Lon Dhoo Choir (Isle of Man) held in Forum 28 (Civic Hall), Barrow, 13 Oct 1990.


- Programme: 'Comrades in Song', with Lon Dhoo Choir (Isle of Man) and Barrow Working Men's Choir, held at Isle of Man College, Homefield Road, Douglas, 5 Oct 1991


- Programme sheet for Cumbria Mass Male Voice Choir choral event, March 1992


- Programme with publicity poster: Summer's Evening Concert at The Victoria Hall, Grange over Sands, choir with special guest Patricia Pictor, soprano, Thursday 15 July 1993 


- Programme: 'Comrades in Song', with Lon Dhoo Choir (Isle of Man) and Barrow Working Men's Choir, Isle of Man College, Homefield Road, Douglas, 6 May 1995 


- Souvenir programme including photographs and historical notes: Barrow Male Voice Choir 70 Years of Song Celebration Concert, Forum 28, Barrow, Saturday 14 July 2001


- Programme: Rotary Club Evening of Music and Song Extravaganza (choir with Sir Richard Arkwright Masson Mill Band, Matlock [formerly Thornton's Band]), St Matthew's Church, Barrow, 16 May 2009.


Programme: Barrow Male Voice Choir Annual Concert, Lisdoonie Hotel, Barrow, 27 Oct 2009.


(b) Programmes from other institutions


- County Borough of Barrow-in-Furness Education Committee: Schools' Music Festival (including Barrow Male Voice Choir), 19-20 May 1953


- Barrow Arts Club 4th Celebrity Concert in King's Hall, Barrow-in-Furness, 5 Dec 1956


- Ulverston & District Arts Association: concert by Owen Brannigan, bass-baritone, at Coronation Hall, Ulverston, 22 Jan 1957 (appearance of Miss Joyce Grenfell postponed until 21 May)


- Concert by Christopher Bunting (violoncello) and Peter Wallfish (pianoforte) in St Matthew's Hall, Barrow, 10 Mar 1958


-  County Borough of Barrow-in-Furness Education Committee: Schools' Music Festival (including Barrow Male Voice Choir), 20-21 May 1958


- Furness Abbey Cycle of Mystery Plays adapted by Rev W A Batty & Rev O G Vigeon and produced by Philip Bromley, 7, 9, 11 & 12 July 1958


- Celebrity Concert for Cancer Research Fund with Owen Brannigan, William H Evans (cellist), Millom Mixed Choir and Millom Male Voice Choir (conductor Frank G Crayston), Alexandra Hall [Millom], 11 Sep 1960.


- Barrow Arts Club 6th Celebrity Concert in Banqueting Hall, Town Hall, Barrow-in-Furness, 6 Dec 1960


- Furness Mystery Plays, Furness Abbey, produced by Philip Bromley and introduced by Norman Nicholson, 3-15 July 1961.


- Concert with Joan Hammond, soprano, accompanied by Ivor Newton, Public Hall, Barrow, 12 Nov 1961.


- Booking leaflet for Furness Abbey Mystery Plays (including an introduction by Norman Nicholson), 27 June - 8 July [?1966].


- Vickers Barrow Works Band Christmas Concert: Forum 28, Barrow, 16 Dec 1990


- Church Music International Choral Festival, St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick, Ireland, 22-24 Mar 1991


- Souvenir brochure: Pumpkin Productions traditional family pantomime 'Babes in the Wood', Forum 28, 1999/2000


- Souvenir brochure: Pumpkin Productions traditional family pantomime 'Cinderella', Forum 28, 2000/2001


- Barrow Savoyards Gilbert & Sullivan 'Trial by Jury' and 'HMS Pinafore', Feb 2001





(a) Photographs


Kenneth Bowen (1972); Jack Byfield (196?); John Cameron (2 items & 1 duplicate 1960); Brian Rayner Cook (3 items, 1972-74); Bernard Dickerson (2 copies, 1968); Carl Duggan; Erica Harrison (2 copies, 1962); Raymond Herincz (1964); John Holmes; Richard Jackson (1975); John Lawrenson (?2 items); Soo Bee Lee (2 copies, 1977); Susan Mason (1979); Noel Noble (1972); John Heddle Nash (2 items plus smaller duplicate, 1959, 1962, 1968, 1976); John Ogden; Stanislav Pieczora (2 items, 1957); Thomas Round (2 items plus smaller duplicate and one negative 'with All Good Wishes To "The Choir" from an Ex-Member'); Barbara Robotham (1968, 1970); Kathleen Uren (2 copies) ; Joseph Ward (2 copies, 1962).


Angela Caldwell & John Michigan (with members, 1964); Jim Noble, Kathleen Harrison & Raymond Herincz (1964).


2 unidentified negatives: "Anne" and ? ?


(b) Publicity material


Carl Duggan, tenor (printed leaflet)

Raymond Herincz, principal baritone, Sadler's Wells Opera (printed leaflet plus typed notes)

Eileen Lithgow, soprano (typed notes plus manuscript notes) [2001]

Noel Noble, bass baritone (printed leaflet plus covering letter from his wife Mrs J F Noble, Bedford Park, London)

Barbara Robotham, contralto (printed leaflet plus typed addenda)

Kenneth Woollam, tenor (printed leaflet)




- Folder containing typed sheets of voice production exercises, Barrow-in-Furness NALGO Male Voice Choir, c1940s.  (Also containing music for 'Down in Alabama' arranged by Paul Edmonds, Curwen Edition, no date)


- Music for 'Drinking Song' ['Back and side go bare'] from the cantata 'In Windsor Forest' by R Vaughan Williams.  Oxford University Press, no date.


- Notice: 'Smokers please use ash trays provided', no date


- Sheet with printed coloured strips attached containing music-related mottos and quotations from classical authors, undated.


- Publicity leaflet for Sadler's Wells Opera, Coliseum Theatre, Barrow, Monday 13 Feb for one week [1961 ("Barrow ... the most difficult date that Sadler's Wells Opera can remember" The Times, 14/2/61)]


- Publicity leaflet: Hampton Court Palace, undated, c1960s.


- Pencil notes for pieces to be performed "at Askham", no date.


- Typed copies (3) of Short History of the choir (as used on original website), undated, c1960s-70s; (one copy includes a  list of placings in various festival competitions 1931-1960).


* * * * *



Small amounts of other material relating to local male voice choirs may be found online in the catalogues of the Cumbria Archive Service.


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