Golden celebration for choir members ahead of concert

The golden couple
The golden couple

The Edwin James Festival Choir enjoyed a happy celebration as they prepared for their ABC Concert (Abba, Beatles and Carpenters) coming up Saturday, July 8 at St James the Great Church, East Ham Road, Littlehampton.

Choir members John and Barbara Jackson marked their golden wedding anniversary 60s style.

Taking a breather from rehearsals for the choir’s concert, a musical tribute to the 60’s, a party for family and friends took place at Angmering Village Hall.

Dress code for the evening was in the style of the 60s, and many of the guests appeared incognito in wigs and glasses, explains choir spokeswoman Madeleine Wadley.

“The Jacksons’ romance started with a blind date while Barbara was a nurse at a children’s hospital in West Wickham. A friend of John’s invited him to make up a foursome because his girlfriend Jill declined to go out with him on their own. Not wishing to continue with the relationship, John agreed to meet Barbara. A number of dates followed and to curtail a long story, Barbara and John married in 1967 at St James Church in Addiscombe. The foursome have all remained friends to this day.

“Music for the evening was provided by The Tar Babies, arguably one of the south-east’s leading cover bands, playing the very best from the great British late 60s. The Jacksons knew the Tar Babies from their local pub circuit in Surrey and the group had previously played at their son’s wedding.

“John and Barbara also sing in a rock and roll band based in East Grinstead, and Barbara had sung with many choirs including Surrey Harmony, a barbershop chorus which took her to sing in America several times. A couple of years ago Barbara and Jill recorded a CD together on Vancouver Island for MS. Having moved to Rustington three years ago, the Jacksons joined the Edwin James Festival Choir because, as the best adverts say, having tried the rest EJFC were the best and most welcoming choir.”

Musical director James Rushman said: “Our choir is like a big family. We don’t just sing but care about each other, and great friendships are formed. If a member is ill, everyone is very supportive and at the other end of the scale we have lots of fun with our social occasions including quiz nights and shuffleboard evenings, as well as an annual holiday and visits to theatres to see musicals.

“Barbara and John’s 50th wedding anniversary was a wonderful opportunity for some of the members to celebrate with them, and their 60s-themed party tied in with the choir’s next major performance, our ABC Concert which will showcase our tribute to Abba, The Beatles and the Carpenters.”

The concert is on Saturday, July 8 at St James the Great Church, East Ham Road, Littlehampton. Doors open at 6.45pm with the concert starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £8 on 01243 582330 or at the door. For more information on the choir, visit www.edwinjamesfestivalchoir.co.uk.

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