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Historic choir is forced to disband

PUBLISHED: 15:21 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:27 01 July 2010

A CHOIR which has been singing for nearly 70 years has sung its last note. Belvedere Male Voice Choir which was formed in 1939 and at its peak had up to 40 members from the area, disbanded at the end of November. Due to falling numbers, the choir was

A CHOIR which has been singing for nearly 70 years has sung its last note.

Belvedere Male Voice Choir which was formed in 1939 and at its peak had up to 40 members from the area, disbanded at the end of November.

Due to falling numbers, the choir was obliged to disband.

One of the choir's longest serving members, Derek Holdaway, 77, said: "They were a wonderful group of chaps. It was a privilege to sing with them.

"I think young people today are missing out. They don't teach singing in a lot of schools. It is part of our culture which they are missing out on. It is good for you physically. A lot of singers live along life and are singing in their 80s."

The choir performed concerts in Kent, Crystal Palace and Sidcup.

It began with 15 members from the Callender Cable Company. They took part in the Dagenham Festival Men's Chorus and were part of a BBC series of six programmes.

But hope may not be lost. Things look set to change for this pastime - as the BBC plan to bring choirs onto our screens in a new Saturday night show.

Choir Wars which is likely to start next autumn, will feature a variety of performances by choirs.

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