THE LONGEST serving member of Steeton Male Voice Choir presented long service awards to 10 other members.

Len Wilson, president of the long-established choir, praised the men’s efforts during a speech at the choir’s recent annual concert in Ilkley.

He said: “Both collectively and individually, the words effort, service and loyalty were the first words to leap into my mind. But then there is sheer stickability - because without the ability to stick at it year after year these men wouldn’t be sitting out here at the front.

“For some of them there is the sheer effort of getting here in all weathers: John Dowlan and Phil Kirtley from Halifax, Evan Rees from Settle and Jay Kerr from Burnley.”

During his speech, Mr Wilson said that amongst the 10 award recipients were four treasurers past and present, all still active in the choir. From the present treasurer John Dowlan, the treasurers’ roll-call stretched back in an unbroken line to 1975.

The other treasurers were Alan Howell and Keith Dunhill, who both received 25-year awards, and Michael (Mick) Walsh who had been members of the choir for the past 40 years.

Mr Wilson said: “Mick is a very good top tenor – he has sung hundreds of songs, supped a pint or three, and been a mainstay not just of the top tenors but of the choir as a whole.”

The last presentation was to Malcolm Hopkins, marking his 37 years of service to the choir on the day of his retirement. During most of his time he has been in charge of the choir’s leisure wear clothing.

Also presented with a long service award was Philip Wright.

Steeton Male Voice Choir last month performed its annual concert at King’s Hall in Ilkley under the baton of musical director Catherine Sweet.

Mr Parker said the choir, which rehearses on Mondays from 7.30pm at Steeton Methodist Church, continued to draw in new recruits.

He added: “Fortunately most love it, and enjoy the singing and the opportunity to  share making music with other men.  Whatever age you are, and if you enjoy singing, join us – you will be thankful for the rest of your life.”

Prospective members can either drop into a rehearsal or call Ian McDonald on 01274 400475 for further information.