JULY 4 saw the last performance by the Reid Warblers, a singing group which has entertained many in Cleobury Mortimer over the last nine years. The group was originally formed to provide a focus for a handful of people who wanted to sing for their own pleasure, on a fairly informal basis. Judy Reid was targeted as a piano player, but soon showed that she could do much more than accompaniments, and has been the musical director ever since. Predictably, once the existence of the group became known, invitations to give public performances followed.
This final concert was designed to evoke memories of the First World War, and included numerous old favourites such as 'Pack up Your Troubles in Your Old Kitbag', and 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary', and a few readings. As this was the Warblers' last public appearance, most of the songs were arranged to give Warbler members a chance to sing solo - usually verses only, with the audience being encouraged to join in the choruses. Philip Engleheart did sterling work at the keyboard, being occasionally relieved by Judy.
During the interval, a splendid tea was served, thanks to the many Warblers who brought along a variety of snacks, cakes, and other refreshments.
No entry was charged, but those attending were given the opportunity to make donations to the Royal Centre of Defence Medicine at QE Hospital, Birmingham. This worked well, as over £400 was donated by the 60 members of the audience plus around two dozen Warblers, and that figure rose to around £525 within the next few days.
The Warblers have made a great contribution to life in Cleobury, so it's sad to see them go. They'll certainly be missed.