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Hunt for former Cromer Parish Church chorister to claim LP recorded in 1985

PUBLISHED: 17:27 02 April 2012

The sleeve of the Choir of Cromer Parish Church record showing all the choristers in 1985.

The sleeve of the Choir of Cromer Parish Church record showing all the choristers in 1985.

Archant

The search is on to find choristers who took part in a north Norfolk recording session 27 years ago.

More than 40 men, women and boys are pictured on the front of an album recorded in 1985 by the Choir of Cromer Parish Church.

And John Squirrell is hoping one of them would like a copy of the LP as a memento of their performance.

Mr Squirrell, from Ipswich, came across a dusty copy of the record among his late great uncle Jim Juniper’s possessions, passed down to Mr Squirrell’s mother Maureen, who lives in Colchester.

“It doesn’t mean anything to us and she was going to give it to a charity shop but I thought it might be nice for someone who was in the choir to have it instead,” said Mr Squirrell, 46, who spends most weekends at his caravan on the coast at Happisburgh.

“There might be a little boy pictured on the cover who didn’t get a copy and would like to have this one.”

The album sleeve lists all the choristers as: trebles: Andrew Baker, Richard Baker, Philip Burrows, Christopher Bunkell, Adrian Carpenter, Ian Cooper, Nathaniel Cooper, Gary Couse, Peter Davison, Matthew Finch, David Foster, Robert Foster, Toby Gosden, Simon Lord, Timothy Love, Daniel McCrohon, Graham Muirhead, Kevin Muirhead, Philip Muirhead, Karl Steers, Matthew Tye, Jonathan Winnett, David Woodhouse, Timothy Youngman. Altos: Christine Cooper, Shirley Davison, Rosemary Higgs, Kathleen Meaney, Hazel Neale, Martin Rodwell. Tenors: Peter Burrows, Roger Curl, Jonathan Drake, Christopher Leigh, Tony Nash, Jeremy Sapwell, George Stibbons. Basses: Paul Grant, Jeremy Higgs, Philip Purslow, Simon Purslow, Mark Sapwell, Philip Sapwell, Alec Sharp and James Wallace.

Philip Sapwell, now 76, is one of three 1985 choristers who still sing with the choir, together with Cromer Carnival chairman Tony Nash, and Kathleen Meaney.

Mr Sapwell, of Holt Road, Cromer, remembers that the choir was highly thought of back in the 1980s.

“We were not too far behind the cathedral choir I would say,” he said. “We sung fairly regularly in the cathedral in the summer when the cathedral choir was on holiday.

“I can remember when there were 28 choirboys and people would be looking over their shoulders to see how many more might file past.”

He said it had become unfashionable in the 1990s for boys to join choirs and today the Cromer choir numbered fewer than 10, and all were adults.

Mr Sapwell believes the head chorister, Cromer High School pupil Kevin Muirhead, pictured separately on the album cover, has since moved away from the area.

The back of the LP sleeve says that the record was produced to help towards a £50,000 appeal to rebuild the church organ and was recorded in the church on February 18 and 19 1985.

Its tracks include Christmas carols, Easter music and a piece called Love most gentle, written by Norman Cutting, who had led music in the church for 35 years and died the year before the recording, in 1984.

Anyone who would like the album can contact Mr Squirrell on 07801 549987.

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