A group of singers have been in fine voice for 40 years, and to celebrate their ruby anniversary they are looking for more good causes to support and more audiences to entertain with their music-making.

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In the beginning Cringleford Singers was a small Women’s Institute choir with just a handful of members.

Since 1972 it has grown and grown, and four decades on the women’s choir now has more than 40 singers plus an accompanying group of musicians, holds more than 25 musical events a year, and has raised about £40,000 for local good causes.

Margaret Smith, who started the choir, said: “It is amazing. I never thought it would last so long. My passion for music-making, for everybody to make music is because it is such a wonderful encouragement and you can get forget all your troubles and just enjoy being together. It cuts across ages and class and nationality and everything.

“Music is just a wonderful gift and it has been so great to see the Cringleford Singers grow.”

She added: “Our aims and objectives are to sing for pleasure for ourselves and to bring pleasure to others, and at the same time to raise some funds for local charities.”

The group, which rehearses every Thursday at the Patteson Club, in Cringleford, enjoys performing every type of music from classical to jazz to folk to songs from West End shows, and it has singers of all ages.

It has become a real family affair for Mrs Smith, with her daughter Julia Jones and her granddaughter Esther Jones also members, and her son-in-law Mark Jones and grandson Aaron Jones accompanying the singers on the violin and guitar and percussion and drums respectively.

From doing just a couple of concerts and raising just a few hundred pounds for charity annually, Cringleford Singers now perform 25 or more times a year and raise about £3,000.

Their audiences have included many different clubs and charity organisations, residential homes and day care centres, and they have performed at hotels, halls, shopping malls, railway stations, gardens and churches over the years.

The good causes - mostly smaller, less publicised local charitable organisations - that have benefited from Cringleford Singers’ musical fundraisers have included East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, St Martin’s Housing Trust, East Coast Truckers, Nelson’s Journey and Norfolk Zipper Club.

Currently they are raising funds for the Hearing Dogs charity, and Mrs Smith said the singers would like to hear from other good causes they can support as well as new audiences they can perform to.

“Audience numbers do not matter - we are just as happy entertaining five people as we are 500,” Mrs Smith said, adding that they would especially like to hear from residents of sheltered housing schemes who would like to hear them sing.

• Cringleford Singers’ Christmas concert is at St Andrew’s Church, Eaton, on Thursday, December 20.

Tickets, which need to be booked in advance, cost £7.50, including seasonal refreshments and a gift from Santa.

To book call Mrs Smith on 01603 453010 or Dilys Butcher on 01603 451496.

• For more details about Cringleford Singers call Mrs Smith on 01603 453010 or visit www.cringlefordsingers.org.uk

• Is your organisation celebrating a landmark anniversary? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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