History of the Choir

The 'Westinghouse Mens Choir'  was originally formed in 1940 by the Westinghouse Company in Chippenham to entertain the workers during the War. At that time it was forty strong and the first conductor was Harry Keeshan. Many concerts were given in the Westinghouse Works (including live radio broadcasts in the lunchtime "Worker's Playtime" series) and in the Chippenham area. The choir frequently performed with the Westinghouse Orchestra which was also formed in 1940.

After Harry Keeshan, further conductors were Charles Hulbert, Herbert England, George Flanagan, John Astle, David Fidler, Denis Cole,  Charles Smith, and David Fidler (again).

In the 1960's David Fidler introduced a wider selection of music, much arranged by himself. The choir, although smaller in size, won the Mallory Cup at the Mid-Somerset Festival in
Bath on four occasions.

The choir later separated from the Westinghouse Company and changed its name to Chippenham Male Voice Choir to open its membership to singers from the local area. Now many of its members come from many of the local towns and villages.

Bob Jones became conductor in the 1980's and under his direction the choir has re-established its former size and now numbers around 50 members. The repertoire has further widened and Bob has arranged many pieces to suit the choir. Most concerts now include a solo or two by Ron Morgan, Ronnie Park and others, plus humorous monologues by Peter Field.

In recent years the choir has performed with many Brass Bands and Orchestras in the area and has twinned with the Choir (Chorale du Carroi) of La Fleche, France. The choirs meet every two years, in
England then France and a strong association has developed.

In 1984 and 1986 the choir hosted the California Girls' Choir during their European Tour. The choir has also appeared at massed choir events at
Cardiff, Cornwall, Exeter, and Wells Cathedral. 

The choir membership include a small representation from Cornwall; thanks to this connection we make bi-annual weekend visits to St Ives, Cornwall, where we sing with the Praize Hale Male Choir and the Godreavy singers.

Rehearsals and concerts by the choir emphasize the enjoyment of singing, with commitment and humour bonded by friendship. The choir is a welcome performer at many social events and fund raising concerts organised by local charities which it supports. There is an active social calendar involving wives, partners and friends. The choir celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1990, its 60th in 2000, and of course its 70th in 2010 and encourages younger members to join so that the choir will continue to flourish.