Luton Girls Choir reunite for re-opening of Wardown House

A bust of Arthur E Davies by Dora Barrett is unveiled with a member of Luton Girls Choir on each side -  Lynda Janes (left) and Alison Nicola. This picture appeared in the Luton News in June 1979

A bust of Arthur E Davies by Dora Barrett is unveiled with a member of Luton Girls Choir on each side - Lynda Janes (left) and Alison Nicola. This picture appeared in the Luton News in June 1979

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It’s been many a long year since Luton Girls Choir last sang together but they reunited recently for a very special occasion – to celebrate the VIP re-opening of Wardown House, Museum and Gallery by Luton mayor Cllr Tahir Khan.

Most of the ‘girls’ are no longer in the first flush of youth – it’s four decades since they disbanded after the death of founder Arthur E Davies – but they had a whale of a time catching up and renewing memories of their shared history in song.

Former Luton Girls Choir members Lynda Davies (nee Janes) and Alison Nicol recreate a picture that appeared in the Luton News in 1979 when the bust of choir founder Arthur E Davies was unveiled

Former Luton Girls Choir members Lynda Davies (nee Janes) and Alison Nicol recreate a picture that appeared in the Luton News in 1979 when the bust of choir founder Arthur E Davies was unveiled

Former member Margaret Hale-Owens said: “I’m amazed that with all the chatter and the laughter Fred Thomas, who was given the unenviable task of pulling us together, managed to contain us at all.

“Nevertheless he did a stalwart job, and a fair representation of our five favourite songs were prepared for the evening – Count Your Blessings, My Heart is Singing, We’ll Gather Lilacs, Take The Sun, My heart and I and finally Some Day we Shall Meet Again.”

She added: “As we’re all in our senior years, the sound wasn’t as youthful or controlled as it used to be – there is no doubt our diaphragms are too far south these days to be used efficiently!

“But certainly there was a ton of heart and soul in our delivery, in memory of our great musical director, benefactor, counsellor and friend.

They disbanded 40 years ago, but Luton Girls Choir reunited  in 2017 for the re-opening of Wardown House

They disbanded 40 years ago, but Luton Girls Choir reunited in 2017 for the re-opening of Wardown House

“The sun shone spectacularly and I’m sure Mr Davies, looking down, enjoyed our enthusiasm.”

Margaret is equally exuberant about revamped Wardown House. She said: “I’ve loved visiting it since I was a small girl. To see it reborn is such a delight and I was moved to see the Arthur Davies bust by Dora Barrett still displayed in the Music Room.

“When it was unveiled in June 1979, there was a picture in the Luton News with choir members Lynda Davies (nee Janes) and Alison Nicol on either side – and we decided to recreate it almost 40 years later.

“Time moves on but our love and enthusiasm are the same as they always were.”

Luton Girls Choir reunited after 40 years for the re-opening of Wardown House

Luton Girls Choir reunited after 40 years for the re-opening of Wardown House

> The Luton Girls Choir was formed by Arthur Davies in 1936. Members were aged between 12 and 23 and had to live within five miles of the Town Hall. They performed at the 80th birthday celebrations of Queen Mary in 1947, travelled to Denmark in 1952 and to Australia and New Zealand in 1959. Their final concert was a tribute to Arthur Davies in 1977.