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RECREATION
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Fochriw Harmonic Society

8 January 1927   Welcome Tea   On Saturday, at the Old Reading Room, the Fochriw Harmonic Society welcomed the return of their members of the choir and their friends from Cardiff. Supper was provided, and the tables were presided over by Mesdames D. James, W. Lewis, J. Davies, J. J. Lewis, H. C. Davies, J. Williams, D. Lewis, M. Williams, L. Evans, W. Angell and Misses L. Jones and A. Davies. Others who helped were Mesdames D. Davies, J. Williams, J. Walters, D. Evans, W. Walters and D. Jones. Later, the following took part in a humorous programme: Messrs. J. J. Lewis, T. Davies, J. Gregory, J. Walters, D. Evans, J. Evans, D. Griffiths, R. Thomas, and Mrs. W. Lewis, and Mrs. H. C. Thomas. Mr. T. Rowlands lent his gramophone. Mr. W. Lawrence was the accompanist.

Fochriw Juvenile Choir

The first mention of the choir that I have found is in the 5 January 1889 issue of the Merthyr Express

Fochriw Children’s Choir – leader Mr John Harris (Fochriw Station master) at St Tyfaelog’s – contents – A Children’s Holiday accompanied by Miss Lily Rutter (& not Mrs Cook) as originally detailed. She walks over the mountain in all weathers to practice.

It was a competition choir and won the first prize of £10 and a gold medal at the Mountain Ash eisteddfod in 1895 and came second in the same eisteddfod on Easter Monday in 1896.

Another success was reported in the 6 June 1896 edition of the Merthyr Express.

Juvenile Choir  Once more we have the pleasant task of recording another victory to the credit of the Fochriw Juvenile Choir, who carried away the first prize at the Caerphilly Eisteddfod. Six choirs competed, one of whom, Abercanaid, took first prize at the National Eisteddfod, Llanelly, on the same test piece, “Come, praise your Lord and Saviour,” (T. Price). This was not, however, the first meeting of the two choirs. They have met twice before at Mountain Ash, once when Fochriw were first, and this year, when Fochriw were second. Mr. D. Jenkins, Aberystwyth, in awarding Fochriw the prize, set them as a model to the other choirs. On arriving home, the victors were accorded a hearty reception. The baton was wielded by Mr. Burkeley Angell who has filled the post of conductor from the commencement.

Documented evidence of the choir’s activities between 1896 and 1909 are very few but those that are available mention the choir’s performance of operettas and concerts in Fochriw and of another success at Hengoed Eisteddfod in September 1909 as reported in the 25 September 1909 issue of the Merthyr Express