It’s with great sadness that we have to report the passing of one of our former members, Jack Stansfield, who would have been 94 years old in October. Jack joined the choir in 1953 and was a loyal and much valued member of the Top Tenor section for 57 years, until his retirement in 2010. He remained dedicated to the choir, always attending concerts whenever he could.
One of his earliest memories with the choir must have been singing at the Llangollen International Festival when the choir won 1st prize for the 3rd successive time in 1954 and again in 1958. Many choir trips were to follow, and Jack, who loved the social side of the choir, was always the life and soul of any gathering. His opening line before many rehearsals was often, “Sorry lads, but I’ve had a curry”….
Jack joined the 2nd Parachute Regiment in 1943 serving in Palestine, Egypt and Jerusalem, and so perhaps his most proud but poignant moment with the choir was in 2007, when we went on tour to Belgium and Germany. The first part of the trip included a visit to the Menin Gate in Ypres, where we had the privilege of taking part in the daily Last Post Ceremony. After the wreath-laying, and with absolute silence around him, Jack proudly stood to attention in the centre of the road, under the arch of the Hall of Memory, and recited the Exhortation. We all knew how much it must have meant to him.
Jack was one of many members who joined as young men, and who went on to help create one of the finest male voice choirs in the North of England.
He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.