A Moment to RememberA Moment to Remember
In 1926 the Beaufort Male Voice Choir won the National Eisteddfod choral competition in Swansea under the conductorship of Randall Williams. The following account was passed to Gwyn Evans as Chairman of the choir with a covering note which read………
“I’d like to pass on a little bit of history about the Beaufort Male Voice Choir given to me by Joan Evans of Crickhowell. Her brother, the late Dr. Ivor Evans, wrote an as yet unpublished book called ‘Through the Candid Glass’, recalling his childhood memories of Beaufort. Amongst his recollections was the night the choir arrived back in Beaufort by train after winning the National Eisteddfod.
He lived in Sefton Villas, Beaufort next door to Mr. Randall Williams and his wife Alice who were his aunt and uncle – so the families were very close. Randall was the conductor of the choir at the time and this was Ivor’s recollection of that special night”.
Someone is shaking me. “Wake up, Ivor, wake up.”
“Lift him up, Maude!”
Mam lifts me, and I hang on to her, my arms around her neck, my head on her breast. I am not really awake, but am conscious that Aunty Alice is with us. Outside is a commotion. A great concourse of men has gathered in front of the next-door house, Aunty Alice’s. There is laughing and shouting.
“Ivor, your Uncle Randall has won the National Eisteddfod. The choir has just come back. They are going to sing for us.”
A few coughs, then silence outside. The quiet smooth harmonies of the test piece swell upwards towards the bedroom window. I know the words; Uncle Will, who is a member of the choir, often sings them.
“Like torrents in summer……..”
“Lift him up Maude, let him see. Something he will always remember. His Uncle has won the National.”
The sound grows sharp, challenging.
“It is accepted, with angry defiance,
The challenge to battle…………”
I am so tired. Sleep, sleep.
“I must put him down, Alice; he can’t keep his eyes open.”
He will always remember.