IN THE PINK by Ann Davies

It was a dark Autumnal Valleys night where under feet the gravel crunched, it was almost like walking on cornflakes; curtains were drawn like closed eyes on terraced houses in the village. It was a cold night, with the mist draping the mountainside like a cosy quilt.

Ahead on the hillside, stood the whiteness of Carmel Chapel in the Rhondda Fach Village of Blaenllechau where Brian’s General Store, in partnership with the Blaenllechau Community Involvement Group and Blaenllechau Village Hall Project proudly announced a concert with guests the Tenovus Choir and Timeline.

Inside the Chapel there was a warm welcome with refreshments available as the choir began rehearsing their repertoire and people began arriving. The Chapel began as two wooden buildings built in 1858 – thus making it the oldest chapel in the Rhondda Fach Valley – its denomination was Presbyterian at birth, but since 2002 it has been an Independent Chapel which holds an Evening Service at 5.30 pm every Sunday, with Owen Griffiths as the Chapel’s Pastor.

The Tenovus Choir Pontypridd are one of the largest in Wales, they are a mixed group of people who have suffered or know someone who has or had cancer; their combination of singing and the message of enjoyment it brought to all was well received. The Choir were arranged into rows of musicality, they wore mostly black, and some with Tenovus T shirts but the main colour was prominent. There were wigs, a boa stole, a cowboy hat, ties and sleeves with jewellery that were the entire colour of pink. The message was for Breast Cancer Awareness Week stating that men can get breast cancer too. Their Choir Leader is Iori Haugen, he leads two Tenovus Choirs, and there are 16 in Wales. The Charity itself will be 75 years old next year and the Let’s sing for Cancer Project has been going for 10 years. Its aim is to raise funds for similar units (to the Mammogram ones) which will bring Chemotherapy treatment closer to the home of the patients. For further information please contact info@tenovuscancercare,org.uk.

Using backing tracks the Choir sang several songs which highlighted their talent, “Mr Blue Sky”,

 “We are Warriors” and “Sing a Song” particularly stood out.

The second group to entertain the audience was TimeLine, comprising of Gary, Nigel and Keith, a well-known trio of male singers from the area, formerly the Gooseberries with their formulae of songs which had the chapel rocking to the rafters. A trip down memory lane of “Waterloo Sunset”, “I’m a Believer” complete with the awesome “Hallelujah” which I am sure reached out well beyond the valley.

Special Guests were Deputy Mayor Councillor Susan Morgans (Ferndale Ward) and her Consort, Councillor Jack Harries (Maerdy Ward) both representatives of the local authority of Rhondda Cynon Taf. A presentation was given to a local couple by Cllr. Morgans consisting of a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a basket of goodies. Compere Brian Jones (in his pink shirt) of Brian’s General Store, Blaenllechau announced the results of the Raffle being held at the event comprising of wine, chocolates and homemade cakes.

In her speech Cllr. Morgans – who will be Mayor of RCT in 2020 with Cllr. Harries as her Consort, concluded that we are all one community and that as one we should help one another. Cllr. Morgans has named Cancer Research as one of her Charities for her tenure as Mayor.

The Valley was alive with song rocking the chapel to its rafters to be heard well beyond as the Tenovus Choir, TimeLine and the audience ended the night combining together with the Elvis song “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”

With thanks and appreciation to all IN THE PINK of health

Remembering there but for the grace of God

Think Pink Think Cancer Research

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