"The 1949 Trip to London"

I will never forget the Choir's first trip to London in a very basic Bryn Melyn Bus along the A5. We had the nerve to go and compete against some of the largest choirs in the country, Rhos Male were well over 100 strong and conducted by a small bald headed gentleman called Benny. I think there where 7 choirs and although we were well down in position it was a great experience. It was held in the Westminster Central Hall and the test piece was Martyrs of the Arena, I was 18 years old and singing 1st Tenor in the centre of the choir, front row and really felt as if I was a Martyr in the Arena, I was so nervous.
One of our Ist Tenors in the second row fainted and he was held up by surrounding choristers until we finished the performance. Actually he was a well loved character, John Ernest Davies who for some reason was called Tiddler, they carried him off the stage and put his head under a cold water tap and as he came around they were complaining to him that he shouldn't faint on stage, which was a bit unfair.
The adjudicator Dr Wood asked the choirs to come back on stage so that he could conduct the massed choirs singing Martyrs, what an experience that was, I was now in a choir of 500 plus, amongst 125 1st Tenors, the hair on my head stood up and stayed that way for days.
I remember going into a Café afterwards and being amazed to see a well known 2nd Tenor entertaining a "Lady of the Night" with egg and chips. After a few drinks we returned home in good spirit and thanks to a bucket we made few stops and arrived in Fron at about 6.00am.
When we arrived home in Fron we had 2 extra passengers, Leston Jones and Benny Davies were two Fron Lads who had married London girls and had come to meet us in London but after a few drinks they had to come with us to see the old village again. I remember them discussing how to let their wives know they were in Fron and debating whether it was too early to wake up their families in Fron.
Now you know why I remember our first trip to London so well.

Dennis Williams