Type of post: Newsletter
Posted By: David Harris
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 1 Feb 2021
Hello fellow barbershoppers. 

Jim Brassington chatting. 

I've been asked to write a few lines about my musical journey through life.

I hope it doesn't bore you too much!

Way back in 1956, aged 7and a bit, I joined the church choir at Stoke St Michael's church in Coventry and spent many happy years as a chorister, with particular memories of being in the choir football team, run by a certain Jack Tuckley (yes our own Jack Tuckley) who was also in the choir, albeit much older than me! 

Time went by and when my voice broke (l think I must have dropped it, l don't remember) l went down through the voice parts, Alto, then Tenor finishing up as Bass. But alas, by the age of 17, l turned from church music, lured away by inviting pastures new. (Women and beer!!)

I settled down, Margaret and I married and raised a family. I took the children to the local church, St Bartholomew’s in Binley, and soon joined the church choir and I was back singing again. It was here l befriended Chris Sherwin, and we've been good mates ever since. One evening, our church held a concert given by a certain Coventry Barbershop Harmony Club. I was absolutely stunned by this new (to me) musical sound. I also knew two of the singers,(Jack Tuckley and John Ockenden) and we had a good chat after the show. 

John would get me tickets for the subsequent shows at Bedworth Civic Hall and Albany Theatre and we joined in the afterglows. 

In 2008,l saw an item in the paper about a 6 week learn to sing course run by the club and l suggested to Chris Sherwin we should go along together. We both enjoyed it, especially the afterglows at the Bulls Head, where l would stand with Wilf Pattison and he would direct me in singing "Home on the range "the only song l knew the words to at that time. 
By then I was hooked.  

The first singout l did was at Chesford Grange. We were in the foyer afterwards and four of us, John Powell, Chris Sherwin, Ivor James and I were singing a couple of polecats. Paul Williams came by and suggested we form a quartet. That was the start of Harmony 4 You. Sadly John Powell passed away so we folded after about 2 years. Subsequently l have sung quartet with 4Fold, and presently l sing with 4K.  We have twice sung in National Quartet Prelims coming 28th and 20th. I really enjoy the challenge of quartet singing. 

In 2009 l sang at my first convention with the club at Llandudno and barbershop became a part of my life.

In 2012 the club was invited to a social BBQ at 5waysharmony Banbury, our nearest barbershop neighbours. We had a great time singing together and somebody asked me what l did on a Thursday evening. Suddenly I was a member of 5ways chorus as well, and my wife Margaret was in danger of becoming a Barbershop widow. I was singing at rehearsal on Tuesday and Thursday as well as singouts and quartet practices, things were getting a bit edgy on the home front. 

Then, one day in 2016 Vaughan Bonsor’s wife Pauline, invited Margaret to a "Diva for a day "course with the Belles of Three Spires Harmony Ladies Chorus. 

As the old saying goes, "If you can't beat them, join them."  She too caught the Barbershop bug and now we are what you might call a complete barbershop "family "in every sense of the word. 

I have made so many friends through the Barbershop community and l still get a real buzz when I sing anything Barbershop.     
 Long may it continue. Thank you all.


Jim Brassington.