New Year's Eve Choir
I must write about our New Year’s Eve choir and collections
We would assemble in the Rising Inn about 10’30 after a bit of Enjoyment, at 11 o’clock (Stop Tap) we would practice the Hymns and choruses until 11’45. Then our first call would be at Cololardo Terr a Capt Boyds residence who also had a son a chief engineer at sea, one or the other would always be away so after singing 2 Hymns we would have Tommy Rabbits who was a very good Tenor and in charge of the party numbering about 18 to sing a solo out of Sankeys, with the chorus, ‘Let your lower lights be burning, send a Gleam across the sea some poor sinking struggling sea-man you would rescue you would save’ we would sing this with great ‘gusto’ and repeat the chorus sometimes twice that used to fetch us a golden half sovereign. Then to Thomas John a Fore-man at Grenfells where nearly all the party worked, 2 Hymns and a rousing third hymn, his favourite ‘Now Thank we all our God with hearts and voices’, 5/- There always ready next to Isaac Jenkins a very godly old man, Sunday school teacher etc four hymns there were “Lead Kindly Light” and Abide with me, with orders from “Rabbits” to sing very quiet and reverently, then outside the New Inn and then up to the “Gwyndy” not much choice for them as they were only 2/6 customers.
Now to Gwyndy Terr and if Capt Stephens happened to be home from sea. (we would have certainly found this out) another rendering the same as for Capt Boyd, half a sovereign if home, half a crown at sea. Then to Rees Davies Undertaker three half crowns, next stop ‘Jersey Arms’ another good client, three half crowns here and a good rousing hymn to finish, then up to ‘Bryntawe’ the Beddoes who owned the colliery. Good singing here with one in Welsh to finish and all invited in to have a glass of Port. Then the half a sovereign handed over. We would have a few shillings given and sixpences thrown out of some windows. It would be now about 2’30 AM. Then for home following the leader who had borrowed a lamp from the Porter at Upperbank station, a halt by the Malt-house to check the money with the treasurer and a promise for all to meet outside Miss Jones’s school the following evening. It was very strange how some of the choir could collect the amount due to each, “mental arithmetic” with such little schooling, the squaring up was a treat that never one of the party failed to attend.