TEDDINGTON, MIDDLESEX. Sir: I certainly remember Singing Together on BBC Schools Radio (“Post Box”, Spring/summer 2016). We listened to it on the big wooden box wireless in Langloan primary school, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, in the early 1960s. There were accompanying booklets with all the songs we would be learning that term. We learned all the traditional songs, including “Rule Britannia”. I don’t suppose they learn any patriotic songs now, more’s the pity! Does anybody remember the schools programme Music and Movement which had us all exercising to music? — JAMES B.
SINCLAIR, ST. HELIER, JERSEY. *The autumn issue of our sister magazine Evergreen (see page 65) features an article about Singing Together written by its longest-serving producer Douglas Coombes. — Ed.
Sir: I attended Tarporley County Primary School, Cheshire, and Singing Together was one of the highlights of the week. The whole school would gather a few minutes before it started at 11 o’clock on a Monday morning.
The radio would be switched on to warm up — it was valves in those days — no transistors! Song sheets would be handed out, but until we heard the announcer’s voice we didn’t know which songs we would be singing. The one I vividly remember is “Cargoes” based on the poem by John Masefield, with two slow verses and the last verse chanted loudly:
There were many other favourites: “Donkey Riding”; “Clementine”; “Widecombe Fair” and “Cockles and Mussels” to name a few.
All too soon we resumed normal lessons, but it was a rousing way to begin the week. Happy days. — BRIAN SALT, spent in Italy during the Second World War. Through This England I have reached veterans in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Poland, Israel (Palestine), all parts of the UK and many veterans’ families who wish to record their relatives’ memoirs. At the same time the Veterans and I have been fundraising for a permanent memorial to honour and remember all those who fought in Italy.
My late father served with the Royal Artillery in North Africa and then in the entire Italy campaign and he used to say that his comrades, of all nationalities, were the best mates he ever had! May I say to Pamella that my generation will never forget the aid given to us by our Allies during the war and the purpose of our memorial is to ensure that the next generations realise the futility of war. — ANN HAMLET,