From Other Lands – The Choir and Orchestra of Grange Grammar School for Girls
Highway Records HWE 201 EP
Steve Ward came across this EP in a charity shop and shared it with SMA. I’d never heard of it, even though I attended the nearby Abbeydale Boys Grammar school for a year before we went “co-ed” and became Grange Grammar School. Looking at the chosen songs and the icon on the sleeves, this seems to be a religious offering of some kind, but it’s interesting to know who funded it and where it was made. Interestingly (or not!) I remember Cliff Richard visited Abbeydale Grange in the early 70s to sing about his faith, much to the disgust of us prog & hard rock fans!
From the sleeve notes: Recorded at the School Prize July 1966, in the City Hall Sheffield. Director of Music: Jacqueline A. Williams
1 Kum Bal Va
2 Waltzing Matilda
1 Morning in Tyrol
2 Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory
Grange Grammar School has about 560 pupils ranging in age from 11 to 18. Music iii all its forms is strongly encouraged in the school and most of the girls take an active part and an enthusiastic delight in music making. The whole school performs on the annual Prize Day. The orchestra was formed seven years ago when instrumental teaching was started in the school and it now comprises about 80 players. At first instrumental playing in the school was voluntary, but now all girls have to play at least one musical instrument, and many of them play several. The musical life of Grange is lively and varied, and this is reflected in the pieces on this record.
According to Discogs, Highway Records released another EP in the same year, the Sheffield Youth Squash Choir – Somebody’s Knockin’ (AW 301), featuring
Conductor – Jacqueline Williams, Mezzo-soprano Vocals – Patricia Wild, Organ – John Jackson, Piano – Ronald Sherwood, Soprano Vocals – Margaret Higgins
Pics by Ian Lee
We’ve now exceeded 10.000 gigs – please keep them coming!
2 great posters from Sharon Lee
It’s easy to overlook the importance of local media in an active regional music scene. Martin Lilleker at the Star/Telegraph and Jane Kitson (Radio Sheffield) are both sadly lost to us, but were pillars of support for local bands.
Another “old timer” is Rony Robinson, stepping down from his job as Radio Sheffield daytime presenter after an uninterrupted run since 1984. During that time he’s given exposure to a wide range of local artists and musicians. He attended King Edward VII School and won a scholarship to Keble College, Oxford, where he studied history. He published his first novel in 1971 and has many more to his name.
Twice resident playwright at The Crucible Theatre, he has had over a hundred plays produced all over the country. He also writes children’s poetry and plays and writes songs for the autoharp. In 1999 he received an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University. Most important of all, he’s a Bladesman! His parting words – “I’m closing my fader. I didn’t expect to get away with it for 40 years.”
SMA’s Nick featured many times on his show over the years and says “Rony is a charming and much-respected local hero – his shows were always engaging and light years away from some of the anodyne, self-congratulatory tosh that often crops up on local radio.”
We wish him well in his retirement.
While the world jived to post Punk and New Wave, the Sheffield Polytechnic crowd were getting down to the sounds of Flyte, and a happening disco fronted by DJ Tony Prince! Prince was actually an important character having been at Radio Luxembourg after the demise of the pirate radio stations, and he used to do a road show in his spare time. I confess I’m not sure who the band Flyte are, providing live entertainment. The web suggests there was a Belgium prog rock band of that name working at the time but there have been others. So if you know do get in touch. This must have been one of the first events at the newly built Phoenix Hall Union building.
courtesy of Simon Laffoley
Our A-Z of local record shops covers Wilson & Pecks, a music and record and ticket shop many Sheffielders will remember with much fondness. But sifting through a pile of old newspapers Simon borrowed off a neighbour these amazing adverts showed up, which confirm the history of the business.
In an issue of the local paper dated 1891, both Arthur Wilson and Pecks and advertising pianos and other keyboards from their separate businesses in the city centre. Then just six years in 1897 later we found the first advert for Wilson, Peck and Co’s celebrated Piano and Organ Showrooms.
We are fairly certain this was Sheffield’s oldest established music shop by the time is finally closed in the 1980s. If any members of the family are out there do get in touch as it would be great to learn more about the business (though Simon was once told that sadly all their papers were thrown into a skip when they left the city centre shop). If you worked there and especially if you have any photographs do get in touch.