Top secret project in fine voice

The secret choir of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Royal Marines Ladies Section (MAGS)

The secret choir of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Royal Marines Ladies Section (MAGS)

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These women were determined to hit all the right notes with a secret plan for a fundraising event.

The ladies, who dub themselves MAGS (mothers, wives and grandmothers) of former Royal Marines, spent months getting into fine voice for a “secret choir” to perform at a St George’s Day dinner dance at The Savoy Hotel, Blackpool, last weekend.

Only a handful of people knew they had been practising for the big event, held to raise funds for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust.

Margaret Taylor, secretary of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Royal Marine Association Ladies Section, said the women had been inspired after seeing TV choir master Gareth Malone, and the Military Wives choir he put together from an Army base in Devon, whose husbands and partners were deployed in Afghanistan.

“About 18 months ago, we had been following the Military Wives progress and felt we wanted to do something similar.

“One of the ladies is a member of Poulton People’s Choir and said she wondered if their choir master Tony Brindle Wills might be interested and help us.

“There was nine of us who started singing. We met every Monday night – some of the women’s husbands knew about it because they dropped them off and so on, but we largely kept it secret.

“It was a nice surprise then for all those who attended.

“We hope to keep it going now and sing again at future events.

Margaret, who lives in Staining, said: “The Royal Marines Charitable Trust is a cause close to all our hearts as we understand what it’s like to have husbands or partners in the Marines. The Marines is like a big family.

“I met my best friend through the Marines more than 40 years ago.

“And the choir has created even more of a bond and has been really good fun.

“The MAGS have done lots of fundraising over the years, including for Help For Heroes

““We have members from across the Fylde coast – South Shore, Cleveleys, Poulton, Blackpool town centre.

“We have raised more than £5,000 already for the charity and this dinner raised £500, along with £200 we raised at a charity night at The Guards Club.”