Musical tribute to choir tenor

Hilda and Les Rich.
Hilda and Les Rich.
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BLACKPOOL Male Voice Choir will sing in tribute at the funeral of one of its longest-serving former members.

Softly As I Leave You and Gwahoddiad were personal favourites of Les Rich, a second tenor with the well-known performers for 30 years.

Mr Rich, who lived in Carleton, died on October 12 in Bank House Nursing Home, Hambleton, aged 88.

His younger daughter Karen Rich said: “It is fitting to the respect Les engendered through his kindness that the choir has now asked to sing in tribute, even though it is several years since he retired from their ranks.”

Cornishman Les, a retired carpet fitter, met his wife Hilda when she was singing in the choir at Springfield Methodist Church, North Shore.

An RAF wireless operator, he had attended a Sunday service there while stationed in Blackpool in 1942 and they were married at the church six years later.

The couple, who celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in 2008, had been members of the choir at Poulton Methodist Church, on Queensway, where a service of memorial and celebration for Mr Rich will be held on Wednesday at 11am, following the earlier committal at Carleton Crematorium at 10.30am.

Mr Rich, who was widowed last December, leaves two daughters, Joanne and Karen.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, are requested to the British Heart Foundation c/o The Co-operative Funeral Care, Blackpool.