Wives tune up for showdown

Photo Ian Robinson Weeton Military Wives Choir during their rehearsal for their performance at the Preston Military Show Cpt James Marshall

Photo Ian Robinson Weeton Military Wives Choir during their rehearsal for their performance at the Preston Military Show Cpt James Marshall

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Sing it loud and proud!

A support group set up to help a group of military wives get through a difficult six-month separation from their husbands is set to make its singing debut.

The Weeton Military Wives Choir – partly inspired by the chart-topping British female choral group led by Gareth Malone – will be going for a song this Saturday at the Preston Military Show.

The group mainly includes wives and girlfriends of North West soldiers serving in Afghanistan, along with teachers at Weeton Primary School, which is based within the barracks. Their performance is set to be one of the highlights of this weekend’s event at the historic Fulwood Barracks, culminating in a Sunset Ceremony featuring the choir later in the afternoon.

The 24-strong choir consists mainly of the wives, partners and girlfriends of soldiers who serve at Weeton Barracks, near Blackpool, the home of the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

The choral ensemble has been practising for the last two months in preparation for the show, under the expert ear of Capt James Marshall, director of music for The Band of the King’s Division.

He said: “I wanted to establish a choir at Weeton to give the ladies an opportunity to get together in a relaxed atmosphere, while their partners are away, where they could lift their spirits.

“Some have sung before and some have not but they all have a huge amount of enthusiasm for Saturday’s performance – though they are nervous too!”

The Preston Military Show is the largest display by the Armed Forces in the North West, and involves soldiers and cadets from Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria.

The event will be hosted by BBC Radio Lancashire’s Ted Robbins, with other attractions on Saturday including a battle demonstration by the region’s TA soldiers, military vehicles past and present, a flight simulator, a life-sized Typhoon jet cockpit and a children’s fairground, and starts at 12.30pm.

Last year around 6,000 spectators attended the event, with organisers hoping for a similar turn-out this weekend.

Other highlights include a Lancashire Fire and Rescue display and a massed bands concert.

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