John Carter

John became a regular attender at rehearsals and singouts as well as contests – Mr Reliable in so many ways. He was the sort of guy who had a mischievous sense of fun and humour which came to the fore in so many ways during his membership. Memories of this are many, including his unannounced use of bells when performing ‘Jingle Bells’ one Christmas; and his claim to have used up half of his garden fence in producing stage props, including tankards, when we sang ‘Saloon’ at the Birmingham Convention. In making the tankard, his wife asked John, what have you done with my dressing table”   This talent developed when, appearing in a Music Hall act to raise funds for the chorus, he sang ‘Sonny Boy’ during the performance of which his ‘arms’ were extended to twice their normal length. The audience reaction each night was wonderful to see. On a visit to Ireland one year he was carrying an imitation starting pistol – another prop – which attracted considerable attention from the armed Police Officers at the Airport. Probably on this same trip, the quartet in which he occasionally sang used the title Four Kings Singers, which the compere of the contest amended just in time to the Four Devils! On another occasion he manufactured a wonderful roll-up screen for the Monday Morning Show through which along with Colin Williams; Roy Hodge and Rick Scott, poked their heads to perform ‘I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside’ just like the seafront photo-booths.

On numerous occasions John hosted guests to Anvil Chorus

Beyond activities in the Club, John devoted considerable efforts to the development and running of part of the Association’s Harmony Store – the section which at that time was dealing with the sale of recoded music of Choruses and Quartets, much of which he arranged to import from the United States. He could be always seen at the ‘shop’ usually dressed colourfully, but at one Brighton he excelled himself by not only his clothes, but with a Barbershop hat with flashing lights, a picture of which appeared on the front of the local newspaper that weekend when he became the image of Barbershop at that Convention.  As book-keeping was not his forte, his brother Kenneth took control of the finances of the Harmony Store, leaving John to lead on the sales front where his happy-go-lucky style must have clinched many a sale for the Association.

John’s wife, Joan had one complaint. She could only go with John anywhere twice, the second time was to apologise.

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