Begins in January 2014... I had wanted to start a protest song choir for some time... to join with others and sing songs of freedom and change.
I was asked to sing at a dear friend's retirement party at the Mining Institute Newcastle. In the preparations for the event I visited the institute. I'll never forget the first time I walked into the library. I was in awe; struck by the incredible beauty of the architecture. Despite it's age the building was alive with history, brimming with knowledge and stories - a mine of information! I walked up onto the balcony (where I was to perform from) and I was tingling with excitement - my Grandad Tom would have been so proud!
The party was wonderful and I sang a selection of North East and American work and mining songs. During the course of the evening, my friend Keith took me aside and lead me to a group of his friends asking "so when are you going to start this socialist choir"...?
The spark was ignited and the journey began...
During the following months I developed the idea further, consulting with and advised by comrades. I arranged an open day at the Mining Institute on Saturday 14th June 2014 and over the afternoon over 40 people came!
By the afternoon's end we had formed a collective and most are still with us today. I asked when the group wanted to commence regular meetings and they said immediately! We met the following week and the rest is history...
...Ours has been quite a journey and this post will be continued!
Bethany Elen Coyle - April 2015