Something very interesting popped up in the week that I think will engage the older readers particularly, and is a lovely one for the pre-Christmas period: A photo of the Brownhills Co-Operative Society Orchestra.
I had no idea it existed at all. I of course knew about the Brownhills Co-Operative Choral Society operating from the same place – which won many awards and was famous for decades; David Evans has written extensively about that fine history here many times over the years.
Yet I don’t recall any mention of an orchestra at all. John Bakewell wrote:
I used to play double bass with the Co-op orchestra that rehearsed each week in a room above the shop. Has anyone got any memories of this orchestra?
I’m second from the right at the back with the head of a double bass next to me. The society had their own instrument which meant that I could go straight to rehearsal on the bus from Cannock after finishing work in the council offices.
David Evans also observed:
Possibly a young Ray Cooper, back row second from right… Viola player. Isabel Cooper, his wife, front row, by the clarinet player…
So can we help John identify more of the people in the image, or share recollections of this clearly very fine group of musicians?
Can you help please? If you can, comment here on the blog, find me on social media or shoot me an email to BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks, and particularly to John for shining a light on another bit of our otherwise forgotten cultural heritage.