TWENTY-TWO members of the Meadway Singers gathered at the Boathouse Restaurant, Sale Water Park, to celebrate their 25th anniversary. on March 11.

Conductor, Varzie Clare, who took over in 2015 after the death of Joe Agnew, their founder and former conductor, was there.

So was Joe’s widow, Irene, a founder member, along with fellow founder members, Joan Jones and Lynda Higginson.

The members first met at a get-together at Sale Grammar School on March 18, 1992.

Irene said: “On that first night some had not sung for years. Joe used the 'Londonderry Air' to sort them out.

Two weeks later they were singing at the Avenue Methodist Church where they still meet on Thursday evenings."

Joe spent the first half of his life in Mow Cop an area where he had been evacuated to and where he conducted choirs. That is how he met Irene. When he retired as sub postmaster and head of the village store, he moved to Sale.

“He was always chuffed when we and members of the Meadway Junior Singers and Youth choir, which he formed in 1994, won at Hazel Grove and Macclesfield Music Festivals,” said Irene.

The couple were married two months after the Meadway Singers were formed.

Varzie, who joined in 2003, said: “I had the support of the ladies.

“The hardest thing about conducting is being able to hear different sections of the choir at the same time.

“We have been grateful for the support of our pianists over the years.”

* For information about the choirs, see or telephone 0161 969 6684.