It is with sadness that we report that choir member John Raine has lost his long and brave battle. He did manage to return to his beloved choir between periods of excessive treatment.
The article below, which first appeared in June 2014, is published once more as a tribute to John.
The last twelve months have been tough for choir member John Raine. The fight against cancer can be long, painful and arduous.
But Lancashire born and Yorkshire bred John has a typical steely determination. He has to fulfil one aim in particular.
“Returning to the choir when I complete my course of chemotherapy is a goal I am determined to achieve.”
John Raine was born in Barrowford. A large village and civil parish in the Pendle district of Lancashire. At the age of nine the family moved to Aysgarth, in the Yorkshire Dales.
Celebrated for its magnificent falls. Where the River Ure tumbles over great limestone steps.
It was at Aysgarth Church as a choirboy that gave John his first love of singing. He has retained this passion throughout his life.
‘Have a Go’
John has a notable memory from his schooldays. When Wilfred Pickles brought his popular radio show ‘Have A Go’ to Aysgarth.
The show, which ran from 1946 to 1967, attracted a weekly audience of 20 million.
It launched such catchphrases as ‘How do, how are yer?’ and ‘What’s on the table, Mabel?’
“To promote and publicise the show Pickles went round the local schools. You had to be 18 to attend the recording of the show.
It was at Cross Lanes School in Thoralby that I got my photo taken with Wilfred Pickles. As a bonus, some of the local lads and myself did get in to the building and we watched the recording at the door.”
John Raine and the Royal Air Force
John moved to Denbigh in October 1972 when he came out of the RAF after 12 years service. “I was an apprentice at RAF Locking, first posting to RAF Bulmer in Northumberland.
Then a year in Christmas Island. Followed by RAF North Luffenham, a three month detachment to Kuantan Malaya. Then on to Nato in Paris, followed by Belgium.
Further periods at the MOD in London before a tour in Malta, and finally to High Wickham before demob.”
John Raine and the Choir
John has been a choir member with the Denbigh and District Male Voice Choir for 18 years. He has also sang with St Thomas’s Church choir in Denbigh.
He particularly enjoys the Sankey Moody evening which is a successful joint collaboration.
His favourite singing venue is St Asaph Cathedral. “The acoustics and audience feedback are great.”
He prefers to sing lullaby songs such as ‘Si Hei Lwli Mabi.’ “Quiet singing always brings the best out of the choir.”
John has sang solo parts with the choir. A memorable highlight for him was “conducting the choir.” This happened when Arwyn Roberts (conductor) and Clwyd Wynne (Deputy conductor) were not available.”
John Raine and Love of Music
“I’m a country music fan and I just picked two country music singers at random – truth is I like them all.”
John’s explanation of his love of music is easy to understand. “I just love to sing and I enjoy the companionship of the fellow choristers.”
“This has been a difficult year and the best wishes of the choir members have been a great source of strength for me.”