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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

London calling as Barrow military wives record debut single

CHART-TOPPING military wives were given the star treatment when they were whisked off to the capital to record their first single.

Debbie Walker and Beth Calvert-Cooper, both originally from Barrow, are proud members of the West of Scotland Military Wives choir.

The choir, based in Helensburgh, was set up in March by Joanne McMurdo, who was inspired by the hit TV show The Choir, which featured choirmaster Gareth Malone.

So when the opportunity arose for the Scottish choir to record a single with his help, the women were thrilled.

The choir’s 30 singers were invited to London in September to shoot the video for Stronger Together, a collaborative music project with 24 other military wives choirs from across the UK.

Mrs Calvert-Cooper, whose husband Chris Calvert is a submariner serving on HMS Victoria, moved to Helensburgh in 2001. She said that since joining the choir earlier this year “it has gone in leaps and bounds”.

The mother-of-four said recording the single was “just amazing”.

The 30-year-old former Alfred Barrow School pupil added: “It was really exiting going down to London. It took us 12 hours to get there, but it was worth the wait!”

Debbie Walker, who also moved to Helensburgh in 2001, and whose husband Paul serves on HMS Vigilant, has been part of the choir since it was first set up.

Mrs Walker, a former pupil of Walney School, said: “It was really exciting to be a part of it.”

Earlier in the year, the choir met Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle at the Poppy Scotland launch.

The Decca record label behind the Stronger Together album, which is ranked at 17 on the Radio 1 album chart, has pledged to donate £1 for every copy downloaded to the Military Wives Foundation.

The money raised will be used to set up new choirs and to help the Royal British Legion.

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