What they said about us...

Our appearance at Old Warden Church inspired this lovely poem by Christine Hunt, and following are extracts from a few of the cards, letters and emails we've received from host organisations:

"Thank you, Ken and the whole Quire, everyone enjoyed the evening with very favourable comments on the music, the costumes and the whole presentation. I am sure that we would wish to repeat the whole evening in the future."

Tony Howells, Organiser, St Faith's Church and Community Centre, Hexton


What a successful evening! Your Gallery Quire were superb producing an informative and entertaining evening, enjoyed by all! People commented on a really great evening as they left the church, and since. This was something new in Bletsoe and will be remembered for many years to come. Being the first event involving the opening of the Chancel it was the perfect choice.

Jean Jeavons, St Mary's Church, Bletsoe

Thanks once again to Bedford Gallery Quire for such an enjoyable evening yesterday. The beautiful costumes as well as the ‘old’ instruments took the church right back to its beginnings in the previous galleried church that dated from the 17th century till 1888. Everyone enjoyed your concert. It made an excellent start to our harvest thanksgiving weekend and we are delighted to have added £235 to our church funds. Thank you for that as well as for the music and the accompanying explanations and excerpts from such interesting writings from the period. We look forward to welcoming you again in the future.

Elaine Donaldson, St Neots United Reformed Church

What a fabulous day last Saturday; we were exhausted but stimulated too. I think we all gained from the event in so many generous ways. With donations made for refreshments throughout the day, and the retiring collection from the concert, we raised £475.75 which, with Gift Aid, will increase our total fund for this event to just over £500. Thank you so much for the organisation of this fabulous educational and entertaining workshop and concert.

Jane and David Hughes, St Mary's Church, Comberton

What a delight it all was on Saturday. It was a joy to see so many people from all corners of the two villages, as it were. We've had services in the church with jazz and gospel, and some know it mainly as the place for funerals, but this was unique. What a good thing to come, relax, enjoy music you were all clearly enjoying, too, and learn more about our history together, a real village event. We’ve had so much positive feedback from many people and we’ve sent over £400 to the Langley Trust.

Judith and Brian Hall, St James' Church, Hemingford Grey

On behalf of the trustees of the Langley Trust I extend our grateful thanks for this concert which generated £410.63 for our charity, more than half our normal annual income which supports those in need in our parish.

David Watkins, Treasurer, The Langley Trust

Please pass on the thanks of our Church to all the quire for a really memorable concert. We were very pleased that it raised a clear £260 for our renovation fund. Some of those who came had never been to our chapel before and expressed their delight with the content and presentation of the concert. Wishing you and all the quire a very merry Christmas.

Bernard Hooker, Roxton Congregational Church


I went to church the next morning and it was still buzzing with delight! The concert had touched and delighted the audience in many ways—so many congratulations on different aspects of the evening. Thank you for the research and readings which brought our village history alive again… There is already excitement about the proposed workshop on November 18th … and with Christmas music too.

David and Jane Hughes, St Mary's Church, Comberton


To the charming members of Bedford Gallery Quire - The dedication of people like you restores one's faith. You brought to life a forgotten world and shone a light into our rich cultural heritage. Elizabeth and Robert*, like the audiences, would have been delighted! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

.*Elizabeth Snitch, who made the sampler aged 12 years, and Robert Morris, whom she later married.

Marion Moule, The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum


Thanks to you and your lovely team. I think we made £611.75 – amazing! But the community feeling was the best part.

Wendy Page, Church of SS Peter and Paul, Cosgrove


We certainly enjoyed your concert and, for me, one of the most appealing attributes was the way in which the members of the Quire seemed to be enjoying it too! Their quips and interjections added colour to what was already a very colourful performance, with magnificent costumes, splendid instruments, unusual music and beautifully delivered spoken parts. It was a very special occasion. I’m delighted that both the Quire and the audience had such a splendid evening – thank you for making it possible!

Peter Leverkus, The Friends of St James, Biddenham


The concert seemed to be a great success and we have been receiving positive feedback...it looks as though we will have made about £500.00 for the Churches Conservation Trust and the St
Denys' Churchyard Maintenance Fund, so all good.

Margaret Carnell, St Denys' Church, Little Barford


We enjoyed having the Gallery Quire concert at All Saints Kempston so much.  All sorts of compliments have been coming my way. Everyone seems to have been delighted with the music, the singing, the readings, the costumes, and not least, the cheerfulness and merriment. There was a lot of interest in the history. We felt very honoured by the presence of the four Americans who had googled ‘West Gallery Quire’ while on a visit to Cambridge and found that our event was the nearest to them. Thank you so much to everyone for coming, for adapting to all the inconveniences and quirks of our sound, seating and catering arrangements.

Susan Martineau, All Saints Church, Kempston


"Thank you for a wonderful evening on Saturday. The audience were delighted with the programme, the singing, the instruments, the costume, the poems, the most interesting and informative commentary and, perhaps most of all, the warmth and evident enjoyment communicated by the quire. On top of the production itself we are thankful for your word of encouragement to the audience in support of the Zimbabwe Victims' Support Fund as well as the personal support given by members of the quire who made contributions to the bucket or through the raffle."

Revd David Winwood, Chair of trustees of the Zimbabwe Victims' Support Fund


"My ‘post’ behind the bar is a good point from which to gauge the audience’s reaction and it was clear that everyone was having a very enjoyable time and were very impressed with the quality of the performance. I personally enjoyed it immensely."

Andy Gibbs, Manager, The British Schools Museum


"The concert was very well received by our audience. I have had many excellent comments since then. We raised £462 for our Church funds which was very pleasing. I will send some photographs to Linda as soon as I receive them. Many thanks to you and all the Quire once again"

Colin Scott, St Peter's Church, Sharnbrook


"Thank you very much indeed for your excellent harvest concert which was very much enjoyed by everyone I spoke to afterwards. It was lovely to hear about all the instruments at the start of the second half and we were delighted to get the lovely encore song at the end too! Thanks again to you and to all your players and singers."

Elaine Donaldson, St Neots United Reformed Church


"On behalf of the Village Hall Committee I just wanted to thank you all again for a wonderful, fascinating evening enjoyed by all.

Thank you also for superb communication and press coverage."

Sue Keyser, Blunham Village Hall Committee


"Thank you for such a fun evening, with lots of interest attached too. It appealed on several levels, someone mentioned they were impressed by the authentic union flag of 1788 and someone else talked about Bunyan and the historic content etc. I had many notes of appreciation of the concert; as one person said it was 'wholly entertaining fun'. Please pass on our pleasure and thanks to the quire."

Jean Pooley, St Mary's Church, Barkway


"Thank you so much for such a splendid evening. People kept on telling me how much they enjoyed the music and fun, not just the day after but for the following two weeks as well."

Lloyd Barnett, St Neots Parish Church


"We enjoyed a great, friendly evening. We learned a lot, were astonished at the enthusiasm of all the singers and musicians, but most of all, we had fun."

Ruth Whitehead, SS Mary & Andrew, Whittlesford, following our concert for her church at Westminster College, Cambridge


"What a wonderful evening on Saturday, thank you all so very much. At a quick guess we made £500 for the Trust - Excellent."

Museum Manager


"Saturday night was a success, we made over £700 in ticket sales and £108 on the raffle. Loved the 'giant' and the music was wonderful."

Event Organiser


"The quire gave us all a wonderful evening at St M's on Saturday, and I certainly enjoyed every moment of it. Many thanks to you all.

The enclosed CD has a small number of the photos taken by me of the occasion ... please feel free to use them for quire publicity."

John Bethell, St Michael's Church, St Albans


"We very much appreciated your presentation which was both entertaining and informative. The period costume added to the visual aspect of the evening. The Boiler Fund has benefited to the tune of £189.09 after all expenses."



"We all enjoyed your visit very much, as I think you will have sensed from the audience reaction. For my own part I knew a little about what to expect, from 'Under the Greenwood Tree' and 'The Mellstock Band', but had no idea of the richness of the local tradition in Beds and Northants. I have since read with profit Ken's new booklet, so now know even more about West Gallery Quires! Your concert was a lovely culmination of a long but successful day"

Tony Seward, Chairman of the Trustees of the Cowper & Newton Museum, Olney


"Just a few lines to thank you so much for the contribution the Bedford Gallery Quire made to our Study Day on Saturday. Your music and singing was so well received—I have heard nothing but praise"

Ann Banham, Events Secretary, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Historic Churches Trust


"It was a truly memorable conclusion to the day, a feast for both eye and ear ... I was particularly impressed by the obvious research effort ... tracking down and transcribing the music."

Christopher Green, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Historic Churches Trust


"A short note to thank you and the Bedford Gallery Quire for a fascinating evening last Monday. Everyone I have spoken to has said that it was the best Christmas entertainment we have had for many years, being both entertaining and educating.

A number of us are working on ways of inviting you to pay another visit but to a larger venue!"

Colin Killick, Hon Sec, Stevenage Society for Local History