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IOM Tour – Day 6

Our final day began with the usual wake up at 7:00am for the boys, the early morning walk which has had fewer and fewer people each day and then breakfast at 8:00am with again an array of foods to chose. Breakfast was followed by room check and then bank. The boys then descended on St. Thomas’ church for our final practice there, which was very good with all the boys singing well. After the practice there was an extra long free time with boys going into Douglas for one last stop at Pickwicks, a local shop near the church. Despite many boys buying more food it was time for our last lunch which was burgers and chips and then ice cream for pudding, the perfect meal for some boys. Now it was time to burn off the energy at the beach again, but this time it was to Peel beach in the west of the island. All the boys took part in a football game and some dug holes, but didn’t get to put anyone in them. After the fun at the beach the boys went to St. Matthew’s Church in Douglas where they had their final practice of the course which again was very successful in every aspect. There was then a drive back to the hotel and a quick change before tea which was chorizo with buffalo mozzarella, fish cakes or homemade soup then for main there was roast pork, ratatouille or fish pie and finally bread and butter pudding, ice cream or cheese and biscuits for dessert. After the huge three course meal the boys went to sing their final service which ended up being one of the best of the week. The readings were read by Finlay Walsh and Harry Jones and the prayers were read by Lachlan Walsh, Marshall Butler, Daniel Harper, James Cross and James Jones. Again the service was concluded with the anthem O God You Search Me which was sung very competently by Henry Holding, especially for his first solo. Also a very well done to all the boys for an outstanding week and to Finley Lawrenson for a very good first time. Overall a brilliant last day along with a great week.

Patrick Hurley and Max Cross
Head Choristers

IOM Tour – Day 5

We began our fifth day with the usual sausage, eggs, bacon, beans and a whole array of other delicious breakfast materials. After allowing our food to digest slightly we were yet again whisked off for our usual morning practice, this time at All Saints, Douglas. It was a slightly sombre practice knowing that the church in which we were singing would be knocked down within the next month or so. However, we powered on and left the rehearsal feeling prepared for the service that was to come in the evening. We next travelled down to Pickwicks in order to stock up on various goodies, mostly sweets. We were, however, under strict instructions from Matron not to eat any of them before our lunch which was chicken and chips. Our afternoon activity after our lunch was split. The Head Choristers and Team Leaders attended a wonderful afternoon at the venture centre. Whereas the other boys travelled to Mooragh Park for an afternoon on the pedalos followed by football. Despite the juniors being on water it seemed that the seniors were actually the ones who returned to the Hydro more wet, especially Master McAteer! After a quick shower we began tea. The starter consisted of spring rolls, pâté and fruit juice. For main, cod or chicken or curry all served with a great amount of vegetables which were devoured in what can only be as described as record time, in anticipation for the service to come. Pudding was lemon tart or trio of Manx Ice Cream. After this tea we went to sing our fifth service of the course, which lived up to our practice. Ben Hodson and Max Cross read the two lessons exquisitely. The service was topped off with an excellent solo of Morning Glory sang by James Bettess. We finished the service by being greeted with tables of cakes from our gracious hosts – we are truly going to miss All Saints. On arrival home we were all extremely tired from a exciting day and we were all eager to go to bed. Thank you for reading – we hope you come back to read tomorrow!

Max Cross and Patrick Hurley
Head Choristers

IOM Tour – DAY 1

We arrived at Liverpool raring to go and boarded the Isle of Man fast craft, the Manannan. After two hours of sailing, excitement, movie watching and revision from the older boys, we finally arrived on the island where we were yet again greeted by the gracious members of Saint Thomas’ Church.
After checking in at the Hydro Hotel we quickly set off for a ride on the one hundred year old tram service, where we travelled to Groudel Glen. Upon arrival at the glen we walked through a small woodland area only to be greeted by a disused railway line which led to a fabulous viewing point over Douglas harbour. After this exciting outing we sat down for our first delicious meal provided by the Hydro. For starters, a selection mixed fruit juice or tartiflette (basically a fancy bacon quiche, although very nice) or a pea soup. Then for main, a selection of salads or fish and chips or beef lasagne complete with garlic bread. Finally, for dessert: sherry trifle, trio of Manx ice cream or, as in the case of one James Cross, cheese and biscuits. After being filled with our delicious meal we set out for Saint Thomas’ just to familiarise ourselves with our base camp. By this time we were all very excited but hugely tired (especially after racing down the promenade on our way back from the church), so after a quick juice and biscuit we are now all of to bed and can’t wait to start in the morning. We hope you will come back to read tomorrow!

Maximilian Cross and Patrick Hurley
Head Choristers

IOM Tour – Day 2

After a great crossing to the island we began our second day with the famous breakfast which included bacon, egg, sausage, black pudding, cereal and toast with many boys having multiple servings. Once the most important meal of the day was over the boys had their usual room check and bank before venturing off to our first practice in St. Thomas’ church. In the boys’ break they had their daily trip to Pickwick’s, a local shop which generations of boys have enjoyed. Then we returned to the hotel for our lunch which today was yet more sausage, with mash and peas and onion gravy, and Manx ice cream for dessert. The group then returned to St. Thomas’ church for our second practice where a reporter from Manx Radio recorded the boys singing Ave Maria by Simon Lindley and Be Still For the Presence of the Lord arranged by JC. She then spoke to some boys including the Head Choristers about our time in the choir and why we enjoyed it. This recording can be heard at 7:30 AM on Manx Radio or can be listened to on demand on the Manx Radio website. Straight after, most of the boys went to the National Sports Centre for swimming which was thoroughly enjoyed. However Mr Catterall, Mrs Stockdale and Marshall went sight seeing around the island, enjoying a beautifully clear day. Once the boys had dried off and changed it was time for yet another meal where the boys ate through three courses with chicken wings, meatballs or soup for starters then chicken curry, spaghetti bolognese, or vegetable stir fry for main and vanilla cheesecake or ice cream for dessert. Finally, after a day of singing and eating, with a bit of swimming to keep the balance right, the boys sang their first service of the week which was at St. Thomas’ church and was a great success. In the service Marshall Butler and Jacob Egan read the readings, Max Cross, Jacob Smith, Harry Jones, James Bettess and Thomas Wren read the prayers and James Jones sang a beautiful solo of O God You Search Me at the end of the service. Overall a fun and tiring day! We hope you will read more tomorrow!

Max Cross and Patrick Hurley
Head Choristers

IOM Tour – Day 3

We started our third day on the island with our delicious breakfast of more bacon, sausage, beans, black pudding and all sorts of delicious items a growing chorister needs. However, we had no time to sit back and let our food digest as after bank we were whisked straight off to Saint Thomas’ to sing our first practice and service of the day. After the 11 o’clock Eucharist (in which we experienced readings from Patrick Hurley and James Cross, who read with such clarity, and a superb solo from Jacob Smith) and our usual shop at the legendary Pickwicks, we arrived back at the hotel. Upon arrival we were greeted with a wonderful three course lunch. For starters, melon or vegetable spring rolls or mushroom soup. This was followed by chicken or roast beef Sunday lunch. And finally to top it all off a pudding of apple pie and custard or trio of Manx ice cream. After our bellies were full yet again we set out for ‘The Lady Isabella’, Laxey Wheel. After a ‘brief’ history of the wheel and mines had been given by Mrs Stockdale we set out for Ramsey, preparing to be attacked with catastrophic amounts of food. The Ramsey tea, famous for defeating even the ‘hollow legged boys’, did not disappoint. After mounds of sandwiches, bowls of crisps, trays of sausages (mostly devoured by the organ scholar) and endless amounts of cakes we heaved ourselves into the practice. After an quick rehearsal we began our Saint Paul’s Ramsey service. Throughout the course of the service we heard readings from Finlay Walsh and James Jones and prayers from Josh Dryland, Ben Hodson, Jack Ainsworth and Henry Holding. As well as this, we enjoyed a solo by James Jones and laughed at the Head Chorister being forced to play the role of Jesus in the sermon! We’re now back at the hotel all stuffed to busting and about to go to bed, ready for what tomorrow holds!

Please come back to read more tomorrow!

Max Cross and Patrick Hurley
Head Choristers

IOM Tour – Day 4 and Day 5

IOM Day 4

After two very successful Sunday services the boys awoke for yet another day of singing. However, in the morning, news of the Ben-My-Chree’s breakdown had reached us (engine failure), but the engineers have been working hard to fix it. The day began with a usual breakfast feast which the boys still managed to eat, despite being sent home with cake from Ramsey. Once breakfast had finished the staff were awarded their standards from the Head Choristers. Then it was time for room check, bank and then straight off to the practice at St. Thomas’ with a break for our stop at Pickwicks. The outstanding practice was followed by free time and then yet more food at lunch which was chilli con carne or salad and Manx ice cream. Now it was time to burn the calories from all this food on the beach. The boys and staff went to Port Erin beach in the south of the Island where some boys dug holes and sea defences and some played football. The group then departed to Kirk Malew for the second practice of the day which went very well. On the way to this first time church each vehicle said good afternoon to the fairies whilst going over Fairy Bridge, but when the Organ Scholar forgot, the organ started to generate sounds that it wasn’t meant to! Thankfully this was fixed before the service. The boys returned for tea which was kebab, soup or mackerel for starters then steak pie, salmon and vegetable lasagne and finally eton mess, ice cream and cheese and biscuits for dessert. After getting changed we were rushed off to the service where Ben Hodson sang a very good solo and Daniel Harper and James Bettess read the readings beautifully and the prayers were read by Patrick Hurley, Adam Thornley, Harry Jones, Jacob Smith and Jacob Egan. The service was a great success and it was so good that the boys were awarded more food after the service. Overall it was a very good day!

Max Cross & Patrick Hurley
Head Choristers

IOM Day 5

We began our fifth day with the usual sausage, eggs, bacon, beans and a whole array of other delicious breakfast materials. After allowing our food to digest slightly we were yet again whisked off for our usual morning practice, this time at All Saints, Douglas. It was a slightly sombre practice knowing that the church in which we were singing would be knocked down within the next month or so. However, we powered on and left the rehearsal feeling prepared for the service that was to come in the evening. We next travelled down to Pickwicks in order to stock up on various goodies, mostly sweets. We were, however, under strict instructions from Matron not to eat any of them before our lunch which was chicken and chips. Our afternoon activity after our lunch was split. The Head Choristers and Team Leaders attended a wonderful afternoon at the venture centre. Whereas the other boys travelled to Mooragh Park for an afternoon on the pedalos followed by football. Despite the juniors being on water it seemed that the seniors were actually the ones who returned to the Hydro more wet, especially Master McAteer! After a quick shower we began tea. The starter consisted of spring rolls, pâté and fruit juice. For main, cod or chicken or curry all served with a great amount of vegetables which were devoured in what can only be as described as record time, in anticipation for the service to come. Pudding was lemon tart or trio of Manx Ice Cream. After this tea we went to sing our fifth service of the course, which lived up to our practice. Ben Hodson and Max Cross read the two lessons exquisitely. The service was topped off with an excellent solo of Morning Glory sang by James Bettess. We finished the service by being greeted with tables of cakes from our gracious hosts – we are truly going to miss All Saints. On arrival home we were all extremely tired from a exciting day and we were all eager to go to bed. Thank you for reading – we hope you come back to read tomorrow!

Max Cross and Patrick Hurley
Head Choristers