THEY have been around for more than 50 years and performed in front of thousands ... but today the Shiney Row Male Voice Choir is under threat.
The County Durham-based choir formed in 1959 and since then they have wowed audiences across the UK and raised cash for charity.
But the group’s future hangs in the balance after membership numbers dwindled over the years.
Secretary Ron Wilson, who has been a member of the choir for 12 years, is now appealing for new members to come forward.
The 71-year-old said: “The average age of the choir is quite high. We are not certain how many people will still be in the choir in the future. If we don’t have enough members, the choir will have to fold. We are currently looking to schools in the region and we are trying to persuade younger members to join the choir but it is quite difficult.
“It would be a shame to see the choir close after all of these years. I have been in the choir for 12 years and in that time things haven’t improved and none of our members are getting any younger.
“We need to make people aware of where we are and what we do and we need new members to come forward.”
The choir was founded from a small singing group set up by “The Wilson Brothers” at the Trinity Methodist Church in Shiney Row. Two of the original members are still in the choir today.
Current members travel from across the North East to rehearse at the Methodist Church.
Last year the choir performed at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Festival of Brass and Voices Concert, which raised money for cancer research, and have performed at The Sage, Gateshead.
Mr Wilson added: “We still have members in the choir that were here in 1959. We have huge standing in Shiney Row but we are looking for more members.
“We are not just a choir. It is a great place to meet new people and socialise.”
For information, visit www.shineyrowmvc.org