Right Royal performance at Palladium for Luton Girls Choir

Luton Girls Choir on way to London
Luton Girls Choir on way to London

Proud parents look on, above, and prepare to wave goodbye to their excited daughters as they set off on a trip they will never forget.

The young ladies on the two coaches in Upper George Street were members of the famous Luton Girls Choir.

They were about to travel to the London Palladium to sing at the 1948 Royal Command Performance.

In the background are the Luton Electricity Showroom, which closed many years ago, and the Duke of Clarence pub, which is still in business today, although Luton brewery J. W.Green is long gone.

Founded in 1936 by young church choirmaster Arthur Davies, who was to be its one and only musical director, Luton Girls Choir became internationally renowned.

It toured the country after the Second World War and Mr Davies perfected a technique for “rounding off” the girls’ Bedfordshire accents, which helped audiences to hear the words more clearly. The choir was open only to unmarried ladies under 23 living within a five mile radius of Luton.

Recording contracts and radio appearances followed the Royal Command Performance and after trips to Belfast and Denmark, and a part in the 1950 film Old Mother Riley Headmistress, the choir toured Australia and New Zealand in 1959. Three major concerts celebrated the silver jubilee in 1961 and the choir continued until Mr Davies became too ill to carry on as musical director in 1976.