The Longwood Sing feels to belong to an earlier time.

It has been held since 1873 and through two world wars, but its special magic remains untouched even in this modern era.

Its enchanting location, perched on a cliff face, must worry the health and safety police, but that is precisely its appeal.

Golcar Band began the proceedings in the sunshine yesterday afternoon and the welcome was given by the ever-affable Dr Bert Jindal, president of the Sing.

Many of those involved are old hands and few can boast a more dedicated involvement than Jean Jackson, who has been helping out for 46 years.

She said: “1967 was the first year I came and it used to be absolutely packed in those days. People used to come from as far away as Holmfirth.”

 

A breath of fresh air is Charles Ross, a university lecturer from Falmouth, who having fallen for a Yorkshire lass, is now fully in love with our traditions too.

He joked: “I’m the one who forgot to step backwards when they asked for volunteers.

“It’s a grand day out for the village and I have been involved for around five years now.”

As well as village folk, the event was also graced by luminaries such as Kirklees councillor and railway enthusiast Paul Salveson, Kirklees mayor Clr Martyn Bolt and Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney.

Raymond Kefford, one of the bell ringers who calls everyone to the event, added: “It’s part of a rather nice tradition.”

When the Sing is over, everyone retires to the parish hall for tea and cake.

Mr Ross added: “There is a lot of pride involved in this event by people from Longwood, it is really special for them.

“It is rather cheekily known as the ‘Mother of all Sings’ and has run continuously through two world wars, which is not bad going.”