COME rain or shine, hardy enthusiasts will be out at 7.30am on Sunday for the annual sing in Mollicar Woods at Almondbury.
The event is a survivor from the early years of the 20th century and organisers are determined to keep it going for a long time yet.
It is, after all, one of the traditional ways of marking Whitsun and though that means getting out of bed with the larks, ready to start walking and singing bright and early, there are many still prepared to do it.
And it isn’t difficult to see why. The singers will walk a well-established route through the woods, stopping at three spots for well-known hymns.
No-one quite knows why the early morning start, but legend has it that the sing began when the choir from one of Almondbury’s chapels wanted to practise out of the way and without being disturbed.
Traditionally it has been organised by members of Almondbury Methodist Church and this year is no exception. The singers on Sunday will be led by John Shaw, one of the organists there.
Organisers say they would be delighted to welcome anyone who wants to join them. They promise camaraderie and hearty singing, plus stunning views and bluebells just flowering.
In total, 18 hymns will be sung at three locations in the woods, ending with a rousing session with the walkers turning on a hillside to face magnificent views towards Castle Hill.
The hymns are different each year, often including suggestions by local people. But the sing always begins with Praise Ye the Lord, Tis Good to Raise. Rather fittingly, it is sung to a tune called Almondbury.
Set the alarm clock early if you want to take part. Then head for the bottom of Sharp Lane, turn on to the footpath and join the singers, who should be collecting in the field just past Royd House Farm.
The sing usually takes about an hour.