WE love it when our readers get in touch to tell us more information about photos we featured in Looking Back.

Jonathan King was delighted to see we ran a photo of the Cottontown Chorus.

He said: “The men in this photograph were the first to bring barbershop music to Bolton. Several of them, such as former musical director Mick Dargan, pictured third from the right on the third row from the front, were in their twenties, still very much learning their craft, and were among the earliest members of the Cottontown Chorus.

“At this stage, they were far from challenging for a medal in the national competition held annually by the British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS), which was then in its infancy.

“Mick Dargan is still very much involved; it may come as a surprise that both BABS, and the hobby that he and his friends portray so enthusiastically, are still going strong in 2023, and this is proudly nurtured by the town’s very own Cottontown Chorus which, true to its Bolton roots, rehearses weekly at Turton High School.

“The look of barbershop ensembles is very different these days; the tradition of straw boaters and gaudy waistcoats has been confined to Room 101 for many years now !

“The Cottontown Chorus is now a contemporary, close-harmony a cappella choir at the forefront of UK barbershop singing. We have won the gold medal eight times since 2005 at the BABS annual convention and are the current 2023 champions. This is an amazing run of achievement given that the winner in any one year is not permitted to compete in the next contest.

“We have also won several other awards and have performed in many well-respected venues, festivals and concerts across the UK, Europe and the USA.

“The choir’s rise to top-quality singing and performance has been heard, seen and acknowledged by leading musicians such as singer Aled Jones, composer Howard Goodall, and lead guitarist with Queen, Brian May.

“Our latest success - winning the national gold medal at Bournemouth in May - means that the Cottontown Chorus, carrying the flag for Bolton, will be invited to represent the whole of the UK at the international final to take place in 2024 at Cleveland, Ohio. Our pride in achieving this feat cannot be over-stressed. It is also a sharp reminder that, in a number of ways, some things actually don’t change as the years go by, especially for an organisation like ours that operates as a charity.”

If you want to find out more about the Cottontown Chorus visit www.cottontownchorus.co.uk