The Owlers

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The Owlers

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1916 - 1966


The 'Owlers Concert Party was formed when H.W Reynolds invited two of his fellow choristers at St. Luke's, Woodside, Tom Murch and Lionel Tobitt, to join a concert party to entertain soldiers in local war hospitals. Mr Reynolds' daughter Ella later became Mrs Tobitt. Their first concert was at Ingram Road War Hospital on April 1st 1916. The Party continued with a charitable purpose after WWI until 1941. It disbanded for three years before reforming in 1944 and continued until 1966 with an average of around 25 concerts a year. The repertoire consisted of both well known popular songs and original material.

A 50th Anniversary concert (their 1089th) at St Andrew's Hall, South Croydon, on 2 April 1966 in the presence of the Mayor of Croydon. However, following two more performances, the Owlers disbanded later that year after 1091 concerts. However Mr Lionel Tobitt immediately formed 'The Afternoon Owlers' to provide entertainment at hospitals, nursing homes etc. This continued until the mid-1970s.

The name 'The Owlers' was said to come from the fact that when a name for the group was under discussion, an owl could be heard on nearby Woodside Green.


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