The sound of music has returned to a village near Melksham which has been without a resident choir for more than 50 years.

The choirmaster of the newly-formed choir at Great Chalfield Manor’s church has this week made a double appeal.

He wants to find two or three sopranos and to chart the history of the village choir.

Alan Jones, 66, was asked to restart the choir by Wiltshire High Sheriff Robert Floyd, who lives at the National Trust-owned manor, and the church’s rector the Rev Andrew Evans.

Mr Jones, who lives in Bowerhill, was previously choirmaster at churches in Shaw and Atworth and also played the organ at churches in Holt and Broughton Gifford, where Mr Evans is also the rector. He launched the Great Chalfield choir in October, and it now has about 10 members, although attendance fluctuates from week to week.

Mr Jones said All Saints Parish Church has records dating back to the early 1300s.

But despite carrying out inquiries, he has been unable to find out about the history of the choir and is appealing for the public’s help.

“I can’t find anyone that can properly remember the last time there was a choir here,” he said.

“I am told the church used to borrow the choir from St Michael’s in Melksham for events such as weddings if one was needed in the past.

“In the vestry there are actually some coat pegs, three of them are at adult head height and then there are seven of them at a lower height, so once upon a time there were maybe some little boys that came here a lot, maybe choirboys.

“There are choir stalls in the church and some of them have initials carved into them.

“I have been told that there may not have been any kind of choir here for around 50 years or so, so I would love to hear from anyone who has any more information.”

People wanting to join the choir need to be available to sing at an evening service on the first Sunday of every month, as well as a morning service on the third Sunday of every month.

Mr Jones said: “Joining the choir is not a big commitment, but it is a commitment that people would need to keep. I am sure people will realise this anyway.”

Anyone interested can email Mr Jones on or call him on 01225 359166.