Life-long dedication to music honoured at concert

Hannah Priestly of Louth (left) pictured with North Lincolnshire Music and Drama Festival Society President Beryl Potts of Caistor after she won the same trophy that Mrs Potts had collected for violin playing in 1951 at the festival!
Hannah Priestly of Louth (left) pictured with North Lincolnshire Music and Drama Festival Society President Beryl Potts of Caistor after she won the same trophy that Mrs Potts had collected for violin playing in 1951 at the festival!

A Caistor woman who has dedicated her life to music for more than 80 years is to be honoured at a concert in Brigg.

The concert will mark the contribution of Beryl Potts as long time President of the North Lincolnshire Music and Drama Festival Society.

“We are immensely proud and grateful for Beryl’s contribution to the society over such a long period,” said Festival Society Chairman Tom Glossop.

“Eighty years is an unbelievable length of time.”

It all began back in 1932, when Beryl, as a young girl of seven, took part in the festival playing the piano - it was the beginning of her career in music.

At thirteen, she won a scholarship to the Royal College off Music in London, travelling there by train every Saturday.

She then started to teach in Scunthorpe before marrying husband Ken in 1953.

She taught violin and piano in Bedford and then Essex for a while until she moved with Ken to Caistor in 1970.

Over the years, Beryl has taught in Caistor Grammar School, Caistor Yarborough, Brigg Girls High School, the Vale of Ancholme and Caistor Primary School.

But it will be her long standing link with the North Lincolnshire Festival that will be marked at the Brigg concert.

Now in her mid 80s, Beryl continues to organise the music entries for the Spring Festival and plan the programme.

“As a young girl I always wanted to do the very best I could when performing,” said Beryl.

“That is how I see young people who perform every year at the festival.”

Performing at the concert will be violinists Megan Thompson, who is working towards her diploma on the instrument and is leader of a number of ensembles and orchestras and Thomas Christie, the recipient of a number of prizes from local music festivals and a member of the Eata String Quartet and Lincolnshire Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Also performing will be cellist Elicia Palmer, who has won a host of awards and was chosen to represent the North Lincolnshire Music and Drama Festival at the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Festivals Championships.

Alexander Sedman will be displaying his talents as a pianist, as well as young mezzo-soprano Ailsa McTernan.

An Evening of Celebration, is being staged in St John’s Church this Friday, October 11, starting at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £7.50 and are available from 01652 656744.