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60-year wait comes to an end for Basil The annual candlelit carol service at St Mary’s Church on Sunday, December 19, at 5pm.



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After Sixty years, a Diss man has achieved his ambition of singing a Christmas classic.

When Basil Abbott was in St Mary’s Church choir as a youngster, it was a tradition that the head boy sang the opening verse of Once In Royal David’s City at the annual carol service.

But when Basil was head boy back in 1961, singing the verse was given to someone else.

Basil Abbott (left) with his brother Barry when they were choirboys.
Basil Abbott (left) with his brother Barry when they were choirboys.

The now manager of Diss Museum said: “I was not even tried out for it. It was just assumed that I could not do it.”

On Sunday, his chance to perform it unaccompanied finally came at a Christmas lunch at the Montgomerie Masonic Lodge.

Mr Abbott said: “Restrictions meant that the assembled guests were not allowed to sing, so a small group of church-goers performed. I was very proud to finally make my debut.”

Basil Abbott inside St Mary’s Church, Diss. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Basil Abbott inside St Mary’s Church, Diss. Picture by Mecha Morton.


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