(Douglas is the artist-husband who, together with his poet-wife Heather Wilson, published the charming booklet “Wirral Visions”, which is still available at Williamson Art Gallery and local bookshops. They now live in Shropshire.)
Charles was a rare and gifted man and a person I had not had the privilege to meet until Heather had the good fortune to become a member of his choir.
During the happy times we had living in Oxton, Charles featured as a constant presence as Heather attended twice-weekly choir practices. We both had lots of fun and enjoyment going to concerts given by the choir on the Wirral, in other parts of Cheshire and in North Wales. I remember Nicky, (our small son), saying at Nantwich Church how beautiful the music was.
The ”Messiah” seems very appropriate to be used as a memorial to Charles, as Parkgate, that place we all in Wirral love, was where Handel added the final touches to the work whilst waiting to sail to Dublin for its first public performance.
A moment I will always remember, was one year when the choir sang at the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen – just before the performance we were all very nervous about members of the choir giving of their best – as we walked up to the Eisteddfod field, Charles took out a coin, (I think it was half-a-crown), and gave it to Nicky: so kind, and the gesture of a men without thought for himself and the duty he had to perform – still to have time to be kind to a small boy.
It is people like Charles that make the Wirral such a super and unique place in which to live, and he is part of a long tradition of gifted people from such a small but remarkable piece of England.
I think a “Charles Scarratt Award” for music students of promise would be a wonderful idea and one which would be appropriate to his memory. Talent like his is very rare and should be encouraged in any young (or old!) person.
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