Film ID:
YFA 5774



Visitor Tabs


Geoff Druett follows the progress of the Sheffield Barbershop Chorus, Hallmark of Harmony, as they attempt to win the National Barbershop Championships with the help of legendary barbershop singer Lloyd Steincamp. 

The film begins showing ex Sheffield steelworker Alan Hooton getting ready to join the other members of Hallmark of Harmony, followed by Roy Cavell, former side man for Tommy Cooper and Adam Henderson, trainee chef and John Grant, the Director, who works with the handicapped.

At an airport in the rain, Hallmark of Harmony greet the arrival of Lloyd Steincamp with a song as he steps off a plane with his wife.  Lloyd is clearly delighted with his reception.  It is stated that John Grant met Lloyd at a barbershop singing workshop in Missouri, and has asked Lloyd to come over and give the chorus some lessons.  Hallmark of Harmony have come runners up in the national barbershop chorus competition, and they hope that Lloyd might help them to win it.  On the coach back to Sheffield Lloyd chats and jokes with members of the chorus.  John Grant tells him that they are planning to perform Toot toot tootsie in the final.  

In the rehearsal room, the chorus give a demonstration for Lloyd, who is impressed, but not overly so.  He tells them, in a humorous way, where they need to improve.  John Grant explains that he is a scientist, not an artist, and that Lloyd can bring something to the chorus which he cannot.  The documentary then provides a brief biography of Lloyd and his achievements. Lloyd is interviewed, stating that men don’t like to have their singing laughed at.  There is footage of him teaching them in rehearsal, creating a good humoured atmosphere with his comical approach, as he shows them how they ought to keep step with the music.

Taylor Nicholson creates the outfits for the chorus.  He is putting the finishing touches to a pink silk waistcoat.  Roy Cavell tries one on, and is then interviewed, as is his wife, who states that if she didn’t get involved with the chorus she would hardly see him, and jokes that he leaves a photo of himself for the children.  

Alan Hooten, barbershop singer of the year, sporting a fine moustache, shows his tattoos.  Lloyd gives a pep talk to the chorus.  They then go to a local pub where the beers are laid out on the bar.  They sing to those present, including the wives, who look a bit bored with it.  Members of the chorus are asked for their thoughts on Lloyd, all very positive, and the wives have a chat among themselves.  

The following week, and their tone and performance have been transformed.  Teas are passed around in the practice hall.  There is more hilarity as Lloyd explains his philosophy.  He gets them to chant “take no prisoners”, revealing a tee shirt underneath his top with these words written on it.  

It is May Bank Holiday and the chorus disembark from their coach which has arrived at the Conference Centre in Harrogate for the national championships.  First on are the Rokerpears of Harmony from Wearside as the criterion of the judges is given.  Members of the chorus are having make-up applied before going on, and the do’s and don’ts of performing are explained.  Next on are previous winners the Crawley Chordsmen of Sussex, who look very impressive.  Lloyd gives a final pep talk, telling them to show the audience their love.  They come on stage and perform the whole of Toot toot tootsie, getting a great cheer at the end.  They show their joy and relief as they walk off back stage.  

They relax in the bar, and it is announced that one of the members, Tony, has just got engaged to his girl-friend Mary.  They watch the Great Western Chorus from Bristol perform on a television in the bar, and have to wait four hours for the competition to end and the winners being announced.  As they wait one of the members, Tony Hall, takes a stroll to unwind and get out of the tense atmosphere.

The results are announced.  Crawley Chordsmen come third, the Great Western Chorus come second, and Hallmark of Harmony come first, to great cheers from their supporters.  Lloyd is carried into the bar amid the celebrations, and they sing, “for he’s a jolly good fellow”.

From ITN Source:

Credits text: Director - NICK SALMON Presenter - GEOFF DRUETT
First TX date: 1986-07-04