The Owls of Pill
The village, nestling on the banks of the River Avon boasts a colourful past, dating back to Medieval times. For more than 500 years, Pill has been associated with the pilots, who negotiate the tricky waters of the Bristol Channel and the river flowing into it. Indeed, when John Cabot captained the Matthew from Bristol on his voyage of discovery in 1497, Pill supplied the pilot John Ray.In 1755 Methodist minister John Wesley visiting Pill, found more than 30 pubs -’a place famous from generation to generation for brutal, abandoned wickedness’. In 1771, Francis Asbury set sail from Pill to become superintendent of the Methodist Church in the American Colonies, while during the early 1800s, Dr Richard Bright’s work on kidney disorders at nearby Ham Green, led to the naming of Bright’s Disease.
The Owls of Pill are the latest of the colourful characters, in their own way, adding a slice of local history in Pill.
Formed in 1919 by members of the Pill Owls Debating Society, the group is celebrating its 93rd anniversary, having sung carols at every Christmas since.
Today, the all-male singers, garbed in Dickensian costume of top hats, fancy weskits and flowing cloaks, carol their way through an 18-night action-packed programme in Bristol and North Somerset. They carry out some 50 engagements at hotels, dinners, residential homes, Masonics and individual peoples’ homes, as well as singing in pubs and restaurants and under lamp-posts on all the streets in old Pill. They have performed at St Mary‘s Church, Redcliffe and the Clifton Cathedral, Bristol, and appeared on local radio and television.
Since the 60th anniversary, more than £218,000 has been raised by the Owls singing carols to benefit the blind, Guide Dogs for the Blind, National Eye Research Centre in Bristol, Jessie May Trust and numerous other charitable causes.
Book the Owls for an Event
If you would like the Owls to sing at an event or house party please contact:
Telephone: 01275 375559