A WOMAN who grew up in Stamford got the perfect Mothers Day present last Sunday when she found out she was at number one in the album charts as a member of the Military Wives Choir.
Angela Eames, 36, is one of 247 women from five military wives choirs featured on the album, In My Dreams, which displaced Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball from the top spot.
Former Queen Eleanor School pupil Angela, whose husband Philip, 39, is a colour sergeant with the Royal Marines, based at Plymouth, was one of the original 100 wives and girlfriends of serving personnel who were brought together by choirmaster Gareth Malone as part of the BBC series The Choir.
The choir claimed the Christmas number one in 2011 with their single Wherever You Are which became the fastest selling single in the last six years, moving 242,000 copies in its first two days of release.
Angela, mother to Charlotte, 13, and seven-year-old George, said: “I was actually at home when I found out, we were all meant to get together at Lympstone but because it was Mothers Day I decided to spend the day with my children and husband.
“We sat together watching the Facebook page as people were updating it with information and I got a phone call from my brother.
“It was absolutely fantastic. It felt like when we got the Christmas number one but because our names are on the album it makes it more realistic somehow.
“I had a nice celebratory bottle of wine on Mothers Day and when I meet up with the ladies on Thursday we are going to have a glass of champagne and some chocolates.
“It is getting busy, we are in demand at the moment. It’s just a question of fitting it all in around family life.”
The BBC programme and subsequent success of the choir has sparked a remarkable increase in military wives choirs with most bases now having their own groups, which often act as an unofficial support network.
Angela said: “When my husband gets drafted at the end of the year it will be nice to know that I will be able to join a choir no matter where we go.
“Actually getting together and being with the ladies is fantastic.
“We can get together and talk freely with people who are going through the same things as you because they are in the same situation.
“It makes us feel really proud, and it’s nice to be able to share it with loads of women in the same situation.
The choirs also play an important role in developing social links within military communities.
Angela added: “The choirs are also an easy way to get to meet other families.
“I used to do it by attending coffee morning but the children have got too old for that so this has replaced it.
The single raised over £500,000 for the Royal British Legion and Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association and £1 from every album sold will be put towards the recently created Military Wives Choirs Foundation.