There was standing room only at St John the Baptist Church, Whittington when the Australian Welsh Male Choir (AWMC) and the Orthopaedic Male Voice Choir joined forces to sing a varied programme of numbers to help raise funds for Hope House and the Orthopaedic Hospital's League of Friends.

The AWMC, who are touring the UK took time out from the busy schedule to visit the area.

Tom Buchanan, the musical director, said: "We have been amazed at the warmth and generosity of the welcome we have had here. "The Whittington WI prepared a magnificent afternoon tea for us and the staff at Whittington Castle gave us a tour which was excellent. All the choir have had a great time."

The choir was supported by the soprano Ayse Goknor Shanal who sang a varied programme ranging from Russian folk tunes, classical arias and show tunes.

She said: "It was such a beautiful church to sing in. The acoustics were wonderful and the audience was truly appreciative."

The concert, which had been arranged over the internet, with the choirs only getting together for the first time an hour before the concert was the highlight of celebrations to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Orthopaedic Choir.

Harry Pickavance, from the Orthopaedic Choir, said: "We were fortunate that as a result of a miss directed email some 15 months ago we have been able to put together a concert of this quality which will benefit two local charities. The Australians were a great bunch and have extended an invitation for us to visit them at some point in the future."

To mark the occasion Griff Evans, who was a founder member of the choir back in 1968 and is still singing with them, had made pen and pencil sets, hand crafted from yew wood from a local church, and these were presented to the principal participants after the concert.

It is hoped the proceeds will allow four figure donations to be made to both charities early next week.