New Members

Rev David Haywood, our Honorary Welfare Officer, Bass

I am one of the new boys from the old Moira MVC and I joined GMVC in the Bass section about a year ago. It is a great privilege to be in the choir and I do enjoy greatly our times together.

I have offered to the exec to be the Welfare Officer for the choir and I shall endeavour to care for the pastoral need of us all. So if you know of someone who is not well and maybe appreciate a visit at home or in hospital or even just a greetings card, then I am available to the choir. Hopefully my care will extend to wives as well if they are not well and would like a visit. I would sooner know two or three times than miss someone who needs a chat, so don’t be afraid to ask.

It is a new role within the choir and I thought it would take a bit of pressure off Derek in sending cards to members from the exec and the choir. As a new role I’m not sure how it will grow and develop but I suppose that’s up to the choir how much they use me or not. But I want to assure the whole choir of the importance of confidentiality and that I would not share anything with other members of the choir anything that I hear.

You can talk to me on Fridays or my home phone is 01530 588752, my mobile is 07969 980789 and my email is

I am here for the needs of the choir and for the individuals who make up the choir.

Tim Cox, Baritone

Lived in Thornbury in Gloucestershire,a country lad,until the early 80's and lived in Kent until moving to the Burton area . My interests over the years have been a mixture of painting, drawing, playing football, walking and tennis at the Ashby Road club.

Since then I've been doing long distance sponsored walks,the most recent being the 68 miles round the Isle of Wight walk in 24hrs !!

I like to spend time with my family and go travelling together, particularly fly drive trips in Europe or the US, as well as walking breaks and canal holidays.

I like a variety of music, a mixture of country&western, 70's music like The Eagles and Dire Straits, jazz, classical.I

enjoy trips to concerts like St Martins in the Fields.

I'm enjoying singing with the choir; good fun and the concerts are pleasure to be part of.

I have been joint alternate compere at concerts for some time

Peter Edwards, Bass

Peter has joined us recently after supporting us for years as a member of the St John's Ambulance Brigade, and attending many of our concerts in that capacity.

Mike Harris, Tenor

I moved to Bu»ton on Trent when the then National Coal Board decided to centralise their Scientific Service Laboratories on one site in Bretby. It was quite an upheaval for a family with 2 young children. One of the things we worried about missing most was Wales's cultural heritage, how wrong we were. there Is a wealth of talent in this area. From an early time we have attended GMVC concerts and have always rated the choir on a par with Valley’s Choirs, being "Gresley Groupies” also helped to relieve our homesickness'. Little did 1 know that 20+ years on a non-singer like me woutd be privileged enough to be allowed to join the choir as a new member.

So how did I come to join you as a singer? When I had a soprano voice I was called out to the front of the class to sing solo and got bullied mercilessly for being teacher petl So I refused to sing and got caned (the good old days!). Then in the Boys Grammar School a teacher wanted to restart the Boys choir, qulte a lot of B stream lads like myself thought we would go along to get out of lessons. I got to the last round of auditions but the teacher decided not to take a chance on me (we were a rowdy lot!), a decision I have always resented since, because I thought I couldn't sing.

When Gill and I moved to Burton ,we were determined to fit into the local community and took the children to the Local Theatre Group where they took part In pantos, I got roped into selling programmes, then set-crew back stage. I used to sing along off-stage and gradually became a bit more confident.(remember I am the only Welshman who can’t sing!!). As time went on I helped out with other Theatre and Local Operatic Societies and was eventually cajoled into singing on-stage in the chorus.

Later I joined the Burton Methodist Circuit Choir and was encouraged by one of their members to become a member of Derby Choral Union. They normally sing at Derby Cathedral but have made forays to Florence, Lucca, Cologne, Prague and Karlovy Vary. Occasional joint concerts with Leicester Philharmonic Choir have taken place at the De Montfort Hall and Symphony Hall. A small group of us joined The Really Big Chorus at Abbey Road Studio to record 2 small chorus parts for Karl Jenkins' "Peacemakers" CD, currently quite high in the Classic FM chart, which was a wonderful experience. The Really Big Chorus also gave me the chance to sing Handel's Messiah at the Albert Hall.

Now the hard work really begins. 12 weeks of rehearsals have shown me why GMVC is so good, hard work, dedication and a great team spirit, what a welcome I’ve had. I hope I will, in time, be able to come up to your high standards.

Mick Robey, Bass

Born at a very early age in Melbourne (South Derbyshire) the locals have put up with me ever since! Since leaving Melbourne Bucketbangers College of Knowledge, I joined Rolls Royce as an apprentice earning £2-8s-4d per week before graduating as a skilled machinist on top money (£21/week in 1965). I progressed into the drawing office before leaving for a Chief Draughtsman’s job at an engineering company in Kegworth. Following a serious illness in 1986 I decided to have a go at one of my ambitions - drive a bus! But not any bus as it turned out, it was a fully kitted out luxury executive affair with which I transported football teams, Rock Bands and Company Execs.

I still recollect (only just) my many vocal episodes as a boy soprano at my local United Reform Church in Melbourne, and as my voice got deeper I progressed into the Alto section before being finally dumped in the Bass. My second ambition was to sing in a Male Voice Choir, having heard Moira MVC on many occasions at our church.

The opportunity came in 1977 when we resurrected Melbourne Male Voice Choir. The highlights that followed will be hard to surpass - singing in all areas of England in both festivals and concert performances at such places as the GMEX Centre in Manchester, the Royal Albert Hall as well as other venues in the West End of London, Scarborough Spa Ballroom, Hartlepool Town Hall, Newquay, Cheltenham and the Isle of Wight to name a few. Eight foreign exchanges with a German choir must rate among the highlights of my life. And most of this happened whilst serving my 18 years as Secretary and 28 years on the Committee.

After leaving Melbourne MVC earlier this year I still yearned for male voice singing and approached Gresley MVC. I had to serve a 12 week trial and little did they know, so did Gresley! Well they came through with flying colours and now I look forward to many years of making new friends but more importantly, enjoyable “in tune” singing, and believe me, Gresley are good at it.

Just a little piece of information to finish on. My third and final ambition was to play in a Brass Band. This I have also achieved as I blow the Bb Tenor Trombone (not very well I might add) regularly in two Bands at the moment.

Peter Cooke, Baritone

I was born, and have lived in Moira all my life. I went to Moira, Donisthorpe and Ashby Ivanhoe schools. I left school at sweet sixteen! and

started at Pegson's Coalville as an engineering apprentice. After this I worked at the factory and out on sites installing machinery in the

UK and abroard, mainly in Spain, Africa, Sri Lanka and the USA. I retired on my 65th birthday at the end of April 2008.

Shortly afterwards, Geoff (our Chairman) , who I do battle with frequently on the badminton court, persuaded me to come along to a choir rehearsal.

My first reaction was "Blimey!, Youre too good for me!!". However after more cajoling I did the 12 weeks probationary period , and thanks to Eric, the late members Ian and Bryan in the baritones , plus Karl , our MD, I joined in October 2008.

I made my debut at the Celebrity Concert at Burton Town Hall, so there was no pressure there then!!, but I enjoyed it after the nerves

had died down. I find it hard learning new music, but most rewarding when it all come stogether at concerts.

Previously, I only ever sang with the Sunday School and at he "Sermons Days" and then with the adult choir at St Hilda's church in Moira, 45 years ago. The church has since been demolished !!

I have other sporting interests, having played cricket with Rawdon Colliery for 40 years. I am a season ticket holder at Leicester City and watch Burton Albion occasionally.

Philip Bath, Second Tenor

Terry Jones, Second Tenor

I spent all my childhood in “The Avenues” Midway, Swadlincote, the eldest of 6 children.All my working life has been centred on the electrical – instrumental control field, serving my apprenticeship at Drakelow Power Station. Over the years I moved on to Allied Breweries in Burton on Trent, Arabian American Oil Company in Saudia Arabia, Tasman Paper Company in New Zealand and finally for my last 25yrs at Rolls Royce, Derby from where I retired in 2008.

I sang my first solo in 1955 at the age of 10yrs at Rowland Memorial Methodist Chapel, Midway and then at 14yrs of age played Scrooge in Granville Secondary School’s production of “A Christmas Carol.”

I didn’t take up singing and acting again until I joined Ashby Operatic Society (now Ashbeian Musical Theatre Group) in 1997, when I played the role of Bennie, the news reporter, in “The Desert Song.” My last show at Ashby was in 2005 when I enjoyed playing the role of Moonface Martin in “Anything Goes.”

I also sing in a group called Out of the Hat based at The Magic Attic, Sharpe’s Pottery, Swadlincote.

I joined GMVC in 2008 after taking early-retirement from Rolls Royce. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge that singing in the choir gives, and have made many new friends, and also resurrected friendships from my childhood.

I look forward to being with the choir for many years to come!

Robert Grummett, Baritone