"My dad was a trained singer, and in his early years took part in many events around Sheffield, including the opening of Sheffield City Hall in 1932.
From an early age I was encouraged to become musically-minded, being sent to piano lessons at the age of nine. I hated it, wanting to be with my pals, playing! My teacher lived on Deerlands Avenue and for the princely sum of ninepence I was given a lesson. But one day my piano teacher saw my mum and asked her why I hadn't been to lessons for a few weeks. Oh dear! Dad was angry and Mum took it out on my backside! So I resumed my lessons, until the age of eleven, when I joined the Salvation Army junior band at the citadel in Sheffield.
I was given a tenor horn to learn to play. I wanted to play trombone, but sadly that was never to be. I left the Salvation Army and joined the 37th Boys' Brigade at Hatfield House Lane chapel. I was taken into the drum and bugle band, and enjoyed a few years there before I left school to start work.
Joining the Royal Navy at the age of seventeen, my first ship was HMS Adamant, a large submarine depot ship based in Rothsay, Scotland. The commander, a fearsome officer, knew that I could play a bugle and I became the ship's drummer (meaning bugler!) This bestowed on me the nickname "Sticks" for most of my time in the service.
I left the navy and worked in southern England for some time, but eventually moved back to Sheffield. My wife informed me that the local minister was to run a class for part-singing, and hopefully sight-reading. The group eventually became the Thursday Singers. From there I went into productions of musicals through Sheffield Amateurs, Woodseats Teachers, City of Sheffield Operatic Company, and Southey. I retired from productions in 2005.
In 2012 I joined Grenoside Singers, in the tenor section, with the occasional solo spot. I became President in 2015."