A founder member of Fourum, Bob has gained a reputation throughout the area for his complete lack of musical and vocal talent.
His singing career commenced at junior school when he was selected for the school choir and successfully ‘mimed’ his way through a number of concerts before being asked to perform a solo. He was quickly returned to the ranks with the comment ‘We don’t have grunters in this choir’!
Undeterred by this minor setback, his teenage years witnessed an audition for a leading part in the school pantomime ‘Mother Goose’ where he was cast as ‘the Devil’. In his eagerness to terrorise the audience he entered the stage too early and then sang ‘When the Night Wind Howls’ in the wrong key – much to the amusement of everyone present.
This lack of talent was transferred to the league cricket fields of North Yorkshire and South Durham, where, as an opening bowler, he finely tuned his vocal skills over a period of thirty-three years with long and loud appeals for ridiculous and largely unsuccessful ‘leg before wicket’ decisions.
With advancing years, retirement from cricket has resulted in a silent participation in the more gentile sport of croquet – where he enjoys the sweet music of the game - mallet on ball!
However, it was Bob’s interest in gardening that resulted in the development of his lack of skill as the group’s percussionist. He was fortunate, from an early age, to possess a large stick and a metal drum that could be hit loudly and irregularly to frighten birds from his ripening peas and soft fruits.
His interest in the geology, geography and history of the local area enabled him to compile information to provide cartographical presentations about the songs - as well as introductions and links between songs – which although short are but none the less nauseating.
Bob considers himself very fortunate to have enjoyed a number of experiences with Fourum that were taken for granted at the time – the opportunity to record LPs, cassettes and CDs as well as performing on radio and television; travelling to Amiens to sing in the Festival; appearing at both Darlington Civic Theatre and the Georgian Theatre in Richmond on a number of occasions – as well as concerts at dozens of smaller venues throughout the area.
Above all it has been the camaraderie and friendship developed with the group members that has made singing with Fourum such a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
|The Early Years|
|The Middle Years|
|The Later Years|
|Gunnerside Gill- Remembered|
|Singing The Dales|
|Folk with Fourum: In Concert|
|The Dales Revisited|
|The Making of Swaledale|
|The Drummer Boy of Richmond|
|The Dales Collection|
|Rod Songs 1|
|Prices and Ordering|