Members K Shoes Male Voice Choir Cumbria Life Awards Finalist 2017

1st Bass - Biographies

Doug Armitage:


I was brought up in Morecambe and joined the choir in 2010 singing in the 1st Bass/Baritone section. I play the piano but other than that I had no choral experience after the age of 12 when raging hormones took away my boy soprano range during a solo rendition of “All In An April Evening” at the Methodist Church!....and with it my place in St John’s Church, Sandylands, choir. I was in Heysham and then Morecambe Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, in Shows which were put on at the Winter Gardens and I met my wife in Camelot! I was a Sales Manager for BT prior to retirement and my interests include family, yoga, walking our dog, Oscar, and professional photography.


Bob Armstrong:


Awaiting Bio


John Evans:

John provides a guitar accompaniment to popular pieces like Working Man.

Norman French:

Awaiting Bio

Grant McDougall:


Awaiting Bio


Ned Naylor:


I was born in Chorley Lancashire in the late 1940’s.I worked in the Royal Navy communications branch, then in engineering, qualifying as a Boilermaker/Plater. Then came a total change of career direction and  I trained as a financial services Life Agent and set up as an Independent Financial Adviser until early retirement in early 2013. I became a member of the South Lakes Walking Club in 2014 and moved to Kendal. Other than K Shoes Male Voice Choir my hobbies also include Fell walking, reading fiction, films, singing folk songs and most important of all – Woodturning!  I make items for sale at shows and craft fairs

and all proceeds go to cancer charities, McMillan Nursing Care and Rosemere Foundation.


Johnny Thompson:


Hello my name is Johnathan Thompson, Johnny to my friends and family. I am coming to the end of my first year with K Shoes Male Voice Choir. I am 27 years old and this is the first choir I have ever joined although I have sung 1 or 2 solos in my time at school. I currently enjoy tai chi and rock climbing as hobbies.

It was not until I was around 23 years old that I treated myself to an iPad and have been able to start reading books as another hobby for the first time in my life. This is due to the iPad’s ability to allow me to enlarge the text, until the iPad was around I always found text too small and are used to get tired after reading so much as a paragraph. Even on the iPad reading still makes me tired but I can read a few pages at a time now. Through this has arisen an interest in the law and I am currently looking to study an A-level law course at Preston College, because I would like to work in this area some day.

I have enjoyed my first year with the choir and have found many new friendships. The time I spend with the choir always puts a smile on my face and I look forward to many more years with them.

Harry Upton:


I was born on 31st January 1947 in Doncaster and studied in Leeds where I met Janet. We were married in 1971 in Janet’s home village of Henley-in-Arden. We have lived in Doncaster, Redditch and Whitehaven before our current home in Greystoke. We have a daughter and a son who have produced to date five grandchildren with a sixth due in July 2013.


After 49 years as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor I finally retired in March 2013. Apart from family my main interest has been football, initially playing but mostly refereeing and, since mid nineties, observing and assessing performances of other referees. Regular venues are Workington, Kendal and Penrith. Walking has always featured strongly in my activities and Janet and I have joined Penrith ramblers to further our enjoyment of walking.


I first sang with the local Church choir until I developed other ‘proper’ boyish interests at the age of fourteen. I was re-acquainted with singing in 1980, after moving to Whitehaven, when I joined the Whitehaven Male Voice Choir and I owe them a huge debt of gratitude for taking me on and developing me under some very able musical directors. I resigned in March 2013, for geographical reasons, in order to join Kendal Male Voice Choir for what I hope is a long, happy and positive association.


David Weare:


I was born in Exeter where I lived for 18 years. I joined the KSMVC in September 2011. I have lived in Kendal for 5 years having come up here with my wife from Buckinghamshire. I had been very much involved in the London Emmanuel Choir for 33 years where I sang with the first basses with occasional visits to the second tenors if needed. This was a Christian choir drawn from a number of different churches and denominations and we gave concerts once or twice every month at venues all over the country. I have also belonged to a G&S society. I was a teacher for 26 years but am now a driving instructor with BSM which I have been for 15 years. My interests include drawing and painting, walking in the fells,reading and playing the piano,organ and keyboard. David is our Deputy Accompanist.


1st Bass