Choir Principals

Choir President

 Lillian Thompson

Lillian was appointed President in 1984, replacing our previous President Sir Harry Mortimer. This was universally popular with the choir because Lillian’s husband Stan had been a popular and energetic Chairman of the choir until his untimely death in 1983. Although was a successful business man, Lillian has been successful in a long political career. She served as councillor on the teesside council in a number of  capacities, including head of the Education Authority. Lillian has also been active in helping underpriveleged children to have holidays and to fulfill their potential.  Her interest and pleasure in the music is reinforced by the fact that she is also the President of the Teesside Operatic Society. As with the Operatic Society we at the Apollo consider ourselves fortunate to have her.



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Vic Spencer

Vic started singing in 1941 in church choir at age six and later sang alto and bass in Middlesbrough High School choir. During National Service in 1955-56 he sang tenor in Garrison church choir in Episcope, Cyprus and also local choral society performing with Middle East Air Force band at military bases.

After demob. he joined the Apollo Choir in November 1956 and six months later was persuaded to take on the roll of assistant secretary. Since then he has taken on various roles including Chairman in 1986-87 and began serving his second term of office as Chairman in 2011. Apart from singing with the Apollo he has sung in two shows with Middlesbrough Operatic Society.

Vic enjoys a variety of sports and played rugby for Constantine college from 1952-1967 but now restricts himself to a leisurely game of golf, weather permitting.


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Ken Clayton

 Something of a late arrival in terms of Male Voice Choir singing, Ken is enjoying making up for lost time. He comes from a family in which music was ever present and his sisters, Pat and Linda, were well known for their opera and folk singing, both in the North East and further afield, Ken worked in education for 40+ years and saw the benefits and enjoyment that music could bring to people, young and old, when working together.

Ken, who lives in Marske with wife, Arlene, readily admits that membership of the Apollo has given them both some wonderful memories and, from joining the committee, nine years ago, as a way of giving something back, it was a natural step to offer help to fellow ‘Marskeite’ and secretary at that time, Joe Thompson when his health deteriorated. Somewhat inevitably, he has since taken on the role and as such, looks forward to receiving requests for concerts which can aid organisations and charities in fund raising events, or simply to provide people with information about this choir which boasts a proud history and still makes a noble sound. Come and hear for yourself.

 E mail address –  Tel 01642 474730


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Roly Bruce

Roly has been a member since 1975 singing in the second tenor section. Roly took up the treasurer’s role in 2014 following the passing of Ian Bruce. About this time the choir’s funds were beginning to look somewhat fragile but with various adjustments to membership fees, concerts income, lots of hard work and with the help of assistant treasurer, Dennis Herbert, Roly has managed to get the finances looking much healthier.

He also headed up the committee which was responsible for our two hugely successful summer concerts and for the choir’s 125th celebrations at the Middlesbrough Riverside football ground.

Roly retired in 2013 from the Cleveland Police Force and thankfully now channels much of his energy into the choir’s needs.

He is married to Hilary and lives in Marske.



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 Tom Vickers

After a chance meeting with Vic Spencer, Tom joined the Apollo in 1974 while employed at Fire Brigade. He has been a committee member for many years, taking up the position of registrar some six years ago. He also organises the weekly draw  which helps with the choir’s finances.

Tom started singing in the school choir, performing operas under the direction  of Len Williams, the organist who played at Middlesbrough Hippodrome cinema every Saturday afternoon. Tom has had a long association with church choirs and has recently retired from Middlesbrough Cathedral choir   He also sang in a number of performances with the Middlesbrough operatic Society.