When the Metropolitan Police Choir (MPC) sing at the annual Harrow Police borough carol concert on 11 December it will have a special significance for one chorister – Wembley resident and retired PC Michael Robinson, known to all as Robbie, is celebrating an amazing 58 years of singing with the MPC and says he cannot wait to take part in a service so close to his home.
Since joining in 1961 he has sung under six different Musical Directors and experienced the dramatic choral shift from being a male voice ensemble to accepting female officers and staff. However according to Robbie (82) what has remained constant is the camaraderie between the singers, the positive mental health and social effects of singing and the unique challenge of being one of the few police choirs which is made up of both serving and retired police officers.
Current Musical Director Mr Richard Fox praised his achievement saying “Michael Robinson is so very highly regarded within the Metropolitan Police Choir. To be part of the choir for 58 years is an amazing achievement and one that very few people will be able to achieve. He is one of the most reliable members of the choir, willing to travel all over London and beyond to attend rehearsals and performances.
“He has given such a lot to the Metropolitan Police Service, the choir and the communities of London with his passion for singing and supporting the police. Michael has achieved so much and has many stories to tell – I personally hugely enjoy the retellings of his adventures. He is an inspiration to me, the choir and the community and it is an honour and privilege to sing alongside him”.
During his nearly six decades of singing with the MPC he has been on several European concert tours and still rarely misses the weekly two-hour rehearsals in central London.
Father of three and long standing Church Elder Robbie also performs in the majority of the choir’s hectic public performance scheduleand is expecting to see many of his local friends at the Harrow Borough service in December.
He has lived and worked in neighbouring Brent for nearly fifty years and vividly remembers singing with the choir in Harrow on several occasions, including twice at Harrow School but last sang at St John’s Church around twenty years ago.
This is the first time the MPC has been asked to perform as part of Harrow Police’s carol concert but Robbie says “I also used to play in the handbell team at St. Mary’s Church, Harrow on the Hill, and it would be lovely to see some of them at St. John’s.”
The service of Nine Lessons and Carols will take place at St. John’s Church, Harrow HA1 2JE on 11th December starting at 7.30pm and ending approximately 9.15pm.
The nine lessons will be read by special guests including the Mayor of Harrow, Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens in his role as Lord Deputy Lieutenant for London, organiser Inspector Tanya Sprunks, the leader of Harrow Council Graham Henson, Chief Executive for Harrow Sean Harriss and London Fire Brigade Commander Kevin McKenzie.
Performing alongside the MPC there will be performances byseveral primary school choirs including Marlborough, St Teresa’s, Norbury and St. John’s C of E plus Waitrose will be providing refreshments for the event.
Inspector Tanya Sprunkshopes that Harrow residents will support and enjoy this special event and said “I have been very honoured, as the leader of Safer Neighbourhood Police
Teams in Harrow, to have been able to bring this event on for another year. This, however is my last Carol service, as I retire from the MPS early in the New Year having completed over 30 years’ service. This event is especially dear to me as I not only police Harrow but also live in Harrow.
“It brings all communities, religions and different backgrounds together at a time of the year which also brings on reflection. I hope as many people as possible will join me at this service.”
(Image Credits: Metropolitan Police Choir)