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Welcome to the website of the RCOCA – Rochester Cathedral Old Choristers’ Association.

Please note our urgent request for a new Secretary.

If you are an Old Chorister of Rochester Cathedral, please keep in touch either via this site or via the RCOCA Facebook Group so that you can keep up to date with information about the annual reunion and other events and communicate with fellow Old Choristers. If you are not an Old Chorister, please feel free to browse the site and find out a little more about us. Full details about membership and associate membership may be found on the Membership page.

Message from the Chairman

The Association’s objective is to establish and maintain links between old choristers and encourage our members to continue to participate in the life of the choir and cathedral via the events that are organised throughout each year.

We are always glad to hear from members with whom we have lost touch. Despite its title and existence from 1909, membership is not restricted to the ‘old’ and at evensong on the day of our Annual General Meeting, those who have recently left the Boys or Girls Choirs are formally admitted as members. Former choristers of all ages are welcome.

At our annual reunion, members hear the  current choir singing Choral Evensong, have the opportunity to attend the Annual General Meeting and then enjoy the annual reunion dinner, making new friends as well as reuniting old ones.

Our shared experience in the Choir is very special as is our Association.

David Littlejohn

14 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. I just received the Dec 2015 OR magazine and noticed your archive request for Old Choristers info. I was a chorister from joining King’s in 1959 until my voice broke in 1965 and remained at the school until 1969. I remember many Old Choristers, including Stephen Potts & his younger brother Andrew, Jonathan Rose, Roger Black, Dave Littlejohn, Malcolm Rye, Derek Sayer and Chris Royall towards the end. I was Head Chorister for 4/5 months before my voice broke. Regrettably i’ve had little ‘singing time’ since and am now living in Chiang Mai, Thailand with my Thai wife after retiring early as Fleet Manager of what was the UK’s oldest Ship Owner, before it’s final closure 4 news ago. I do hope to repatriate to Northumberland next year, if we can sell one of our two houses here. If any of those i’ve mentioned are still in contact with you, please pass on my best wishes and would welcome any feedback from you or them. Good luck with your endevours.
    Regards, John Arran..

  2. I have just found this web site and thought it about time I established contact! I was Chorister from 1957 to either 19660 or 61 – I can’t after this time, exactly remember. Barry Rose,Colin Whyman, Michael Gough, MIchael Chance (who auditioned at the same time as me) Dave Littlejohn, Derek Sayer, Stephen Potts were all contemporaries. I left Kings in 1964, joined the Royal Artillery Band for 7 years playing the violin and clarinet, having been to Kneller Hall for a year, and then got commissioned and retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1998. I worked in London for the next 7 years as a Management Consultant and then my wife and I went to live in South Africa until March last year, when we returned to our house in Faringdon Oxfordshire. I have recently taken up the clarinet after 46 years; but really no singing since I left the Choir.

    Grateful you pass on my regards to those who might remember me and who knows I might be able to come to a reunion sometime.

    best wishes

    Richard Self

    • I was a chorister at the same time as Richard and Tom and would be pleased to make contact with choristers of that era and rejoin the association. I still live in Medway and daughter and family live in Rochester so we spend a lot of time there.
      John Porter

      • Well hello! This is Tom Gough not Michael and I was there in Robert Ashfield’s time with my voice breaking in around 1960. I am a Trustee of the Association and David Littlejohn is currently chairman. Have you got a photo of yourself in the choir?
        I’m locked down still as I was diagnosed with cancer in december last year but it would be great to have you on board. Let me have your email address and we’ll send you a form. Tom

      • Hi Tom How very good to hear from you – it has been a very long time!!!!! Very sorry to hear about your cancer and I hope that you are keeping well despite it. We are now resident in Ampleforth North Yorkshire and have no plans to move, having spent most of our married life in the army moving every 2-3 years or so. Whether I will ever come down to Rochester again I am not sure – it would be nice to catch up with those friends from those days – those that are still going that is! I have got a photograph of myself as Chorister, but having trouble putting my fingers on it – once I find it I will email it to you. Meanwhile give my regards to all who might remember me. Take care and remain safe  Richard   Sent from Mail for Windows 10 From: Rochester Cathedral Old Choristers’ AssociationSent: 16 July 2020 22:37To: diandrichard@gmail.comSubject: [New comment] Welcome Tom Gough commented: “Well hello! This is Tom Gough not Michael and I was there in Robert Ashfield’s time with my voice breaking in around 1960. I am a Trustee of the Association and David Littlejohn is currently chairman. Have you got a photo of yourself in the choir? I’m loc”

  3. I remember Richard well though my name is Tom Gough not Michael Gough as shown in his entry. I am still very much involved in the Old Choristers Association as a Trustee of the Fund and attend the committee meetings. Happily married after 47 years with two children and 4 grandchildren I now am Worship Leader at my church in Hainault Essex after an amazing career in floristry in Central London and having written 5 books on Houseplant care. I am a senior Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners and a Fellow of the Linnean Society. My voice broke in around 1962

  4. Surfing the net this morning, i came across your website. I was married in June 1960 in the Cathedral, to Alan Robson who was then a Minor Canon and Sub Warden of the Theological College and occasionally in trouble with Dr. Ashfield for trying to turn the canticles etc into a singalong…… Sadly Alan died a year ago and I have since been wallowing in memories, one of which was of Andrew Potts eating his packed lunch every day in Deanery Lodge where we first lived.
    Many thanks to those who sang at our wedding . I used to love hearing the choir.

    • We have a photograph of the choir boys playing conkers with students of the Theological college. We have it dated as 1968. I would like your comments as to the date and who is on it, however, I am unable to attach it to this site, so if you would let me have your email address we can continue to discuss it.
      Kind regards RCOCA Archivist . James Strike. jamesstrike@blueyonder.co.uk

      • As this photo is different from the one I remember and I don’t recognise anyone, 1968 is probably the correct date. Presumably the conker match was an annual event. I had a quick look through our photos yesterday but couldn’t find the one we had – I will have another look during the weekend. ( our photos fill an old oak blanket box, some in envelopes which are Now disintegrating!)

  5. I was a Rochester Cathedral chorister from 1956 to 1961. Have been married to Lynn for 46 years have 3 children and 2 grandsons. Would particularly be pleased to hear from choristers from that era

    • Hello John – it has been a long time since we sang together in the Choir! I remember you very well and it is good to hear that you are still going strong. As you can see from my comments above in 2016, I am married but have no children and we celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary on the 31st of this month.
      We moved from Faringdon Oxfordshire last November and now reside in the lovely North Yorkshire village of Ampleforth – absolutely stunning. Would be interested to know what you did when you left Kings. It would be nice to keep in touch.

      • Richard,
        what a treat to hear from you again. I remember you very well. After I left Kings, I joined the family firm of Longmans the florists with a staff of around 100 and had the honour of making many of the Royal Wedding bouquets since HM the Queen. I worked in St Paul’s on Charles and Diana’s weddings.
        I am currently a Senior Past Master and Almoner of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners and retired when I was 58. I have written 5 books on tropical horticulture, the last of which was published in America.
        These days I am Worship Leader in a charismatic Anglican church in Hainault, Essex but still travel to Rochester for Committee Meetings.
        I see you are not on the list of Old Chorister Members but let me have your email and will add you and keep you posted with everything we are doing.
        Best wishes

    • Dear John,
      Great to hear from you. Shall I add you to the Old Choristers List? If so please send me your email details and I will keep you posted with what is going on. I also need to send you a membership application form!! I am the current Secretary and a Trustee of the RCOCA and was in the choir 1958 – 1961. I have been married 50 years and have two children and four grandchildren!
      There’s a lot going on these days and the next notable date is Sunday 7th July when at a 10:30 Eucharist, we shall present the leavers with their ties or necklaces. If you want to join us to sing I was glad at the end of the service, please let me know.

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