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Tom Mearis could easily have earned the title “A Man of Trophies” when he found a true vocation and started to lead Felling Male Voice Choir on the 25th May 1925.

He was born in 1894 in Ferryhill in County Durham. The family had a musical tradition with his father being a bass singer and a chorister at Durham Cathedral.

When he was 12, the family moved to Gateshead. He learned to play the piano from his father and at 16, after training from Mr Ritson the organist at St Peter’s Church, Newcastle, he was appointed organist at Durham Road Wesleyan Church, Gateshead.

Tom Mearis was conductor of the Newcastle and District Free Church Union for 16 years and was a trainer of a BBC group called “The Northumbrian Singers”. He also worked as a piano-tuner and repairer.

In May 1925, he embarked on his most rewarding task and a new successful era was to unfold for Felling Male Voice Choir.

FMVC would like to acknowledge BW Arnold for the photograph.