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Rob’s introduction to music was the consequence of being totally incompetent at sport – learn to play an instrument and you can get out of field games!
Learning the descant recorder in junior school, and the desire to avoid anything sporty, soon led to an interest in woodwind instruments. Rob quickly learned to master the clarinet and, having completed all the grade exams by his mid teens, he became a regular member of the school’s Symphony Orchestra. Along with the many local pantomime, revue and Old Time Music Hall appearances that he made from a very early age, Rob continued to keep out of trouble!
Moving to Dartford in the 1970s, Rob soon discovered the Dartford Folk Club and, after attending as a member for a while and performing floor spots, he shortly became recognised for his ‘wind’ and was invited to join the team of residents. Initially as the duo String Whistle, with Dave Rickard, they were later invited to join Alan and Malcolm Furneax to become Original Gravity.
Rob continues to resident at the Club, ably supported at times by Ken Smith and Steve Ward and occasionally joined by other volunteers.
Over the last thirty plus years, Rob has added a multitude of instruments to his repertoire (as well as to his increasingly heavy music bag!) which include flute, harmonica, saxophone and the dreaded Chinese hulusi!
Photo courtesy of Roy Middleton