Neil Shearer, who lives in Botton Village, is a proud member of the Dalesmen Singers, a male voice choir based in Danby, North Yorkshire.
The choir includes members from many different backgrounds who share a love of singing. When Neil heard about it from a friend, it really appealed: singing has been part of his life since he was at school. And he'd gained lots of experience from being in the Botton Choir.
So he decided to try-out. 'They said come to a practice and see what you think. I had to sing a First Tenor part and I managed it. So that was my audition.
"I'm very happy in the choir. We practice every Tuesday in the Methodist church in Danby. During the Winter the roads get a bit dicey so I don't risk going on my bike. But in the summer months I can bike it.'
’Uppsala was beautiful’
In his two years with the Dalesmen, Neil has sung in all kinds of locations – from Keswick, where the choir helped raise funds for people affected by the terrible floods of 2015, all the way to the Royal Albert Hall!
Last year they toured to Uppsala, Sweden: ‘Uppsala was beautiful. We sang with a ladies’ choir from Denmark. They were very good. They did their songs and we did ours and then we had joint pieces at the end. It was fantastic.’
When Neil isn’t singing, you’re likely to find him busy looking after the cows in Botton: ‘My grandfather was a farmer, it’s in my blood’, he says. And so, it seems, is music.