Pat Deverell - 1922-2016

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Chorister at St. Peter and St. Paul, Tring, 1930-2010

On April 25th 2010 the choir and church of St. Peter and St. Paul celebrated with Pat Deverell, pictured centre above, his 80 years as a chorister in Tring.

Pat’s family moved to Tring from Buckingham when he was just six years old, so that his father could work as head groom for the Rothschilds in the stables at Tring Mansion. Pat has lived and worked in Tring ever since, apart from spells away serving as a private in the army during the Second World War.

Pat joined the choir just after Easter in 1930 and, as he recalls, it had a different feel with up to 30 trebles plus a handful of altos, tenors, and basses, all boys and men of course. Rules were stricter, but that was not a problem as the choirmaster was also headmaster of Tring School. The only sacking offence was to break off any of the bits of wooden tracery in the front choir stalls (and in 2010 we can still see some of the gaps). “The trebles had a half hour practice one lunch time, and an hour on Tuesday evening as well as the normal rehearsal with the grown-ups, and we didn’t get paid anything in those days” Pat recalls. Sundays were busy too, with Sunday school before morning service, and then evensong later on – plus once a month a choral Holy Communion too.

As well as serving faithfully in the choir Pat also deputed as verger on many occasions, and spent five decades in the scout movement, retiring from that at the tender age of 65.

Pat’s wife of sixty years, Pauline, came to Tring as an evacuee from north London during the blitz, and like Pat has stayed ever since. She has been known to complain that Pat sings too much at home, but there is no doubt that singing – in the choir and beyond – has sustained him through more than eight decades of life and health. On the occasion of his anniversary, Pat was presented with a commemorative hymn book and a card overflowing with greetings from his many friends in St Peter and St Paul.

John Whiteman - May 2010
Poor health led Pat to retire from choir duties by the end of 2010. He passed away peacefully on May 25th, 2016. R.I.P.

Cliff Brown
Organist and Choirmaster
May 2016