Oldest man in Britain is to mark 110 years

Reg Dean Dalesmen
Reg Dean Dalesmen

The 110th birthday of Britain’s oldest man is to be marked by a performance involving more than 200 singers.

Reg Dean, who founded Belper’s Dalesmen Voice Choir, will officially become a super-centenarian on November 4.

To celebrate, five male voice choirs are staging a performance at Derby’s Assembly Rooms the night before.

However, it is not yet known whether Reg, who has suffered recently with ill health, will be able to enjoy the spectacular show.

The Wirksworth resident, who is the UK’s seventh oldest man ever, has not attended a practice with the Dalesmen since August and there are fears he may not be able to make the journey into Derby due to his health.

A video link which will allow Reg to watch the performance remotely at home is being investigated if Reg is unable to attend in person.

A spokesman for the Dalesmen said: “The last two months have seen Reg feeling a little more fragile than he usually is but at 109 it is hardly unexpected.

“But sadly his previous intentions to appear at his celebratory concert may have to be put on hold.

“He will be delighted that his son Chris, who is also one of the world’s finest trombonists, will be leading his Syd Lawrence Orchestra at this spectacular concert.

“Reg who is a founder member of the choir is already the oldest surviving man in Britain and until August this year he attended most of their concerts and quite a few practice evenings.”

Reg, a retired minister puts his longevity down to his faith in the Church, a love of laughter and an occasional drop of his favourite tipple – gin.

In 1958 Mr Dean became a teacher at Herbert Strutt School in Belper, where he remained until 1968.

He was also a member of Belper Players before forming Theatre Wirksworth

The Dalesmen have invited guest choirs from Chesterfield, Eastwood, Mansfield and Melbourne to to join them for the celebration which theyare calling their “most ambitious “ show ever.

Also appearing in the concert will be Eleanor Kornas, a talented young pianist and organist who was winner of the 2012 Dalesmen Student of the Year Award.

John England, Chairman of the Dalesmen, said: “I have been immensely proud of the choir and their performances both as a chorister but in particular to be leading the choir during this momentous year.

“The 25th Anniversary Concert and celebration of the President’s magnificent achievement living into his 110th year was to be the most significant and special event to choir has ever undertaken and I take great pleasure in learning from the Assembly Rooms that the tickets are selling so well it looks set to be a sell out” .

The concert is on November 3 at The Derby Assembly Rooms and will start at 7.30pm in The Great Hall.

Tickets are £16.25 and available at the booking office, or by phone on 01332 255800, online they are £15 by logging on to www.derbylive.co.uk