Tributes to 'local hero' singer who performed for thousands of people for most of his life until the day before his passing

-Credit: (Image: Submitted)
-Credit: (Image: Submitted)


Heartfelt tributes have poured in for a "local hero" and popular singer who entertained thousands of people over the years with his incredible voice following his passing aged 85.

Patrick "Pat" Volley, from Grimsby, died on Monday, June 17, leaving behind devoted wife Margaret, sons Anthony and Stephen, grandchildren Lewis, Brogan, Caelan and Jensen, great-grandchildren Priya, Ruby, Cole and Matilda and many others who knew and loved him.

The much-loved entertainer spent the majority of his life performing at venues both locally and nationally, and was singing right up until his passing, belting out classics by Elvis and Cliff Richard at The Royal Navy Club in Cleethorpes just the evening before he died.

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In the 1960s, Pat was renowned for his bleached blonde hair and silver suit and his memorable performances at the Harvest Moon where he would sing whilst standing on the piano to a crowd of female fans. It was here that he met Margaret, who he would go on to marry on Christmas Eve 1966. Son Steve said she was "one of the lucky ones".

Speaking to Grimsby Live, Steve said: "My dad was brought up by a famous singer from Grimsby called Edna Keys, who used to sing on the QE2 cruise liner. He called her Auntie Edna. That's where the singing came from.

He was known for his bleached blonde hair in his youth -Credit:Submitted
He was known for his bleached blonde hair in his youth -Credit:Submitted

"My mum said he was famous for standing on the piano singing at the Harvest Moon - he had a lot of women followers and that's how they got together. My mum was one of the lucky ones, or the lucky one, because they were together for so many years.

"Throughout my childhood he'd always be out singing, we went to all the clubs and holiday camps with him. I can't remember a weekend that he wasn't singing. Every year he'd win a talent competition and the prize was a weeks' holiday in Great Yarmouth, so we'd go every year because he would always win.

"I couldn't get in a taxi without the driver bringing up my dad. If I booked it under my name I'd end up having a conversation about my dad all the way to wherever we were going, he was so well-known.

"He sang from the age of about 16 and never stopped - he even went out on Sunday night singing and he passed away on the Monday."

Pat and his wife, Margaret -Credit:Submitted
Pat and his wife, Margaret -Credit:Submitted

Pat's lifelong friend Sonny Ives, 82 said he took Pat and his wife Margaret to the Royal Navy Club on the evening before he died. Pat stood up to sing Elvis classics 'Now Or Never', 'Girl of my Best Friend' and Cliff Richard’s 'The Young Ones'.

Sonny said: “Having known Pat since I was 14, we have been in the army together, been in bands together and socialised together. He was a wonderful gentleman who was nice to everyone.”

Promoter Jeff Cutler knew Pat over many decades and asked Pat to attend Mayor Steve Beasant’s 70th birthday. He said: “My first memory of him was performing at the Rex cinema in Corporation Road. Half an hour before the movie there was a Skiffle band on stage led by Pat. He had dyed blonde hair and a silver suit. He was always smart and too good looking. He was very popular.

"At the Old Mecca on Wintringham Road he was the support for Little Richard. What a gig that was. He helped me raise thousands of pounds for charities. He was always the first to volunteer. He’s our Number One Local Hero."

Pat was a popular local performer -Credit:Submitted
Pat was a popular local performer -Credit:Submitted

Outside of his singing career, Pat worked in the building trade and then for 26 years at Dunlop Oil & Marine Ltd, where he built the hoses for oxygen equipment used by RAF pilots. Later in life, he purchased a window-cleaning round, and soon found he loved the social aspect of the job.

Son Steve continued: "He was kind, helpful, sociable, and everyone just got on with him. If he wasn't at home, you'd find him at one of his neighbours' houses. He'd be singing to everybody wherever he was and would look after everybody no matter who they were or where they were. He'd nip in and visit people and talk to people for ages at the shop, he was a very sociable person. He was a character.

"When he worked as a window cleaner, I helped him out sometimes, and I'd be doing a house down the road and he'd still be at the first house on the round having a cup of tea."

Outside of his singing career, Pat was a devoted family man -Credit:Submitted
Outside of his singing career, Pat was a devoted family man -Credit:Submitted

Outside of his singing and working life, Pat was also a doting husband, dad and grandad.

"He was strict but fair, and we always had a lot of respect for him. He was a very doting grandad and loved his grandkids, he would always visit them for a cup of tea," Steve said.

His Worshipful Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Cllr Steve Beasant, has also paid his respects to Pat. He told Grimsby Live: "Pat was an amazing man, he's been so much a part of the music scene for many years. My heart goes out to his friends, family and colleagues. Even though he was in his eighties, he still sang at my birthday which meant so much to me. May he rest in peace and continue singing for people up there."

Pat's funeral will be held at 3pm on Friday, July 12 at Grimsby Crematorium, via funeral directors JW Embersons in Waltham. Family flowers only, but anyone who wishes to donate in Pat's memory can do so to Dog's Trust by clicking here. Coloured clothing welcome at the service.