Gloria has been a ward visitor and request presenter with HRR since 2011 when, following a chat with a friend who was already with us, she decided to come along with her on a visit – and the rest, as they say, is history! After 4 years on the Saturday evening crew Gloria now enjoys presenting her own “Record Requests” show on Wednesday afternoons – which makes her something of a pioneer as hers was our first regular request programme to air at that time of day when most of our volunteers are still at work. Gloria is now retired, after an active life which has seen her work and travel widely abroad (she used to run her own travel business) and, more recently, in court – but as an usher, she hastens to add! These days she also volunteers in the box office of the Kenton Theatre in Henley.
Her earliest musical memories are of listening to her parents' recordings of Mario Lanza and the Great Caruso and she is one of the generation that grew up listening to Two-Way Family Favourites every Sunday lunchtime. The first record she herself bought was Elvis Presley's King Creole and these days she enjoys modern jazz and light classical too – and if, when she visits your ward, you can't think of a favourite and say just “play anything” don't be surprised if she uses that as an opportunity to slot in something by Santana! Broadcasters she particularly admires include Richard Whitely (“sincere and interested and never sarcastic”) and Michael Parkinson.
Not many people know that, for her 50th Birthday Gloria did a parachute jump in tandem and helped to raise #3,000 for Feed The Children (and we are currently working out how high we can persuade her to go to in celebration of HRR's forthcoming 60th !!)