Alan Tumber

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands
About me...

Alan is a retired head teacher with over 35 years experience in primary education. Alan has been head of two Birmingham primary schools and has performed in folk clubs and venues around the city for many years.

About my entertainments and quizzes...

A unique entertaining and inspiring hour of, sometimes, thought provoking and often humorous content built around a theme. ‘Grandadssongs’ has now over 30 presentations for schools and now 11 for Adults. New themes can be created for you and existing themes tailored to your requirement.
Sandwell Museums and Art Galleries and over twenty-five schools and nurseries have used ‘Grandadssongs’.
Over the past few years I have mainly worked with U3As, W.Is. Townswomen’s Guilds, Probus and other independent groups and organisations using ‘Grandadssongs’ presentations specially adapted for adult audiences, many on more than one occasion.

I am now available to do some of my presentations by Zoom. Notably picture this 1 and 2 and Nowt so queer as Folk


I charge £2 per head for groups up to 25 in number, £50 for groups 25-50 in number and fees for groups over 50 in number are negotiable.

I would ask large groups of 75 or more to bear this in mind when they offer me a fee.  I charge 25p per mile beyond 10 miles from my home, however, this figure can be negotiable.

Quizzes last about two and a half hours so are more expensive at £100 but if the cause is right and I don’t have to create an entirely new quiz (this can take months!) then I have been known only to take expenses.

My Contact Details:

0121 2470527


My Entertainments

I base my presentations using a powerpoint format and include songs, stories and poetry, past and present accompanied on guitar, (Classical, acoustic and twelve string) with lots of audience participation. Presentations are on different themes, containing information, lyrics to choruses, pictures, movie clips and sound bites. I have all my own equipment, Projector, screen sound system etc. and can set up wherever there is an electric socket.

It’s all in the Game

An anthology with a sporting theme including Football, Cricket, Athletics, and Golf. Songs, poems, film clips, some factual, some imagined. With lots of variety and humour too.

Songs of the Sea

An anthology of sea songs and poetry including shanties, songs about fishing, whaling, sailors and ships.

1. Nowt So Queer As Folk

Public Speaker in Birmingham West Midlands Alan Tumber gives his talk Nowt so queer as folk

Folk music.  A brief history with examples of the genre. Song and Dance. With Live Music. Pictures, film clips and recordings. Choruses to join in or just sit back listen and watch. I develop themes which include, the folk revival around the end of the 19th Century, The development of one particular song, songs which feature soldier/sailor relationships with wives and girlfriends, rustic songs, mining songs, sea shanties and songs, drinking songs and poems later set to music. There’s a fascinating song about how a particular group set about performing ‘John Barleycorn’ and a story of how a staunch folk traditionalist is fooled into thinking a song written in the 80’s was traditional. The presentation is rounded off with a look at traditional folk dance.

2.Picture This!

Where the world of Art connects with music and rhyme.  An anthology with Live Music. Pictures, film clips, recordings. Choruses to join in or just sit back watch and listen. The programme includes a montage of Van Gough’s works to “Starry, starry night”, L.S. Lowry pictures to “Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs”, The pre-Raphaelites interpretations of “The Lady of Shallot”, there’s Adam and Eve, Monet, Paul Simon, Chris De Burgh and others. Connections will entertain and fascinate!

3. Rhyme nor reason (1)

A collection of comic poetry and song.  With live music, pictures, recordings and film clips.  The work of Flanders and Swann, Marriot Edgar, Stanley Holloway, Pam Ayres, Les Barker and others. Lots of laughs with goalkeeper Joe, Amnesia, Fifty Shades, and lots more. Probably the most popular presentation to date.

4 Rhyme nor reason (2)

More comic poetry and song.  With live music. pictures, recordings and film clips.  The work of Flanders and Swann, Marriot Edgar, Stanley Holloway, Pam Ayres, Les Barker and others, this time with an animal theme. “The Hippopotamus Song”, “The neighbour’s cat”, ”Guide cats for the Blind”, “Will the turtle be unbroken” parrot jokes and lots more.

5. Rhyme nor reason (3)

Even more comic poetry and song with an expanded cast of contributors and some old favourites. Again lots of laughs and surprises. If you’ve seen and enjoyed Rhyme nor Reason 1 and 2 you won’t be disappointed with this one.

Rhyme nor reason (4)

Continuing the theme of amusing songs and poetry found in the previous ‘Rhyme nor Reason’ offerings with the work of Les Barker, Joyce Grenfell, Pam Ayres, Marriot Edgar, Jez Lowe Bill Caddick and others. Same formula, same laughs and chuckles.

6. Tickled to Death

Sometimes comic, sometimes tragic this collection of songs and poetry tackles death as its theme. It includes funny songs like Tom Lehrer’s “Rickety Tickety Tin” and John Denver’s “Forest Lawn” (the L.A. Cemetery for the stars!) and tragic songs of mining disasters and murder most foul. There’s a four minute Hamlet in song and a collection of songs from or about WW1. These are some wonderful songs and ideas handled with  sympathy and respect for the subject matter.

7. Ghoulies and Ghosties - And things that go bump in the night

A Rhyme nor Reason Hallowe’en Special with an amusing bent. Skeletons rattling and tales of mystery and Ghostly happenings. This is meant to make you chuckle and not to raise the hairs on the back of your neck! Again Songs and poems and film clips and stories for your entertainment

8. Rhyme nor Reason - ‘tis the Season

A Rhyme nor Reason Christmas Special. The usual rhyme nor reason format with some lovely Christmas songs and poetry and visual effects lasting for about an hour. There’s comedy and tradition side by side. Recommended for your Christmas get together, lunch, dinner or party.

9. Rhyme nor Reason 'Tis the Season 2

All New Rhyme nor Reason ‘Tis the Season 2. Same format, same mix of Music Songs, Poetry, Film clips. All new material. If you enjoyed Rhyme nor Reason ’tis the Season, hopefully you’ll love this brand spanking new version.

10. Picture this, a second look!

In the same format as ‘Picture this’ where art and music and literature combine. This time the subjects cover, Hands, Lord Nelson, Silent worship by Handel with Ladies in Gardens, Belle of the Ball, Fredric Sackrider Remington’s wild west paintings, The press Gang and the recruiting Sergeant, Fields of Gold and

Terence Cuneo’s railway paintings. Live and Recorded music as usual.

My quizzes are also in ‘Powerpoint’ which allows me to include lots of music, sound, pictures and film clips in the question sets.

My list of quizzes has expanded and now also includes Sitcoms, Abba, London, Film Musicals and Stage Musicals.

Themed Quizzes presented in Power Point

Not so much a Quiz as an evening’s entertainment. Each quiz is based on a theme. There are typically 20 rounds of five questions and the title of each round is based on the theme but the questions could be about anything related to the title of the round.
e.g. Theme – Elvis                                                                                                                          Round 1: ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ questions about famous hotels.
Round 2: ‘Suspicious Minds’ Questions about detectives. Etc.

At present I have the following themes – Cars, The Beatles, James Bond Movies, The Oscars, Disney Films, Elvis, Carry on Films. Quizzers often decorate the room and dress up to enhance the experience! Using ‘Powerpoint’ allows me to include lots of music, sound, pictures and film clips in the question sets and as introductions to the rounds.

I can usually produce a quiz for a theme of your choice if needed.



Alan came to our Marston Green 50+ meeting and performed ‘Rhyme nor Reason 1’ and what a wonderful evening we had. Lots of fun and laughter, it was a real tonic on a wet winter night, such a relaxed, friendly guy. I hope he enjoyed it as much as all our members did. Definitely booking him again for next year.

Judith Campton


Alan recently entertained our U3a group with his multi-media extravaganza ‘Rhyme nor Reason, ‘tis the Season’. And multi-media it was – there were songs which he accompanied on his guitar, including a beautiful composition of his own, there was poetry, cartoons and video clips – all on the subject of Christmas. We enjoyed it immensely and would happily recommend Alan as a speaker for other similar groups.

Gill Phillips


We just wanted to thank you for your presentation last night, it was a lovely evening, and everyone really enjoyed it, and you were brilliant.
Hopefully it will be nice if you could come again in the future.

Chris Stinton


I just wanted to thank you for your brilliant presentation to our ladies group of ‘Rhyme nor Reason’ last week. We were truly entertained with songs, rhymes and poetry together with amusing videos and photographs. We would happily recommend Alan as a speaker and hope to welcome him back to our group next year.



Alan Tumber Contact Details:

0121 2470527


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