Frank Pearson organises trips for the Greater Manchester Police Male Voice Choir as well as the International Police Association. 

GTO Frank Pearson and his group in Bielefeld in Germany

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the International Police Association during a visit to Bielefeld in Germany. 

How did you first become a group travel organiser?

I served with Greater Manchester Police in different departments for 30 years. Our division had a sports and social club and I used to organise trips for the club along with a good friend of mine who has since sadly passed away.

We used to drive the coaches to keep the costs down; we used to do the booze cruises before we joined the EU so that’s going back some time and we did various trips away – Edinburgh Tattoo was one of the favourites. We stayed in the Nethybridge Hotel in Scotland for weekends. We then branched out through the International Police Association. The motto for that is ‘service through friendship’ and we’ve got colleagues throughout the world who are members and there are some police houses that you can go and stay at. We’ve had trips to other countries in Europe with the police.

Rochdale is twinned with Bielefeld in Germany so we’re planning a trip to the Christmas market there. I became involved with the Greater Manchester Police Male Voice Choir about 35-40 years ago.

Group travel organiser Frank Pearson

Frank’s group at a glance…

Group name: International Police Association (Rochdale branch) / Greater Manchester Police Male Voice Choir
No. of members: About 250 in total
Time organising: 30+ years
Based: Rochdale

What type of trips do you organise?

For the choir group it’s centred around where we’re going to go singing. We’ve been over to Sweden for example and joined up with two male choirs (Gothenburg police and Cantorum).

We’ve sung at the Royal Albert Hall for Cancer Research UK and in 2018, we hosted the two Swedish choirs over here – we sang at the Royal Albert Hall together. That took a bit of organising.

It’s the choir’s 50th year in 2024 and those choirs are coming over to us for a concert. I’m in the process of organising the logistics, transport and accommodation, with the help of Rooms 4 Groups. We’ll have a couple of concerts in Llandudno and then we’ll spend time in the Manchester area and we’ll have a gala dinner to celebrate our 50 years.

We had the PSNI Ladies Choir from Northern Ireland join us in Llandudno this year and it’s hoped we’ll go back over there next year so I’ve got that one to sort as well.

It’s the atmosphere of the group that’s so nice and the friendliness between our members and our colleagues wherever we travel to.

Tell us about some of the standout trips that you’ve organised

I’ve really enjoyed organising trips where we’ve had visitors come to us, for example when we had the PSNI Ladies Choir coming over and singing at two of our concerts. I really enjoyed sorting the hotels out and having a good old sing together. I love the camaraderie. It’s friendship through song. People see that there’s another face to police officers.

GTO Frank Pearson pictured next to The Flam Railway, Norway

Frank organised a Norwegian cruise for about 50 of his group with one of the highlights being a trip on board The Flåm Railway.

For the choir’s 45th anniversary we did a cruise with Fred. Olsen to the Norwegian Fjords and we performed two concerts on board. That was a highlight for choir members and their followers. After our first concert, we had so many compliments and we played to a packed theatre for our second one. Members still talk about it and wish we could repeat the tour.

You must enjoy what you do?

Yes, I do. We have a core group of people who come and support the trips and enjoy them and then ask where we’re going next.

It’s the atmosphere of the group that’s so nice and the friendliness between our members and our colleagues wherever we travel to.

Where else would you like to visit or return to?

It’s been a few years since we went to Lisbon, I’d like to go back there. There’s plenty to see and do and we stayed at an IPA (International Police Association) House. I wouldn’t mind going back up to Edinburgh and maybe looking at Inverness or somewhere like that. Stratford and Bath are places of interest for a long weekend too.

Llandudno in Wales

The Greater Manchester Police Male Voice Choir have sung in both Llandudno and the Royal Albert Hall. 

What’s the biggest challenge in your role as GTO?

I suppose the biggest headache is getting everything together and getting the price structure right. It’s trying to match that. When you find a provider to help you, for example with accommodation, it takes a lot of the pressure off.

What part do you sing in the choir?

I’m top tenor which is the equivalent of the soprano in the female section – very tight underwear! We’re very short on numbers since the pandemic. We’re trying to recruit new members so if anybody’s interested, please get in touch!

Would you like to tell us about your work as a group organiser? Get in touch by emailing