Today, Tuesday 17th May, Matt Monro Jr returned to his family home. The house where he was born to unveil a plaque to his late father the singer and entertainer Matt Monro.
Matt and his family lived at 14 Ruxley Lane, the last house before the shops. The house now belongs to Dr Sheriff. The house looks like any another house in the road. BUT we were told by one of the large crowd that attended its not what it seems. Back in 1945 as the owner and her friend were having tea when an experimental aircraft from the Vickers aircraft factory at Weybridge crashed directly on the house killing all inside. I was told if you look closely you can see how the house attached survived.
But today was about one of the country’s greatest singer Matt Monro. Surprisingly Matt never had a number one hit single but his songs and his voice live on with hits such as “Walk Away”, “Portrait of My Love” and the Lennon & McCartney “Yesterday” which was first released by Matt as the beatles didn’t want to release it. On top of these hits were classic movie soundtracks such as “Born Free”, James Bond theme “From Russia With Love” and my favorite from the opening scene from the Italian Job “On Days Like These” cut short as the car hits the tractor in the tunnel.
At the unveiling today Epsom Male Voice Choir sung a selection of Matt’s hits and was joined by Matt Jr to sing Walk Away. A very moving moment for all present.
Matt Monro moved into the house in 1961 working as bus driver and milkman. He worked for Unigate out of their depo in Ruxley Lane. His main bus route (enlivened, towards the end of the trip, by a serenade for customers) was in London but he also drove the 418 on the Kingston route. But he did stay long in these roles when he moved to Ewell and the hits started to roll in around the same time. What was also special for Matt Jr was that he was born in Epsom Hospital in 1964 and for 2 years grew up at the house before the family moved out in 1966. Speaking to Matt Jr afterwards he said:
“I’m delighted after five years of hard work from people like Sue and Jeremy, that she has managed to get heritage plaque on the house, which is where my dad lived, and where I was actually subsequently born. And to see all the people here and choirs and journalists and people in general, it’s just been such an emotional day for me. very nostalgic, and I’m actually overwhelmed.”
Sue Merchant had been campaigning for 5 years to get recognition for Matt Monro, with covid delaying the process. But today showed how much people love the music of Matt monro. A wonderful turnout with a crowd of over 100 people all with a story how the music of Matt Monro changed their lives.
Epsom Male Voice Choir will be performing at Epsom Playhouse on Saturday 21st May For More Details CLICK HEREHe