Musicians needed to help rediscover golden years

Henry Hall
Henry Hall

A RADIO-THEMED show inspired by Eastbourne musician Henry Hall is on the look-out for local musicians to help people suffering from dementia rediscover their golden years.

The Vintage Radio Years is the brainchild of Kym Veale and is a regular visitor to a string of local care homes, including Sovereign Lodge, Elm Lodge and The Devonshire care home here in Eastbourne.

Inspired by Henry Hall (pictured) and other 1930s performers, the show is set back in time and includes Royal Air Force costumes and an authentic 1950s microphone.

It starts with a verse, referring to a hidden guest – a famous bandleader, comedian or singer – before the elderly audience are encouraged to join in with the following songs, catchphrases and memories.

Ms Veale said, “From 1932 at the BBC Henry Hall shared his guest night every Saturday evening with the British public.

“This memory of families uniting together around the wireless and the wonderful artistes that shared their sincere talent through the airwaves has never been forgotten, and creates the foundation to this project.

“Over the last four years I have loved working with the elderly but along my path I have heard whispers that many of our elderly feel they have been forgotten, hence my desire to bring back a family-themed show full of the wonderful array of variety from yesteryear, where all can share in the encouraging words of love and hope these songs gave them.”

However, she is after some help. “We need a new generation of talented, experienced musicians and songwriters with a heart and vision to use their gifts for the greater good.

“Over the years the care homes I have worked with have witnessed patients who don’t usually speak who, when exposed to the promptings of their deep-seated memory, the rhythm, melodies and lyrics of the music, are singing and dancing just like they would have done all those years ago in their living rooms around their wireless, listening to the wonderful Henry Hall’s guest night.

“I have seen many people within my groups overwhelmed with tears in their eyes because of the connection they have made to the comfort, love and unity this music has given them.”

If you would like to get involved, call 01903 871075 or visit www.vintageradioyears.co.uk