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Eastwood on the world stage for evening of song and music

Special guest, Coun Tony Harper, addresses the audience at the event, in front of singers who took part. (PHOTO BY: Reg Lowe, Beauvale Photographic Society)
Special guest, Coun Tony Harper, addresses the audience at the event, in front of singers who took part. (PHOTO BY: Reg Lowe, Beauvale Photographic Society)

It’s not often that Eastwood performs on the world stage. But that’s what happened at a joyous musical event to support people with dementia.

Eastwood Memory Cafe linked up with 19 countries across five continents for one of 81 events that made up the global initiative, World Rocks Against Dementia 2018.

Simon Thompson conducts the Everyone Can Sing (ECS) group at the event.

Simon Thompson conducts the Everyone Can Sing (ECS) group at the event.

The evening of song and music was held at St Mary’s Church on Church Street in the town and raised the magnificent total of £1,227.

The pot was topped up by the event’s special guest, Coun Tony Harper, who represents Eastwood on Nottinghamshire County Council. He and his family enjoyed the evening so much that he presented the memory cafe with a cheque for £300.

Diane Rowley, chairman of the memory cafe, said: “It was an amazing night, and we had had so much positive feedback. The final amount of money we raised was far beyond our hopes.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped put the event together, and also Coun Harper for his ongoing support. We are extremely grateful to everyone that came along. Their generosity and kindness are truly appreciated.”

The Phoenix Singers perform at the event. (PHOTO BY: Reg Lowe, Beauvale Photographic Society).

The Phoenix Singers perform at the event. (PHOTO BY: Reg Lowe, Beauvale Photographic Society).

The evening’s entertainment, which attracted an audience of about 200, was provided by a number of groups, choirs and singer. They included a group of old friends, Steve Matthews, Alan Castledine, Steve Archer and Neil Humphries, who joined forces again “for one night only” and raised the church roof with a fabulous collection of songs.

They finished their act with a rendition of Neil Diamond’s old hit, ‘Sweet Caroline’, with Martin Wright on trumpet, which had everyone singing along.

Steve said: “It was a pleasure to support such a wonderful cause and to perform with such great acts. We aimed to lift spirits with the set we chose, and I believe we did it!”

WORLD Rocks Against Dementia, which is now in its third year, was created to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia. So, Eastwood Memory Cafe, which is a not-for-profit organisation that meets every month at Plumptre Hall in the town to provide support for people with dementia and their carers, had no hesitation in backing it.

Among the other groups who performed at the event were Everyone Can Sing, an accomplished choir of 75 led by Simon Thompson, Oldish Spice, a nine-man harmony group, also led by Simon, who performed a polished set of mining-related songs, and The Phoenix Singers.

Simon said: “It was an excellent evening with a very hospitable audience. I was impressed by how many people knew the songs.”