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‘What a great way to spend Saturday afternoon’ said a member of the audience!

The Musical Memories Choir of Tonbridge for people with or without memory issues held a summer concert of Songs of Yesteryear at the Tonbridge Methodist Church on 30 July 2022.

The audience was full of family and friends who came to hear 30 members of the Choir sing their favourite songs including Bangers and Mash, Moon River and Bring me Sunshine amongst many others. The Choir had chosen the songs they wanted to sing and there was also a wonderful solo by Ray Chadwick.

Musical Memories is a joint project with the Tonbridge Dementia Friendly Community and the KCC and is organised by the Tonbridge Lions Club. Lion President Richard Hill with his wife Julie formed the Choir a few years ago and it now meets twice a month at the Tonbridge Methodist Church for a sing-along with those in the community who suffer memory issues; their partners and carers are also very welcome.

The Mayor of Tonbridge & Malling, Cllr Mrs Sue Bell attended the concert and expressed her sincere support of the occasion, particularly since her chosen charity is the Tonbridge Dementia Friendly Community. She said ‘Without community organisations like the Tonbridge Lions, we would not have the benefit of important events like this’.

Christine Parker, who leads the Tonbridge & Malling DFC, explained that the part of the brain called the amygdala is generally affected later in the spread of dementia, it is the part of the brain associated with emotion and music triggers these emotions and helps to unlock long forgotten memories; music is a powerful way of helping and caring for those with dementia.

The audience and Musical Memories Choir was delighted to listen to the Hartlip Singers who travelled long distances to join the concert and perform a number of songs from their own special repertoire including I do Love to be beside the Seaside and We’ll Gather Lilacs in the Springtime.

The cream tea in the interval was thoroughly enjoyed by all!

Lion President Richard Hill thanked the Lions team for all the support received and everyone in the Choirs and the audience for making the occasion such a positive and fun community event.

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