Monday, 7 December 2015

Music and memories Down at the 'local'

Darwen folk have been relaxing and enjoying Monday afternoons of memories at The Old Function Room in Watery Lane. Big attraction? – Large black and white photos of old Darwen, kindly supplied by Darwen Days.

Maxine Walsh, manager of the popular pub, said: "A lot of our customers have friends or family or neighbors’ who aren't in the best of health and they were saying round the bar what a good idea it would be if the old folk could have a get-together in a local pub for a chat and a few games and a bit of music and perhaps a drink or two.

"I told them – I know just the place! It was all sorted in a few days and 16 rolled up for our first party. It was brilliant. And the old photos went down really well. They were passing them round and having a laugh." One old boy told the group: "I used to go courtin' rahnd thee'ur!"

Maxine said there were so many people these days who suffer from early dementia and short-term memory loss, Parkinson's and strokes, and who had difficulty getting about like they used to. "This is just the thing for them and it's was really touching when everyone was saying afterwards how they'd enjoyed it.

"Most have had enough of clinics and hospitals and we want to give them a good time in the sort of relaxing atmosphere they used to know."

One of the Old Function Room customers, cabaret singer Tony Monroe, went along and sang a lot of the old songs. "My treat," he smiled. "Glad they enjoyed it." The old photos went down well. "Everybody got quite animated," said Maxine.  "They were such a talking point." And Darwen Days have promised to put together another batch of their old photos for them to enjoy in the New Year.

"We're more than happy to help," said Dave Owen who runs the free web site. "This is just what we are all about."

Darwen Days supporter Patricia Turner has been liaising with Maxine and setting up the photo session. They are pictured here.