A group of local Hastings and St. Leonards-on-Sea residents came together to take part in a performance based on their memories and stories. This event was the culmination of a Creative Reminiscence project for people over the age of 60, run by Shaping Voices Arts Company in conjunction with the WRVS. The project has been funded by an Awards for All Lottery grant which has enabled members of Shaping Voices to work for several weeks with a group of enthusiastic people aged from 62 to 92.
Through a series of weekly creative group sessions participants’ memories were transformed into stories that are touching, highly visual and often extremely funny. The performance, given by members of the group and of Shaping Voices, included elements of singing, acting, dancing and poetry.
In a kaleidoscopic fairground
Mrs Mop & Esther plied their trades.
Mrs Mop remembers sulphurous vapours
filling the air, the hissing and the sharp smell
of fear, the slippery blackened stick slithering
out of my hands, the taste of gas on my tongue.
Esther remembers the tinkle of bells,
the aroma of black tobacco coating
my nostrils, the ice cold crystal beneath
my hands, the taste of unknown sorrows
yet to come.
After the birth of the seventh FitzGerald,
when the paternity payments outweighed his means,
Just Gerald left Surrey (in a hurry)
for a short holiday in Mexico.
He saw a card in a shop window
for a job as a bandit and decided to stay.
I’d always put a bit by,
so that when I retired
I bought a house in Streatham and
Filled it with vibrant young women.