Amersham Museum has been running a reminiscence group for over four years. During this time various people have attended but for the last couple of years this has become a group of 11 ladies. We meet once a month at the museum to chat about themes from the past.
The ladies did not all know each other when they first came, they might have known one other person but that was about it. However, over the years they have been attending they have become friends. On one occasion some of the ladies were at the Memorial Gardens in Old Amersham for a music Sunday, and it was remarked upon by one of the ladies how nice it was that friendships had been made and maintained out of the group.
Over the years we have talked about so many things from school days to weddings to having children to growing older, but we have always laughed, and it is always with pleasure that we look forward to the next meeting. The ladies have also become involved with other activities at the museum.
Last year we decided that we would like to sing Christmas carols at the Museum’s Christmas Fair. With the help of a volunteer who plays the keyboards we got down to some practice, helped along with a mince pie or two. We held two performances, the ladies all dressed in festive red and had a lovely time. With this success in mind we asked the ladies if they would like to engage in a music project, created as part of the People’s Story of Amersham which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. They were all very keen and so we engaged the help of a local musician Mike Watson.
Mike has experience in the music business and particularly liked percussion instruments, so for the first session he brought along a selection of drums. To say we enjoyed it was an understatement. We loved it and were disappointed when the session came to an end! We really did all have big smiles on our faces and I finally realised how music can really help lift your spirits. The next couple of sessions Mike helped plan the layout of the song and he came up with the music, but all the words were put together by the ladies. Mike then brought in his recording equipment and we were able to make a CD. We did this in the museum so had to put up with background noise etc, so Mike went away and mixed it and came up with the track, the song was called: That’s What Friends Are For.
I think it would be true to say that all of us enjoyed the music project, not only coming up with a song in such a short space of time, but the whole process of playing instruments together, singing together and laughing together. The ladies hope to perform the song at this year’s Christmas Fair.