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98 year old founder of Silver Ring Choir sings three solos at Bridgemead

Kelvin Thomas, MBE, aged 98 was in fine voice at Bridgemead Christmas Concert, performed by the Silver Ring choir on Monday 11th December. Mr Thomas who founded the Choir in 1951, said jokingly “I’m not going strong, but I’m still going…” as he sang ‘Trade Winds’, ‘The Little Road to Bethlehem’ and a solo in Welsh. “His voice is even better than it was 10 years ago,” said choir member Jane Tabb, whose sister Mary Bradley is having respite care at Bridgemead.

Mr Thomas was welcomed to Bridgemead by the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Ian Gilchrist, who is 790th Mayor of Bath. Mr Thomas said that his relation Sydney Smith was Mayor of Bath in 1956. The current Mayor who had already been to five functions on Monday and has five more booked in for the next day said: “I’m really happy to be here and represent the City at your lovely event.”

Thirty-five members of the choir performed a lively Christmas recital, led by conductor Philip Draisey, with John Lowe on the piano. Colin Gilbert, whose mother had been in respite care at Bridgemead said ‘The Choir sings for pleasure. We delight in using our gift as a gift to the audience. My mother was here for 5 weeks and Bridgemead is a marvellous place.”

Pam Bourton, Manager of Bridgemead said: “It is such a pleasure to have the Silver Ring Choir here, everyone enjoys their visit so much.” The residents loved the performance and the mince pies made by Mark the chef were highly praised and the mulled wine provided by Caroline Curnock and served by Friends of Bridgemead, was delicious. Ruth Holbrook, a former Chair of Friends of Bridgemead who has been a volunteer for 24 years, and Elizabeth and David Kavanagh who have led ‘Quiet Time’ at Bridgemead for 12 years were thanked for their help and presented flowers.

Marian McNeir, MBE, Patron of Bridgemead thanked the Choir for coming to Bridgemead. She said that the Choir had just performed at the Guild Hall in a ceremony presenting the Legion D’Honneur to three veterans, on behalf of the French Government and would be performing on Wednesday 20th December at St Michael’s Without, Broad Street.


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