An afternoon of French culture and song

The 100-year birthday of Edith Piaf, the late French actress and singer who was the belle of her age –  and perhaps best known for penning the song ‘je ne regrette rien’ – was celebrated by members and volunteers of the Primrose Hill Neighbours befriending scheme and residents of the Oldfield Estate and last month.

The celebration was lovely and very moving. One of its highlights was a documentary which described Piaf’s chance discovery and how her singing brought her off the streets and away from a life of turmoil. She died tragically early in 1963.

This cultural event was put on at a sheltered housing estate in Primrose Hill where locals were joined by the Mayor of Camden who sat down with everyone for an afternoon of live music and singing in appreciation of Piaf’s fabulous voice. All then enjoyed some delicious homemade French Onion soup and a glass of wine  – as a glass was raised in memory of Edith: ‘The Little Sparrow’ as she was affectionately known.

A big thank you to all who came and joined in or helped out, but especially to Primrose Hill Neighbours Help volunteers Myra and Kay for organising and catering such a wonderful event.

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Primrose Hill is alive with The Sound of Music!

sound of music

Last week, different generations were brought together for a week of events in Camden. Primrose Hill Neighbours Help got involved in the wide programme of activities and loved the emphasis on doing things together, by exploring art, dance, craft, song, drama and creative writing, to name but a few of the things on offer! Many of the events were hosted by local school-children and very innovative, such as Chessathons, reaching out to the generations that have come before them; while activities that are associated with the older generations such as gardening or taking high-tea were also enjoyed. The week of events helped to build bridges and fostered understanding across the ages and has been a great influence in strengthening our local community.

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One of our fabulous volunteers, Myra, was a star during, and in the lead up, to intergenerational week. With the help of the local primary school and the Primrose Hill Players, she organised a fabulous sing-a-long Sound of Music event, (in honour of its 50th anniversary!) for members of Primrose Hill Neighbours Help and older residents of the Oldfield Sheltered Housing Estate. The lonely goatherd song was a particular favourite with everyone young and old trying out their yodelling techniques! It was a wonderful afternoon and we were also lucky to be treated to some crisp apple strudel. This was definitely one of our favourite things. The Mayor of Camden joined us and said it was one of the most exciting events of the whole week! It also happened to be Camden’s 50th Anniversary so local bakery made a special cake for all to enjoy. The laughter of those present was a joy to see and we have certainly shown what can be achieved when different generations come together. The pictures tell more than a thousand words.

David Crowson, David Justus (Primrose Hill Players) and Raymond Platt (local actor) Primrose Bakery fantastic cake to celebrate Camden 50 at Sound of Music intergenerational event Sound of Music audience at Oldfield 12.5.15

For more information about the Camden Intergenerational Week visit the website here: http://www.camdenintergenerationalweek2015.org.uk/home/4588006326  We’re looking forward to next year already! Thank you to everyone involved for such a great week.

Could you be Primrose Hill’s Next Top Treasurer?

We are currently looking for a new Treasurer to join the Primrose Hill Neighbours Help Board of Trustees.  More information on Team London here: http://volunteerteam.london.gov.uk/opportunities/2527.

If you are good with figures, have a couple of hours a month to spare and think you can help, get in touch to apply or to find out more. Thank you!

PiggyBank

Can you help?

Can you spare a couple of hours on Tuesday 21st April? We need a few extra volunteers to help us hand deliver our annual fundraising appeal around the Primrose Hill and Chalk Farm area to help raise money for Primrose Hill Neighbours Help. Any help greatly appreciated! Meeting 1pm near Swiss Cottage. Get in touch on 07531 779 827 for all the details if you think you might be able to help. It’s meant to be a sunny day so should be a nice stroll 🙂 Thank you!

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Spring Cream Tea

Join us for a delicious and friendly spring Cream Tea in association with our sister Good Neighbour Scheme, Kilburn Good Neighbours, at the Abbey Community Centre on Friday 24th April 2-4pm

We hope you can make it!

We hope you can make it!

BOOKING ESSENTIAL. Contact Laura on 07531 779 827 to let us know you are coming

 

It’s a French Thing…or Oldfield’s got talent!

Primrose Hill Neighbours Help volunteers and members have been busy again with a theatrical farce written and directed by local Terry Ford, alongside the new Primrose Hill Players and many talented tenants of the Oldfield sheltered housing estate (Jacqueline, Carol and Marion Houses). Total teamwork, enthusiasm and fun.

Here is a review from Jacqueline House resident and audience member, Margaret!

The dining area of Jacqueline House was transformed by Phil Reavey’s imaginative and colourful set into a French cafe with red and white check tablecloths donated by I’Absinthe our local French restaurant.

In two hilarious sell-out performances on 24th and 25th January, residents and friends were treated to a witty script, mayhem, hilarious characters, silliness, laughter and joie de vivre.

The ludicrously improbable plot revolved around a tipsy party, colourful costumes, a gate crasher, a fluffy dog, a hat box and a bomb scare!  As ‘Mrs Prendergast’ David Crowson (Jacqueline House) was unrecognised in a pert wig, mini flocks with cleavage, high- heeled sneakers, a garden party hat and her flatty dog, smuggled in a hat-box.  She minced, tottered, shrieked and flirted with the audience – a superb comic turn when she lost her wig and ze ‘bomber’ was revealed!

William Prendergast (Jacqueline – and no relation!!!), was splendid as the sharp-suited maitre d’ with a huge sometimes precarious black moustache, a cute beret and a Fawlty-like telephone manner, while dealing with Mrs P and her dog!

Adrian Hemmings (Carol) as the harassed detective in a raincoat and a splendid hat was superb.  He read his line from his note book – last minute stage fright was a bonus that added to the comedy for me.

In the background, guests (Jacqueline, Carole, Marion) made very merry with (real) wine and champagne generously supplied by a debonair wine steward (Mike O’Hara – Marion) in an eye-catching apron, while a waitress (Debbie Collins) rushed around waving mums in a cute red beret. The guest were transformed as generals in hired military costumes, brilliant in brass, braid and scarlet, tipsily toasting ‘Vive la France!’ while ignoring the Farce in the foreground. The ladies were gorgeous in velvet and polka dots.

It was totally crazy entertainment and teamwork. I was reminded of the dreadful Lena Lamont in Singing in the Rain. “We bring a little joy into your dull and humdrum lives!”

The next production is being planned. Oldfield has talent ! Watch the space……

With thanks to:

SETS:                                     Phil Reavey (Jacqueline House)

SOUND EFFECTS:              Bob Hawke – professional jazz musician (Carol House)

AFTER-SHOW PARTY:       Organised by our Kay (Jacqueline House).  More merry-making,

BARMAN:                              Paul Nye

PHOTOGRAPHS:                 Richard Higgins (Oldfield Estate Manager)

VIDEO:                                   David Simpson    (Staff Member)

REVIEW:                                Margaret  Leibbrandt (Jacqueline House resident)

Credit is also due to Alan Bennett who kindly read the script and said it made him laugh – which gave a boost to Terry.

Ho ho ho – Merry Christmas!

Last week, 21 members of Primrose Hill Neighbours Help were treated to a fabulous festive lunch by Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Wednesday 10th December. A big thank you for all involved in organising – especially Santa. A fabulous day was had by all. Merry Christmas one and all!

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Christmas Lunch - Shirley, Terry and JohnBank of America Merrill Lynch Christmas Lunch (2) - Michael, Lofty and Jean