There With You: ‘Bleadon’s own Gracie Fields’ puts on weekly Clap for Carers show for neighbours
- Credit: Jim Baines
A street in Bleadon has been serenaded over the past few weeks, every Thursday night as part of their Clap for Carers event.
Marion Dare describes herself as a ‘practically retired professional singer’, while neighbours call her their own Gracie Fields.
Since the Government’s lockdown was imposed, members of the public have taken to their doorsteps at 8pm on every Thursday to applaud the work that NHS workers are carrying out during the coronavirus pandemic.
Marion has been going the extra mile and putting on a show, PA system included, for her street.
She said: “On Thursday night, I would usually sing at the Grosvenor Hotel in Weston. After the first time, I went out and clapped for the NHS I thought next time I might go out and sing a few songs.”
“I told a few neighbours and they said ‘that would be fabulous’ and it has gone from there really. It is for everyone, all carers.”
Marion’s neighbours take to the streets, around 7.30pm each Thursday, some in their deckchairs, some with a glass of wine, and enjoy her show.
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Each night Marion ends with Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’.
She added: “I record the performances on Facebook Live, and put them up on a local Facebook group to cheer them up. I record videos for my family too.”
These shows are just one of the many examples of how Weston is showing its gratitude for NHS workers.
Marion said: “It is keeping me going (through the lockdown) as well, to be honest. I’ve been singing for 20 years and I’m practically retired.”
“I was starting to not enjoy it so much and this has just given me a new lease of life. A purpose.”
The set list may differ slightly from week to week, but each song has a meaning to either Marion or her neighbours.
She said: “I sing some Dolly Parton for one neighbour who’s husband is ill at the moment, and the lady two doors down was rushed to hospital and returned on the Thursday night I was singing, so I sang a song they liked.”
“I’ve got an older clientele, but there are a few young ones in the street so I add some ABBA and songs that are more upbeat.”
“It is lovely to see the singing put a smile on people’s faces. It also makes an event of it, although after 8pm I have to pull the plug because it’s freezing and I’m a real cruel creature.”