Brent: Pearly queen joins students in sing along

Brent students and the pearly queen of Old Kent Road visit a care home to learn old songs and make a music archive

It is not often school children get the chance to dance along to Knees up Mother Brown with royalty.

But that is what eight and nine year olds from Newfield Primary School did when they met Doreen Golding, the Pearly Queen of Old Kent Road at a music workshop designed to promote inter generational understanding.

Children from the school, which is based in Longstone Avenue, Harlesden, went along to Knowles House Care home to sing old songs and compile a musical archive of their memories of Brent.

These stories will be recorded and displayed at Brent museum.

Nicole Lathom, organiser of the music project, said: “It was fantastic. She was there on the gate to meet the children, their faces lit up and some of them curtseyed as she walked past.”

Students sung and danced along to old London classics including the Lambeth Walk, and Maybe it’s Because I’m a Londoner, and were taught to play the play the spoons by residents at the elderly care home.

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Ms Lathom said that the generations were united by focusing on London’s shared musical history.

She said: “The residents loved it. One lady said normally her life is barren but today my her life is full.

“By bringing the children with the residents and having that focus brought everyone together, and through the music the children were able to share the residents’ memories.

“We are hoping to get the students to continue to build their relationship with the residents in the care centre and to do some interviewing with the residents about growing up in Brent.

“It is a really nice way of exploring local history and promoting understanding between the two generations.”

The music project, which is paid for by the Big Lottery Fund, culminates with a performance at Newman Primary School, where students who have participated in the scheme will perform cockney inspired songs.