Ivy at the Waveney.
(From Bernard Barwick)


I first met Ivy at the Waveney Hotel, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex in about 1985, shortly after her retirement from running her "All Girls Band" for over 40 years.

Essex County Council used the Hotel every year to send elderly blind residents for a weeks holiday. I was one of three Helpers caring for fourteen "holidaymakers".

Ivy normally only came to the Hotel one night a week to play the organ. On her first visit, upon discovering her audience were blind, she promptly made arrangements for an extra weekly visit either to play the organ or play "Bingo" with them; she very kindly did this three years running.

On her last visit, while helping her to get the organ out of her car, she tripped over her dogs lead, falling to her knees - I said "We haven't got time for prayers"; we stopped the bleeding as best we could, then two of us drove her to the local hospital.

Telling the staff we had someone important who needed attention, caused little interest until we put them straight - then the doctors and staff asked for her autograph and looked at Ivy's "This is your Life" red book for almost two hours!

The photograph on the right shows Ivy at her Organ keyboard at the Waveney Hotel.

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