Month: April 2018

Vote for The Warm and Toasty Club to Win £50,000

The Warm and Toasty Club have made it to the final of The People Projects for the Anglia East region and we have the chance to win £50,000 of National Lottery funding for our project Memory Afternoons – and we need your VOTE to help us win.

Memory Afternoons are charming befriending and conversation events for older people with delightful live entertainment. These unique events are all about making older folk feel cherished and valued whilst providing development opportunities for young aspiring artists.

With your help, we can invite up to 100 older people every week for a year, to a local community hall to share positive memories of their lives, be entertained by singers and dancers and take part in a range of activities that will help them feel less lonely and isolated.

Memory Afternoons have proved to be extremely successful over the past 4 years with The Warm and Toasty Club having held these afternoon events at retirement establishments in Colchester and Essex.

Our team put their heart and soul into making these events special and we would love to be able to take these events out into the community – your vote can help us deliver a year’s worth of these delightful afternoons at a set local venue with community transport to help bring our less mobile guests in.

Memory Afternoons will support, develop and showcase young emerging artists and provide opportunities for community arts professionals to work directly with the older participants.

Young songwriters will be supported in writing and performing songs about the shared memories, artists will draw and make memento cards and singers, dancers and entertainers will perform as collectively we chat, we laugh, we share and we get happy.

We want to get people away from the TV to act as the catalyst for change by getting them chatting, laughing and making friends, as positive face to face engagement is so good for your physical and mental well-being.

Memory Afternoons also capture people centered positive stories of days gone by for future generations to access on the archives of Essex Sound and Video Archive and Colchester Recalled and via our online podcasts. But this isn’t a dry offering, oh no, this is face to face engagement that is full of fun, laughter, singing and dancing.

By sharing memories of lives well lived we turn the mirror back on participants to celebrate the rich and varied lives they have lived – our events have shown to really work in helping participants feel good about their lives and open up, they feel cherished and appreciated and we have seen that by doing so their loneliness is lessened, their social activities and circle of friends improved, their long term memory and their cognitive skills improve, they get out of the house and their self-worth and confidence greatly improves.

We’ve seen the real difference Memory Afternoons make – giving a new-found joy and confidence so that older folk blossom again.

Feedback from participants:

“Memory Afternoons are a tonic for the soul” 

“You’ve given me my sparkle again” 

“You delivered happiness” 

“We love it, it lifts our spirits high”

“This work wakes us up, makes us think and makes us appreciate what we have today”

“It eliminates loneliness doesn’t it”

“When I walk out of here I feel warm and I feel contented”

We will also hold public entertainment events at Colchester Arts Centre to showcase the worth of our older generation to the wider public.

Winning this money would make such a big difference to the lives of older people in our area and allow us to set up a central local hub which they can attend weekly to chat, laugh and have fun and which they don’t have now. Many older Colchester residents (both living in care homes and independently in the community) face a lack of engagement or activities available and/or relevant to them, particularly when faced with issues of health, mobility and finance, this project will greatly help with that.

This funding will pay for the venue, staff, community transport, food and drink, equipment, singers, dancers and songwriters and give so much back to our community with our people centred approach.

If we win we’ve got big plans to make a big difference to older people’s lives with these lovely afternoon events but we can only do it with your help-please vote for Memory Afternoons 

#MemoryAfternoons Where older folk come to top up their happiness batteries


Telephone: 07986837056

To vote click HERE

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Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for April 2018


FREE PUBLICITY! If  you are involved in music-making, we are  privileged to offer a free publicity service to our local community with concert previews and reviews with weekly columns in printed publications such as the Essex County Standard and Colchester Daily Gazette and a monthly page in Essex Life. We also offer regularly contributions to websites such as Colchester 101.

If you have a concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.




Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town and former capital of England. It has many visible connections and buildings from its Roman Heritage and the Siege of Colchester. In addition to being steeped in historical culture it has a thriving classical music scene with an abundance of musicians forming many choirs, ensembles and orchestras performing in beautiful venues such as the Old Barn at The Pimlott Foundation and St Botolph’s Church.

Roy Teed had been President of the Colchester Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years and much had been planned for a concert to celebrate his 90th birthday but sadly this was not to be as Roy passed away last year. His encyclopaedic knowledge of music was of great assistance to the orchestra for both concert repertoire and programme notes. He was a great admirer of Brahms and keen to promote young gifted soloists hence the choice of the Double Concerto with the young soloists Martyn Jackson (violin) and Rowena Calvert (cello). Given Roy’s considerable output as a composer (he was Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music), it is most appropriate that his Phantasy for Flute and Strings will be included in the concert. Flautist Debbie Rogers gave the premiere  of this work and will also be the soloist on Saturday 21 April at 7.30pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester

Tickets: £15 (01206 271128)

Founded in 1984, Colchester New Music’s original aim was to support performances by local composers and also the students and staff from Colchester Institute’s then acclaimed Music Department. Now independent of the Institute, and known as CNM it continues with its aim plus develops projects in partnership with local organisations such as Firstsite, Colchester Arts Centre and the Friends of the Moot Hall Organ.

CNM has teamed up with the world’s busiest early keyboard duo, Francis Knights and Dan Tidhar and launched an international competition for keyboard music. The winning pieces will be performed at 3pm on Saturday 28 April 2018 at The Old Barn, Old House, Old House Road, Great Horkesley, Colchester CO6 4EQ.

Tickets: or contact Daniela at The Pimlott Foundation (01206 271291)

Wrabness is a small village near Manningtree and is home not only to Grayson’s Perry’s  A House for Essex but also All Saints’ Church, a 12th century building with its bells temporarily re-located in the 17th century to a wooden structure in the churchyard, where they remain today.

Twenty-five years ago, Liz Connah and her husband Trevor started the Wrabness concerts in All Saints’ Church.  Sunday April 15  4pm there is concert in memory of Liz who died suddenly before Christmas. The Archaeus String Quartet performs works by Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Schubert.

Tickets: £12 (01255 880791).  All Saints’ Church, Church Road, Wrabness CO11 2TG.

Saturday April 14 The Pimlott Foundation hosts an afternoon with Der Kleine Chor, a choir of fifteen singers from Bielefeld in Germany. The choir will perform music by Fanny, Felix and Arnold Mendelssohn which will be interspersed with songs selected and performed by Daniela Bechly and accompanied by George Ireland, one of the Foundation’s sponsored students. Saturday, April 14 at 5pm. Old House Barn, Colchester Co6 4EQ. Next Saturday the same venue hosts Colchester’s New Music concert at 3pm.

More info next week and here or (01206 271291)

Back to Sunday April 15 when in St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Felixstowe, there is a Come and Sing the Mozart Requiem. Rehearsal is at 12 noon and performance at 3pm. Tickets: £12 for singers and audience. (01394 670633). The following Saturday evening, April 21, the Halstead & District Choral Society under its new conductor James Davey will also perform Mozart’s Requiem in St Andrew’s Church, Halstead at 7.3opm.

Tickets: £10 (01787 478789)

Look out for more news in my weekly Classical columns in our local newspapers for latest news on concerts in April including the Clacton Choral Society accompanied by the Kingfisher Sinfonietta on April 28 in St James’ Church, Tower Road, Clacton.

Tickets £10 (01255 221511)

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994. You can also read more from Liz at

To ensure you never miss out on our news, follow this link to sign up to our regular newsletter. We will not add you unless you do this.

Looking forward to helping you hear more music in 2018.

Liz Leatherdale

Colchester Classics & Classical Music columnist





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Colchester Classics, St Austell, 47 Gladwin Road, Colchester CO2 7HW

UK Freephone: 0800 999 6994 Overseas Telephone: +44 (0)1206 520166

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