“Come live with us, we are a happy lot,” is the catchy refrain from Penzance’s latest group of budding musical talent, a choir made up entirely of Owners from Churchill Retirement Living’s Mount’s Bay Lodge development. Overlooking the harbour in the heart of town, and with a relaxed and sociable lifestyle to enjoy in each other’s company, it’s no wonder they’re happy.
Owner Alan Richards formed the choir shortly after moving in as a way to bring all his new neighbours together to meet each other, socialise and try something new. “We were among the first to move in,” says Alan.
“They’re a very agreeable bunch here so one day I suggested that we get together once a week to have a go at singing. My wife and I are both fairly musical and have been involved in choirs and brass bands in the past, but most of the others here were complete beginners. What we lack in talent we make up for in enthusiasm, everyone enjoys it and it’s been a great way to bring people together and have some fun!"
We have nine ladies and two men, and a second hand keyboard to help keep us in tune. One of our more technically-minded members has even set up the screen in the Owners’ Lounge to display the words for our songs – including old classics like ‘Oh My Darling Clementine’ and ‘Daisy Daisy’ – tunes we can all remember easily.
“One day, to add an extra dimension, I thought we could try singing ‘Abide With Me’ which has a nice two-part harmony. However, none of us really liked the gloomy words. So my wife and I decided to rewrite a few verses to make it a cheerful song about life with Churchill, and how much we all enjoy it here at Mount’s Bay Lodge. We even sped up the pace to make it more snappy and upbeat.
“At our recent Garden Party, Kathy the Lodge Manager suggested we should perform our version of the song in front of an audience for the first time. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it!”
The lyrics for Alan’s specially adapted version of ‘Abide With Me’ capture the essence of what life with Churchill is all about. Here they are in full:
Come live with me, this Churchill lodge is fine;
The apartments spacious and the views divine;
Make friends, relax and have a large champagne;
Enjoy yourself and start to live again.
Come live with me, the people here are fine;
They mix and chat a share a glass of wine;
They sing, keep fit, they even have a quiz;
Come live with me and see what you might miss.
Come live with me, you know it makes good sense;
No need to weed – no need to paint that fence;
The shops are near, the trains and buses too;
Come live with me and start to live anew.
Come live with us, we are a happy lot;
Come see the harbour and the little yachts;
The Scilly boats sail daily from the pier;
Come live with us and view The Mount, quite near.
Lodge Manager Katheryn Bailey loves listening to the Owners rehearse once a week, and says: “It’s quite a casual, fun choir who don’t take themselves too seriously, but do really enjoy their weekly practise and were really pleased to sing at the Garden Party. The health benefits of singing together are well known, and it’s great to see the Owners giving it a go and enjoying themselves.”
Alan adds: “Performing at the Garden Party has whetted our appetite for doing some more performances. We might even try bell ringing next!”
Mount’s Bay Lodge is a collection of 50 one and two bedroom privately owned retirement apartments and shared facilities, designed exclusively for the over 60’s. Apartments boast spacious rooms throughout and an ideal combination of design and functionality. The fully fitted, stylish kitchens include a built in fridge and freezer, hob and an oven, which is located at an easy-reach height.
All of the properties benefit from illuminated light switches for added convenience. Owners also enjoy ultimate peace of mind from a fitted video entry system for the highest level of security and a 24 hour emergency call system.
The development is located in a central location with private gated parking and a south facing first-floor terrace, just a short distance from public transport links, shops and all the local amenities on offer in Penzance.
For further information about Mount’s Bay Lodge, call 01736 664793 or visit the show complex, open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Alternatively, click here.