Cornet player plays classics to raise local spirits in Lostock Hall

A retired nurse from Lostock Hall has kept her community in high spirits from her driveway in lockdown, by playing famous classics from her cornet.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 4:41 pm
Updated Monday, 17th August 2020, 4:42 pm

Wendy Redman, 70, began playing the cornet and trumpet when she was 11 years old and has recently reignited her love for the brass instrument from her driveway in lockdown.

Originally from Poulton-le-Fylde, the retired nurse moved to Lostock Hall after she married husband David and is now using her musical talents to brighten the spirit of her neighbours and nearby community.

Each Thursday, Wendy would take to Wateringpool Lane to play classics from the likes of Vera Lyn and Monty Python - finishing up with We'll Meet Again.

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Wendy with her cornet.

"During the clap for carers each week, I would play my cornet whilst the neighbours clapped. It all started when my neighbour from across the road brought out a horn from the railway. I wanted to beat him, so after that began playing my cornet," she said.

"I started with Somewhere over the Rainbow in the first week, and ended up playing for nine weeks throughout lockdown, doing something different each week."

From working as a nurse for 42 years to becoming somewhat of a local celebrity, the musical celebrations didn't stop there.

VE Day across the country was celebrated, with the British Legion encouraging people to partake in afternoon teas and street celebrations from outside their homes.

Wendy joined with her rendition of 'There'll be blue birds over the white cliffs of Dover'.

She commented: "My husband printed cards for neighbours with a union flag on them. We asked people to join us whilst I played for them. We had to keep our distance but it was amazing because we actually got to meet the neighbours and get to know people.

"Working as a nurse you'd be up early in a morning and come back late at night so I wouldn't get chance to see or meet people but we've got to see so many of our neighbours now. It is brilliant."

Last Saturday August 15, there were celebrations for VJ day - Victory over Japan that marks the day Japan surrendered in World War II and brought the war to an end. In true Lancashire Brigade fashion, Wendy again played to neighbours from her driveway but this time, it had a more personal connection.

Wendy said: "We made more cards with union jack flags on and told our neighbours we would be out just before 11 o'clock to play the 'Last Post' because it means a lot to our family.

"My daughter-in-law's grandad, James Gregson, fought in Burma and was one of the Chindits veterans. They were a forgotten army because everyone celebrated for VE day but not as many people know about VJ day.

"She said it brought a tear to her eye because she knew of the horrendous time her grandad had gone through so it was very special."

Just last week, the Westminster Chindit Memorial that marks the' forgotten army' was given listed status, marking 75 years since Imperial Japan surrendered.