June 2015

We always aim to introduce something different to amuse and interest our members at the memory cafe, and this month we were delighted to welcome John Sleep from West Pentire. John is affectionately known as ‘The Gramophone Man’ and he restores, repairs, buys and sell vintage gramophones and phonographs - his workshop is an Aladdin’s Cave!

John brought along several fascinating machines to show us and gave a brief history of these forerunners of our modern turntables, CD players, i-pads and other ‘hi-tech’ means of listening to music. Although these machines pre-dated even our oldest members, the classic  HMV (His Master’s Voice) logo of the dog listening intently to an early gramophone was familiar to us all, and it was wonderful to hear the scratchy sound of an old cylinder and 78rpm records played on original machines  - it brought the memories flooding back.

Amongst his vast collection of memorabilia, John showed us early shellac records, named record sleeves from many retailers in Cornish towns, postcards depicting phonographs and numerous needle tins.

We were spellbound by John’s knowledge and easy communication skills, although we were not sure what he thought of our afternoon tea being served on cake stands made of old (but well-scrubbed) records!

Puzzles and games were suitably themed to link with our overall topic of the afternoon and included a quiz based on songs from the days of the Old Time Music Halls which set us all thinking and, inevitably singing.

As usual, the afternoon passed very quickly with much chatter, reminiscences of our past and plenty of laughter. We were reminded that there would be a further opportunity to meet up again twice monthly, with our July sessions being held on Monday 6th July and Monday 20th July from 2pm – 4pm at Crantock Village Hall.

We are always pleased to welcome new members so should you need further information about our Memory Cafe  please contact Di on 01637 830544,  Joan on 01637 831347.