Strictly Come Dancing's Len Goodman impresses with a tune in Northfleet
PUBLISHED: 09:30 19 July 2013 | UPDATED: 17:22 19 July 2013
It was a 10 from Len for a group of elderly singers in Northfleet this morning.
The Strictly Come Dancing judge, Len Goodman, surprised the Silver Song Club as they gathered for their monthly sing-song at the Age UK day centre, in Coldharbour Road.
Around 40 members of the group rattled through classics such as You Are My Sunshine and the Lambeth Walk, showing exactly why they have been shortlisted for a National Lottery Award.
Former dancer, turned television star, Len was full of summer time vigour as he bellowed along with the group, whose songs were disrupted by the odd whisper of “oh, he’s so handsome”.
Silver Song Clubs provide singing programmes across Kent, which improve can improve long term memory and fight against loneliness and isolation.
Nominated in the Best Health Project category, the group stands to win a coveted National Lottery Award trophy and £2,000 - though they are relying on public votes to get them to the award ceremony in September.
Taking a break from his song book, local boy Len said: “I must say I’m so impressed with the group, and I think it’s wonderful they do so much for older people.
“If you’ve lost your husband or wife, you tend to no want to cook or eat. You just sit indoors. Loneliness is a terrible thing and something like this is just a wonderful remedy.
“Singing makes everyone feel better. If you have a little sing song of Oh What A Beautiful Morning, I guarantee you’ll feel a little better than before.”
The Northfleet Silver Song Club meet on the last Thursday of every month and are joined by members of Gravesham Choral Society.
Amidst the frenzy caused by twinkle-toed Len, choral society member Heather Pickering said: “People look forward to this hugely.
“They get their hair done to come and dress up for it. It’s also a massive health benefit because some of these people would have been sitting at home alone, which isn’t good for the mind.”
Founded a little over five years ago, the group has even produced some unlikely coincidences - epsecially in the case of Grace Glisson and Diane Dixon.
Both women served as Land Girls during the Second World War at the same time, but didn’t know each other until they met at the day centre in Northfleet.
Grace, of Northfleet, said: “We didn’t know each other then because I was in forestry and she was a milk maid. We’ve become great friends and this is something I look forward to every month.
“It’s company you don’t get indoors and you can come here and let go a little bit. If you danced around singing at home, everyone would think you’re mad.”
Backing the Silver Song Club for the National Lottery Award is important to Len, who made the point that “this is my community”.
He added: “I live three miles from here. I’ve had a dance school in Dartford for 50 years and another in Gravesend for nearly 30 years. I’m a local lad.”
Public voting closes on Wednesday. To register your vote for the Silver Song Club, visit lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards or call 0844 836 9703.