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Retired teacher celebrating Clap for Our Carers with musical tribute

PUBLISHED: 14:38 23 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:58 23 April 2020

Ceinwen Thomas, 81, from Norwich, who has been putting on musical performances for the Clap for Our Carers celebration. Picture: Sent in by Menna Reese

Ceinwen Thomas, 81, from Norwich, who has been putting on musical performances for the Clap for Our Carers celebration. Picture: Sent in by Menna Reese

Sent in by Menna Reese

A music lover is encouraging her street to get involved in a community sing-a-long during the weekly Clap for Our Carers celebration.

Retired middle school teacher Ceinwen Thomas, 81, from Bluebell Road in Norwich, has been singing an adapted version of If You’re Happy and You Know It during the 8pm Thursday night event when people applaud frontline workers from their doorsteps.

As well as clapping, people have been putting on their own musical performances and banging kitchen utensils.

Mrs Thomas, who grew up in North Wales and has a music degree from the Aberystwyth University, has incorporated the harp and guitar in her performances and this week has given chime bars for her neighbours to get involved.

Her husband, Ian, 82, plays the drums for the special song.

Mrs Thomas, who has two children, said: “We started clapping and then thought we would do a song. Then people started joining in. The musical element is a useful addition to the clapping. It is very simple.

“The Clap for Our Carers is lovely because it means people are communicating through whatever means. We want everyone to get involved.”

MORE: ‘Privileged that I can say thank you this way’ - Singer wows neighbours during clap for carers

She described growing up around music and singing around her family piano on the rural farm where she lived as well as during her time at university.

The first instrument she picked up was her grandfather’s violin and she described singing as a natural form of human expression.

After graduating and marrying her husband in 1960, who attended Aberystwyth University, the couple moved to Tanzania where they taught music in schools.

They moved to Norfolk in 1974 and she taught music and other subjects in Lakenham Middle School, Sprowston Middle School and Blackdale Middle School in Norwich until her retirement in 1998.

Mrs Thomas added that all the key workers - including bin men, bus drivers, postmen, supermarket workers and delivery drivers - were “keeping the community connected”.

And it is not just on Thursday evenings Mrs Thomas celebrates key workers, as she plays the harp to say thank you to her postman.

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