Friday, 01 May 2020 12:12

Imaginative community support for Barnet Hospital staff

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Carnarvon Road community sing song Carnarvon Road community sing song
Professional singer Iain Mackenzie with his daughter Poppy lead a community sing song which has become part of the regular Thursday night clap for NHS workers held by residents of Carnarvon Road, High Barnet. Each week during the 8pm Thursday clap sisters Lois and Maggie stand with their parents outside Barnet Hospital waving their rainbow posters in support of medical staff tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Clearly audible from nearby streets is the sound of applause, the banging of pots and pans, and here and there a burst or song or a msuical instrument.

In many of the streets of High Barnet the thank you to hospital workers and carers has become the highlight of the lockdown and no more so than in Carnarvon Road where professional singer Iain Mackenzie leans out of his bedroom window with his daughter Poppy to lead a community sing song.

Iain, who usually appears with Ronnie Scott's jazz orchestra, has rewritten the lyrics of the Italian pop song Quando quando quando to sing the praises of front-line staff in hospitals and care homes.

Poppy, a physiotherapy student, is as passionate about singing as her father and says the sing-along gives her a real buzz.

For the Barnett family, Adam and Nikki Barnett, their weekly visit to Barnet Hospital is a chance for daughters Lois and Maggie to wear their glow-in-the-dark tee shirts decorated with rainbow arches and to wave to staff leaving and arriving during the 8pm shift change. 

Adam said that more and more families were joining them for the Thursday night clap at the hospital's front entrance, which is decorated with rainbow posters painted by local children.

Nurses and other medical staff in their protective scrubs join in the applause at the rear of the hospital at the accident and emergency entrance where ambulances arrive and depart.

As the lockdown has progressed, the Thursday night clap has become a real community affair in Carnarvon Road where residents Paula Gabb and Perdi Welsh do all they can to live up proceedings.

Paula said that when Iain Mackenzie and Poppy lean out of the bedroom window and start the sing song, with guitars joining in, the road really comes to life.

An opening refrain for the evening is the Neighbours theme tune and popular numbers have included With a Little Help from My Friends, Lean on Me and Stand by Me.

Ian had anjoyed the challenge of rewriting the lyris of Quando quando quando and from his opening line, Tell me when this will be fine, the song continues apace:

Thanks to all of our front line

We know life will start again

Who knows when that time will be

Tho' we're longing to be free

Staying at home is what we'll do

The finale captures the mood of lockdown:

Every moment's a day

Every day seems a lifetime

Every Thursday's the same

We will clap and sing for you

When this virus has all gone

We will miss our sing-along

But we'll always say 'Thank you'

The Carnarvon Road clap ended with refreshments supplied by the nearby Sebright Arms which is offering a pre-ordered take-away service of food and drinks.

Landlord Jason Bourke said he wad delighted to deliver some drinks and help quench thirsts.

"The Thursday night clap shows that with social distancing the community can still come together, thank the NHS, and do that while being sensible and safe.

"We are all thinking of ways to get through lockdown and with a pre-order you can enjoy a take-away meal and drink from your local pub."



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