Right Royal Entertainment for Jewish Care residents

09 Feb 2017

Residents from eight Jewish Care homes from Barnet, Redbridge and Camden enjoyed some royal entertainment from Pearly Kings and Queens last week at a tea party held at Jewish Care’s Betty and Asher Loftus Centre in Friern Barnet.

Four Pearly entertainers joined the residents for the afternoon to have a sing along and a knees up. Residents joined in and danced to old favourites like Lambeth Walk, Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner and other classics from the East End. The group included the John, the Pearly king of Finsbury, his son, Darren, the Pearly prince of Highgate, Doreen the Pearly Queen of New Cross & Old Kent Road and Pat the Pearly king of Crystal Palace. They were impressed by Rose Bliss, 102 year old resident of Jewish Care’s Otto Schiff home in Golders Green, who was singing along with her friends.

Harry Harris, a resident at Lady Sarah Cohen House who celebrated his 81st birthday last week also joined in accompanying the music on his tambourine whilst the entertainers sang. Harry said, “he loved seeing the pearly kings and queens and he loved that they came all this way to have a party with us. (He has no memory of pearly kings and queens as a child so it was nice for him to see them now. He loved the party and wants to see them again.

Each London Borough has a King and Queen, who follow the tradition of wearing the mother-of-pearl buttons on their suits which began in the 19th Century*, and who see themselves as figureheads for the capital’s working class communities. Today there are around 30 Pearly Families who continue the tradition to raise money for charity.

Ffion Roberts, Living Well Manager at Betty and Asher Loftus Centre said, “We’d like to say a big thank you to the Pearly kings and queens who made it such a fantastic afternoon. It was a very special to bring residents from across eight of our homes together to enjoy dancing and singing with the Pearly kings and queens. They are great entertainers and many of our residents are connected to the East End where they have seen the Pearly kings and queens and sung along to these songs in the past.

“It was fantastic to see people like Harry joining in on the tambourine. We know that music and songs have a beneficial and therapeutic effect improving well being and is known to be a particularly positive way to stimulate memories for people who are living with dementia.”

Pearly Kings and Queens