Pianist hopes her music plea won’t fall flat

Mary Gates
Mary Gates

A pensioner who played the piano for American troops during the Second World War wants to be reunited with the music that hung on the wall of a recently closed pub, writes Amanda Devlin.

Mary Gates, 79, of Rosebery Court, Leighton, was upset to see The Old Swan in Cheddington had closed when she went for lunch last week.

Mary said: “Since seeing the curtains closed at the pub I have been trying to get in touch with the owners.

“I naturally would like to get my music back if it was at all possible; it is sentimental value, you see. My mum was learning to play the piano, but when her father died there was no money for her to keep it up so she made me take classical piano lessons when I was young.

“I used to play for the American forces who would stand around the piano singing during the war.

“I was always accompanied by my parents of course because kids weren’t allowed in the bar.

“But the bobby who used to come in and see me there would put his hat on the table and sing too!”

Mary, who suffers from short term memory loss, says she has no problem remembering how she felt playing for the soldiers as far back as 70 years ago.

“It’s amazing that I have memories of when I was nine, but not be able to remember things from last week. I would love to be able to get my music back, it would mean a lot to me.”

The LBO was unable to get in touch with any representatives from The Old Swan before going to press.

If you can help Mary, call the newsdesk on 01582 798512.