The Queen Elizabeth II hall at the Town Hall was packed full of joy and laughter yesterday for the Mayor’s Over 65’s Christmas party.
Local residents from Henley and local care homes were treated to a Christmas lunch provided by Time for Tea with magic by John Ryeland, followed by two games of bingo, a visit from Father Christmas and entertainment by Rupert House School and singer and guitarist Chris Rae. Guests also received complimentary raffle tickets for some fantastic prizes donated by local businesses including Amy Lou, Asquiths, Bagatelle Toys, Biggie Best, Cook, Calvert Jones, Elements, Gabriel Machin, Marc Antoni, Stocks, Spoon and The Bell Bookshop. Many of the guests were collected and taken home by the Henley Handibus or volunteers from the Henley Volunteer Drivers organised by Annie Lathaen.
Rupert House performed carols including Away in a Manager, Once in Royal David City before guests joined in with Silent Night, Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Chris Rae performed hits from the 60s from the likes of The Beatles, Buddy Holly, The Searchers and Jerry & the Pacemakers which got some of the guests up dancing. Afterwards Chris said, “You only have do the maths and realise what music they want to hear from their teenage years. I asked the ladies how many wore mini skirts with most putting their hands up. It was great fun afternoon for all.”
Friends Millicent and Valerie came to the party for the first time. Millicent said “We used to be part of the Greys WI which merged with Harpsden and then we decided we needed to venture out more and keep together so we joined the Over 60s Club and now we hear about what things are going on. Valerie added, “I think the party it is very good. Very well organised and we enjoyed the food and the entertainment and it was nice we were picked up by a volunteer driver too.”
Henley Mayor, Councillor Kellie Hinton said, “The Over 65s party is one of my favourite events in the council calendar and this year did not disappoint. Henley Town Council staff and local businesses and community groups really pulled all the tops out. Some residents were telling me it was the best they’d been to in a decade but I reminded them that they say this every year! For others it was their first time attending and it was a pleasure to watch them all enjoying the bingo and entertainment. It’s the first time I’ve seen people get up and dance at the party. Thank you in particular to Leena Wiseley and Trish Rae who organised everything.”