Play it again, Gwen!

Gwen White plays the organ at the Blackpool Tower ballroom for the first time.
Gwen White plays the organ at the Blackpool Tower ballroom for the first time.
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It was a dream come true for this birthday girl!

To mark Gwen White turning 80 in May, her friends and family organised a very special event for her – the chance to play the famous Wurlitzer organ in the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

So after a traditional afternoon tea at the stunning venue – which included sandwiches and scones with jam and cream – with about 30 of her friends and family members, Gwen took to the stage. And they took to the dance floor.

Gwen, who lives in Poulton in supported accommodation, has been playing the organ since she was five years old – completely by ear. She also plays the accordion.

She could not stop smiling, as she said: “I was very excited, I have always wanted to play the Wurlitzer.

“I can play a lot of songs, you’d be surprised at how many I can remember.”

Catherine Travis, Gwen’s support worker, who organised the event, said: “Gwen has talked about wanting to play the Wurlitzer in the ballroom for as long as we can remember.

“Gwen loves to play tunes on her organ at home or her accordion every morning.

“She often isn’t sure what the songs are called – probably because she knows so many – but she can play them so well. And that includes modern songs too.

“It’s incredible the way Gwen can play songs by ear, just from hearing them.

“Gwen turns 80 in May and will also be having a big party, but this was part of the celebrations. Lots of her friends from church and friends from the area came along to watch her play.

“No one wanted to miss it, as everyone knew how much it meant to her.

“It was lovely.”