Pianist’s visits are music to George’s ears

Thanks for the memories ... George Pawsey with pianist Abby Seastrand
Thanks for the memories ... George Pawsey with pianist Abby Seastrand

Ninety-four-year-old Newmarket pensioner George Pawsey has many fond memories of his late wife, Trudy, not least that she was a talented pianist.

Trudy, who introduced George to the piano and saw him become a keen player, died seven years ago and as arthritis left George unable to continue playing himself,the house fell quiet.

Difficulties with breathing had left George, who served as a sergeant major during the Second World War unable to get out much. He still kept his piano tuned but missing his wife and their music George felt lonely and longed to hear the piano played in his house again.

It was George’s care providers, Cambridge Care, who first put him in touch with the Newmarket-based Voluntary Networks’s Befriending Service, a scheme which works to combat the loneliness and isolation that affects many older people who live alone.

Hearing about his love of the piano it arranged for pianist Abby Seastrand to visit and play for George. bringing the memories of his wife and the concerts, and recitals they enjoyed together, flooding back.

He had first met Trudy, in a dance hall in Graz in Austria at the end of the war. “That was the start of it all,” he said. After the war the couple married in England, and they were together for 64 years. “She was a great pianist,” he said. Now not only does he enjoy Abby’s playing, he also values their chats.

“It means a lot when someone comes in and just has a conversation with you,” he said. George and his wife had two children together and he has visits from his family as well as his carers but the music Abby plays brings back very special memories.