Leeds band saved by Salvation Army man

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A CHANCE meeting has saved a Leeds singing group from falling silent forever.

Memory Lane’s performance of nostalgic songs have proved popular with audiences from residential homes, church and village halls around Leeds - but when their former pianist left to have twins, the group feared the search for another might not prove fruitful.

But salvation came thanks to a friend of the group, who was invited by chance into the home of former music teacher John Weirs. A piano she spotted in Mr Weirs’ home raised hopes that he might hit the right notes in terms of Memory Lane’s pianist problem.

This week Salvation Army member John confirmed he would stay with Memory lane, which is based at St Thomas’ Church in Stanningley, after a debut performance at Cookridge Chapel.

He said: “I managed to fit in three rehearsals with the group before the show and it seemed to go down really well. To be honest, I’m looking forward to doing a few more now.”

The former Northamptonshire music teacher moved to Morley on retirement to be closer to his son, who works at the Leeds College of Music.

“Sadly, a neighbour was recently bereaved and we invited her round to offer some comfort - which was when she noticed the piano in the corner,” explained John. “She mentioned she knew Memory Lane and asked if I would be interested in speaking to them - and it went from there.”

Memory Lane’s said John had been their salvation as the group had faced folding. She said: “We are delighted to have found John and grateful for his enthusiasm. We would not have been able to continue without pianist so he really has saved the day.”

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