A PAIR of handbell ringers who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent were the star attraction at the Mayor of Henley’s Christmas party for the elderly.
Gay and Alan Cooper played festive tunes for more than 80 pensioners in the town hall on Tuesday.
There were also songs and carols by the Valley Road School choir, conducted by Lucy Hewes, of Henley Rock Choir, and the Phyllis Court Singers.
Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak was persuaded to join singer Naomi Vallance on stage for I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.
Father Christmas made a special appearance in the form of former mayor Barry Wood, whose six-year-old granddaughter Lara performed with the school choir. Other attractions included group carol singing, bingo and a raffle.
An afternoon tea of sandwiches, sausage rolls, trifle, fruit cake and mince pies was provided by caterers 81 Events, of Upton Close, Henley.
Pensioners were queuing for the event half-an-hour beforehand.
Wendy Brown, 83, of Luker Avenue, pictured above with Margaret Chalk, 82, has only missed the party once in 18 years and said: “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
“I had to be pushed here in my wheelchair as that wasn’t going to stop me.” Her friend, Margaret Chalk, 82, of Wilson Avenue, said: “They always put on a marvellous show, it’s the food and the people — you can’t fault it.
“A lot of hard work goes into a thing like this as it all takes time and money and we do appreciate it.”
Cllr Gawrysiak thanked the 50 businesses and individuals who sponsored the event.
He said: “The party shows off the Henley community and how brilliant it is at looking after all ages.
“The party gets the old people out of their homes for an afternoon just before Christmas and gives them a bit of enjoyment.”