From ‘silver surfers’ on the Internet to organ grinders......

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INNOVATIVE students behind a ‘silver surfer’ initiative to teach pensioners how to use the Internet gave a presentation at a meeting of the HUCKNALL AND DISTRICT UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE (U3A) group.

Two pupils from Holgate Comprehensive School in Hucknall said the IT courses at the Under One Roof centre in the town were part of a bid to bridge the generation gap.

They explained how U3A members could access workshops to gain basic computer-skills, ranging from word processing to making safe online transactions.

With a packed audience of up to 70 new members, Patrick Cooke then gave a talk about ‘The Organ Grinder’.

He said that since Victorian times, people from all walks of life had been thrilled by the sound of the organ grinder, which would have been how many people heard the popular music of the day.

Mr Cooke, who was born in Crich, Derbyshire, owns several street-organs built by Peter Trueman from Derby, who is now in his 70s.

Mr Cooke explained the workings of the small street-organ he brought with him. The audience heard how there was often the added attraction of a friendly monkey, which formed part of the act.

Organ music was popular with fairgrounds but suffered a decline with the introduction of radio.

Mr Cooke played a variety of music, with the audience singing along to tunes such as ‘Underneath The Arches’.

The group’s next meeting, on Wednesday April 11, will incorporate the annual general meeting and a talk entitled ‘Items Of History’.