19th Oct, 2017

Pianist celebrates milestone birthday in style

Coventry Editorial 17th Feb, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A CENTENARIAN pianist who has been tickling the ivories across the city for more than 60 years, celebrated the milestone birthday surrounded by family and friends.

Beloved accompanist Ellen Scotson was treated to a trip in the Lord Mayor’s car as part of her birthday celebrations.

Coun Michael Hammon picked up Mrs Scotson from a birthday party at Lawrence Saunders Baptist Church and drove her in style to a family celebration at the Beechwood Lawn Tennis Club.

Born Nellie Collinge in Leigh, Lancashire, Ellen met her late husband Robert at a Saturday night church dance.

The couple were separated by the war just one month after they married – with Robert serving in the parachute regiment for five years.

In 1946 the couple moved to Coventry where Robert worked as a silk spinner at Courtaulds while Ellen played piano for the Coventry Keep Fit Association.

Now more than 60 years on, the grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of five still lives in their same Radford home – still playing piano for the Salvation Army and local club The Kaleidoscope Singers who entertains pensioners in retirement homes at the ripe age of 100 years old.

Speaking about her inspirational mother, Ellen’s daughter Carole Stamper said: “She has had an ongoing birthday celebrations for a week, but the trip in the Lord Mayor’s car was the highlight.

“She is still so amazingly active for her age – she only stopped cycling to rehearsals when she was in her 80s.

“My mother has always loved her music and she enjoys going into retirement homes with the Kaleidoscope Singers.

“Music is her life and it really has been the secret to keeping her young for all these years.

“She even accompanied the rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ at her own party to make sure everyone was in key.”


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