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Bourn View Dementia Care Home Bournville
Bourn View, Birmingham, Birmingham

Resident Spoon-Player Extraordinaire at Bourn View

Our care homes produce some excellent monthly newsletters, updating everyone with recent events and upcoming projects. They also include some incredible stories from their residents. So it was no surprise that when we spotted this fantastic article on resident spoon-player Vincent Shayler in Bourn View Care Home’s October newsletter, we had to share it with you. Read to the end to watch proof of Vincent’s talented spoon playing too.

Without further ado, here’s more about the man behind the spoons…

Do you come from a musical family?

My dad used to play the spoons. I’m named after him. He was the spitting image of Clark Gable, the famous movie actor. My favourite singer was Joseph Locke. My dad was in the army and was in Iceland for a long, long time. My mom was a polisher at Elkingtons, in Newhall Street in Hockley (Birmingham). So my nan often looked after me and my brother Norman, who was named after my uncle.

Did you ever pursue a musical career?

No I went to work in the Jewellery Quarter at the same firm as my mom when I left school. I was a ‘Make Up Artist’, which means I made tankards from flat metal, knocked them into shape and soldered them together. My mom polished them up, then they were put in the showroom. I left there to go in the army, we were called up in them days. I worked in the Medical Corps as a Nurse. Then after my National Service I went to work in Witton, and worked at IMI for 30 years, including in the coin minting department for 10 years. My dad was the Pest Control Officer there. He had the nickname ‘The Rat Catcher’.

Do you sing as well as play the spoons?

I used to sing to my wife Lorna. I also won a few talent competitions on holiday in Rhyl with my singing. We always ended up going to Rhyl on holiday because it was easy to get to and you could take the children.

Did your wife Lorna enjoy you singing to her?

She used to say “You silly fool!”

Do you have children?

Well my wife had them! We got married in 1953, when I was 21. We had 5 children and lived in Watney Grove in Kingstanding. We had a garden and I used to grow carrots, parsnips, onions, beans, potatoes and tomatoes – so many we used to give them away! We had lots of pets including dogs, cats, budgies and hamsters. We used to take the strays in and give them a home. My dad had 2 Alsatians.

As promised, here’s the clip of Vincent playing the spoons with local vocalist and guitar player Tony Wall.

Many thanks to newsletter Sub-Editor Yvonne Gateley for interviewing Vincent and Deborah Living (Well-being and Activity Coordinator at Bourn View) for transcribing and editing.

Follow Bourn View Care Home’s Facebook page for more updates on Vincent and what else they are regularly getting up to.

Music is an important part of life in all Avery care homes. From regular visits from musicians and entertainers to creating our own special performances, we love to encourage everyone to get involved. This year we had Darwin Court’s ‘sing-a-song’ challenge and the care home also recreated Tony Christie’s Amarillo (with a special guest appearance from the man himself!). We also love to make a fuss of our residents by encouraging them to continue their hobbies, such as when our residents created a blooming lovely garden at Aran Court Care Home. You can be sure our homes all endeavour to encourage our residents to continue their hobbies – and share their talents too!