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Watch: The musical duo preserving and performing lost songs from the past

PUBLISHED: 12:29 07 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:36 07 September 2019

Kath Ricketts, right,  and Diane Lowry, left, are about to release a self-produced CD of 17 tracks to preserve the heritage of these songs. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Kath Ricketts, right, and Diane Lowry, left, are about to release a self-produced CD of 17 tracks to preserve the heritage of these songs. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

What started as a labour of love soon turned into a project of great historical significance.

Kath Ricketts, right, and Diane Lowry, left, are about to release a self-produced CD of 17 tracks to preserve the heritage of these songs. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodKath Ricketts, right, and Diane Lowry, left, are about to release a self-produced CD of 17 tracks to preserve the heritage of these songs. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

For the past 10 years, two women have spent countless hours collecting sheet music from the 1800s to 1950s to preserve the heritage of songs from the past.

Kath Ricketts, 79, and Diane Lowrey, 75, regularly trawl through antique stores and charity shops across the region in order to find lost and forgotten compositions.

And now they're getting ready to release a 17-track CD with some of their favourite and most important songs from years gone by.

Pianist Kath Ricketts said: "We fear that these songs will be lost, they're never heard now. We decided these are worth keeping, and if we didn't do something they would get lost."

Kath Ricketts, right, and Diane Lowry, left, are about to release a self-produced CD of 17 tracks to preserve the heritage of these songs. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodKath Ricketts, right, and Diane Lowry, left, are about to release a self-produced CD of 17 tracks to preserve the heritage of these songs. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

The duo have been friends for 15 years since they first met at the Beccles Choral Society, and have been unknowingly working on this project for a decade.

Mrs Ricketts explained: "Diane's always been a singer and she had some of the old songs, and we've gone around collecting music of various sorts - we have 200 pieces of music from the Edwardian era.

"We just started doing it for fun, but in the last few weeks I said to Diane, there's something going to be lost and we ought to do something."

It was then the duo decided to choose their absolute favourite songs and hired a professional sound engineer to record an album from Mrs Rickett's front room.

Kath Ricketts, pianist, Hales. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodKath Ricketts, pianist, Hales. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Including composers such as Sigmund Romberg, Hayden Wood, Eric Coates and Ivor Novello, the CD not only features some of the most beautiful music of an era, it includes details on the composers' lives before and after every track to give historical context.

Mrs Lowrey said: "We used to perform quite a lot in old people's homes and nursing homes, and they do like to know all the little ins and outs of their life. Which I'm happy to tell them, I've got books on it.

"This is music, so we don't want it to disappear without trace."

Mrs Ricketts and Mrs Lowrey are available for booking engagements on 01508 518 377 and at kathricketts6@gmail.com

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