Newton resident Sharon Holdstock has been replacing her cancelled gigs with an act from her driveway throughout the crisis.
The entertainer of 36 years saw her bookings pulled one by one as the coronavirus situation grew, and as lock-down came into effect Sharon found herself “going stir-crazy” with the lack of work.
On the 18th of April – as a replacement for her cancelled set in Blackpool – Sharon decided to set up her kit in her garden, take a place on her driveway, and perform for those around her.
A few minutes into the set people started emerging from the neighbouring houses and a socially distanced crowd gathered to listen.
From that day Sharon has tried to sing each week, weather permitting, with the most recent performance having around 50 people lining the street.
Video: Sharon Holdstock performs from her driveway
“I’ve had cards, chocolate, bottles of wine – it’s not bad considering I just wanted to keep my voice in check!”
She explained “It’s great seeing everyone coming out or opening their windows to get involved, especially seeing while [adhering to] social distancing.
“People have been lovely since we started, I’ve had cards, chocolate, bottles of wine – it’s not bad considering I just wanted to keep my voice in check!”
Messages have flooded the local residents page in appreciation of the performances over the past few weeks.
“Would like to say a massive thank you to Sharon for entertaining us these last 8 weeks. In these awful times you have cheered us all up,” said one neighbour, with another Kingsway resident saying “we’ll take our daily exercise so we can pass by.”
Sharon has also tried to continue singing for care homes in the area by performing from outside of the buildings.
Video: Sharon Holdstock sings “We’ll Meet Again” on VE Day
Having sang at the Grosvenor Manor Care Centre on VE Day, she says it can be emotional when trying to maintain her distance with the residents.
“It can be hard seeing the residents in the building and not being able to interact with them.
There was a lady the other day who was enjoying the music and normally I’d go over and dance along with her, but obviously it’s not allowed at the minute. That’s definitely what I miss the most.”