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Born entertainer, 90, has no plans to stop playing

By Katia Harston, Chief Reporter Sunday 9th February 2014

At 90-years-old Vic Haynes is still entertaining Barnsley folk with his clarinet and loves performing at a pub's karaoke night.


Readers may remember Vic, of The Park in Cawthorne, for being the oldest paperboy the village has ever had, a job he's done since 2004.


He is now gaining a reputation in nearby Barugh Green for his clarinet performances at a pub's Sunday night karaoke session.


"What I do is pull it apart into five pieces and I put one bit in one coat pocket, another in the other coat pocket and the rest goes into a little bag and they go in my trouser pocket and I'm ready to go," said Vic, who is self taught.


"I love playing. I go up to the karaoke man and he puts my backing track CDs in his machine and then I play along to them.


"It's the only chance I get now because karaoke is dying out. Times change don't they and people like different things.


"I play mostly jazz and old dance tunes, not these pop songs."


Vic has a long history of entertaining after forming a dance band with pals in 1949 called 'The Red Flashes' and is the only surviving member.


He said: "After the war there was a military camp in Cawthorne and there were four different regiments there, the Polish, Irish, Canadians and our lot.


"Each regiment used to bring a dance band with them for their own entertainment. Well, one regiment turned up without a band and that's when we jumped in.


"As time went on the band had to pack up because around 1954 a bloke called Bill Haley came over from America and that's when guitar music started and we had no work as a dance band."


Vic still practises his clarinet every day, before breakfast, and if a song is not too difficult it takes him about a week to learn so it is 'fit for playing in public'.


"While ever I feel as fit as I am, I will carry on playing," said Vic.


"People are very surprised to hear me play. I take my clarinet on my holidays as well. If a turn comes on where I'm staying I don't interfere but on occasions when there may not be a turn on I will play."

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by JBBlackett I Sun 13th Jul 2014 at 9:33pm

Well done that man. He's still showing a lot of pluck - or is it puff?