A ROMSEY musician made the dreams of an 89-year-old ex-harpist come true with a surprise visit.

Georgina Chesters, a former member of the National Youth Orchestra, said she was “absolutely astounded” when a professional harpist arrived at Colten Care’s Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst as a special birthday treat.

Liane Hopkins, from Romsey, performed and brought along two traditional lever harps, one big and one smaller so Georgina could play too.

Residents, staff, and Georgina’s daughter Emma and granddaughter Eleanor, watched as Liane spoke with the delighted 89-year-old. All eyes were on Georgina as she beamed while playing the instrument for the first time since being a teen.

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Hampshire Chronicle: Georgina ChestersGeorgina Chesters (Image: Deep South Media)

Georgina said: “I was absolutely astounded by this surprise. It was amazing, I loved every minute of it.”

Liane played in the home’s lounge for more than an hour, performing pieces such as Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I Vow to Thee My Country and the Irish classic Danny Boy.

She said: “When I saw the home’s plea for a local harpist to help fulfil a wish, I messaged straight away offering my help. Playing gives me so much joy and I love being able to pass on that joy of hearing and playing to others. Woodpeckers are truly amazing by fulfilling people's wishes.

“When I arrived, seeing Georgina’s face light up with surprise was amazing. It was such a pleasure listening to her stories of when she played the harp and also hearing the questions the other residents were asking both Georgina and myself.

“Seeing Georgina play the harp brought so much happiness to all of us there. It’s one to never forget.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Georgina enjoying the performance with residents and visitorsGeorgina enjoying the performance with residents and visitors (Image: Deep South Media)

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Sian Harris, companionship team member, said: “Georgina has shared many stories including how she once left her harp on a railway platform, and how she was too scared to tell her father, but, luckily, it was returned in one piece.

“She unfortunately stopped playing and has told us she ended up selling her harp to pay for a car.

“I was surprised when more than 30 people from all over Hampshire and as far afield as Somerset offered their services to come and play.

“You could see by the smile on Georgina’s face how much she was enjoying and appreciating it.  She was absolutely thrilled and overwhelmed when Liane invited her to play too. She had tears in her eyes when we told her we had been planning that all along.

“After half a century of not touching one, it was a very moving moment when she started playing. It sounded lovely, amazing.”

Woodpeckers is one of 21 Colten Care homes across the south and is rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.