An hon­our to sing for Dame Vera Lynn

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sounds Good - by Mike Ben­nett mben­nett@thek­m­

CHAR­ING singer An­nie Ri­ley con­tin­ues to chase her dream of mak­ing the big time in the world of show­biz.

As half of the Swing­time Sweet­hearts, with part­ner Le’arna Ash­leigh from Dover, she per­formed at the re­cent Good­wood Re­vival to a 40,000 crowd where the duo were in­vited to meet and sing for Dame Vera Lynn.

They ex­plained that the White Cliffs of Dover had a spe­cial mean­ing as both the par­ents and grand­par­ents of Le’arna were born and bred in the town.

Dame Vera, 92, told them “to keep singing the songs to keep them alive, as it is im­por­tant, not just for the mu­sic, but for what the songs stood for, dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.”

Later, Dame Vera watched the girls sing, and stood at the front of the crowd singing along to her fa­mous song.

An­nie said: “It was an in­cred­i­ble hon­our, to see this re­mark­able lady, join­ing in and ap­plaud­ing our per­for­mance. We both strug­gled to con­tain our­selves, while singing such an emo­tional song in th­ese spe­cial cir­cum­stances.”

She also asked for a copy of their CD, and signed and pre­sented them with a book about the war in which she had writ­ten the fore­word.

The girls were also thrilled to meet Ni­cholas Lyn­d­hurst, who played Rod­ney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses who told them they took him

An­nie Ri­ley and Le’arna Ash­leigh with Dame Vera Lynn back to his days film­ing Good­night Sweet­heart which was a time-trav­el­ling sit­com, set in the 1940s.

For the duo it has been a busy sum­mer at events across the coun­try.

They sang for the Mayor of Lon­don and met De­fence Sec­re­tary Des Browne at Vet­eran’s Day in Trafal­gar Square, per­formed at the Hell­fire Cor­ner 1940s Week­end in Dover and at many other pres­tige events.

A new al­bum of songs is due to be re­leased next month and shortly they will be per­form­ing at a spe­cial cer­e­mony for an­other Forces’ favourite Anne Shel­ton OBE.

They have been in­vited by her fam­ily, to sing some of her fa­mous songs for the blue plaque un­veil­ing at her for­mer home in Dul­wich.

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