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Pensioner Peter Welfare from Cliffe finds old Kent Messenger Keg Meg Club record in loft

By Lynn Cox

A pensioner has unearthed an old gramophone record, produced by the Kent Messenger Group way back in the 1930s.

Peter Welfare was given a collection of old records by a former friend and had completely forgotten about them until he decided to have a clear out.

The 85-year-old, who lives off the Cooling Road, Cliffe, found the Keg Meg Song in his loft.

Peter Welfare of Cliffe and the old Kent Messenger record
Peter Welfare of Cliffe and the old Kent Messenger record

He decided to contact the Medway Messenger to tell us about the find.

The Keg-Meg was the Kent Messenger’s club for junior readers between the 1920s and 1970s.

The club provided social events but also raised thousands of pounds for charity, including local hospitals.

The old Kent Messenger record
The old Kent Messenger record

The song was produced so young readers could sing along to the sounds of the anthem.

It was composed by F Wyndham Peasant and played by J Wilbur’s Band.

The B side has the dulcet Scottish tones of the first Kousin Mac, regaling children with some of his witty anecdotes.

Peter Welfare with the record
Peter Welfare with the record

The Keg-Meg Club proved hugely popular and gave youngsters of the day a badge and certificate.

Mr Welfare, who is married to Molly, 84, said: “I was friends with two spinsters, Nelly and Rosie Pope who lived in Higham and one of them gave me the collection.

“I used to do work for them on their cottage and I was doing some work in a bedroom and had to move an old tin trunk and the records and a gramophone were in there.

“Nelly said I could keep them and so I took them home.

“It was about 25-years-ago, it was a box of about 30 records and I’d forgotten all about them until I had a clear out on Bank Holiday Monday.

A reunion of the club was held in the summer of 2009, as part of the KM’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

The highlight was a rousing chorus of the song, performed by the Jim Hawkins Trio and sung by Keg-Meg members who attended.

A copy of the record, loaned to by Barbara Arnold (nee James), of Bearsted, was on display at the reunion but was unable to be played.

However, Mr Welfare says if ever there is another reunion he would be happy to have his copy played at it.

He added: “I managed to get it playing and if anyone really wants it. They can have it.”

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