A folk duo whose first gig was at sight loss charity Galloway’s more than 30 years ago, returned to give an amusing, yet nostalgic, performance to service users.
Husband and wife Graham and Bernadette Dixon, otherwise known as Trouble At’ Mill, played an eclectic mix of their favourite songs at the Galloway’s centre in Penwortham.
Their repertoire of songs included Two Preston Mashers; My Dad, a powerful song about Alzheimer’s; and The Day They Altered All the Aisles at Aldi. Watch the video on this page.
At one point during the performance, they were joined on stage by fellow singer Vic Cox, from Chorley, who also has sight loss.
Graham said he has always had a soft spot for Galloway’s after his grandmother was supported by the charity when it was a residential home.
And now, after he lost the sight in his right eye, he says he understands the impact the sight loss charity has on people.
The 66-year-old from Hoghton said: “I started to lose my sight more than 12 months ago. I went to an eye clinic at Royal Preston Hospital and I noticed Galloway’s had a presence there and there was lots of information about the charity so I thought I would offer to sing for the service users or play at any fundraising events, because now I am losing a bit of sight, I know how traumatic it can be.
“Our first ever professional booking was actually at Galloway’s when it was a residential home, so it is nice to come back and play.
“I spoke to quite a few people about my own experiences and someone from Preston Macular Society has asked me to write a song about having injections in my eye.”
The father-of-two, who has been married to Bernadette for 41 years, lost the vision in his right eye without warning, whilst driving in November 2018.
He recalled: “I was driving on the motorway with Bernadette and all of a sudden it was like someone had flipped a switch and everything was spinning towards me. I panicked because I was in the central lane but realised that If I closed my right eye, I could see with my left so I drove home with one eye. “I went to the opticians and he sent me straight to the eye clinic at Royal Preston Hospital. I had nine injections in the eye, which were surprisingly painless, and 10 laser treatments.
“I stopped driving for about three weeks and as my left eye became dominant, the kaleidoscoping effect gradually stopped. Even though my right eye is permanently damaged, my vision returned to some normality with both eyes open and I fulfill the Highway Code’s reading a number plate requirement.
“My biggest problem, which got me down, was the fact I am into photography and I used to take photos of insects so adjusting the camera from my right eye to the left was hard work. I am also a member of the Lancashire Moth Group and Butterfly Conservation and keep a record of the moth counts.”
But one passion which has not been affected by Graham’s sight loss is music, as Trouble At’ Mill continue performing at private gigs, cafes, social clubs and WI groups.
The couple, who have performed together for more than 35 years, also run Gregson Lane Folk Club and have appeared on That’s Lancashire and The Politics Show on BBC One, as well as Radio Lancashire.
To find out more about Trouble At’ Mill’s music visit www.troubleatmill.com