Elsie Hartley has a great love for music and people and was more than happy to bring the two together in celebration of her 100th birthday.
Although she has lived in Garstang for 33 years, Elsie was born in London. She trained as a pianist at The Royal College of Music and at the beginning of the Second World War, she gained a position with the Canadian Pay Corp, which evacuated to Lancaster in 1940.
Whilst there, she met Kenneth Hartley through mutual friends and they shared a passion for classical music and ballroom dancing.
Married in 1946, they moved to London in 1950, then to Kent in 1955 with a son and a daughter in tow. Elsie was always heavily involved in music, both as a piano teacher and conducting and organising WI choirs in her area and blessed with a fine voice and perfect pitch she also joined the National WI Choir. Her son followed his mother into the music world as a professional musician.
After Ken’s retirement in 1985 they moved to Garstang. Ken was the co-founder of Garstang Recorded Music Society while Elsie continued her conducting of the WI Choir for many years.
In the last 10 years Elsie discovered a love of poetry and is still an active member of the Poetry Appreciation Society as well as the 3LS and the Friendship Group.