WATCH: Great-great-grandfather, 92, plays saxophone serenade during NHS Clap for Carers

Derek Cubitt. Pic: Courtesy Michelle Lemmon.

Derek Cubitt. Pic: Courtesy Michelle Lemmon. - Credit: Courtesy Michelle Lemon

A 92-year-old great-great-grandfather added his own musical flourish to the Clap For Carers, with a saxophone serenade for the NHS workers helping look after people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Families in Hethersett said Derek Cubitt’s moving rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone from his front garden on Thursday night brought lumps to their throats.

A video of Mr Cubitt has been viewed thousands of times and his granddaughter Michelle Lemon said she was extremely proud of her grandad.

Mr Cubitt said: “I think it is important to show that we appreciate them, I know that the NHS workers can’t all hear and see what we do, but I hope they are aware of it.

“When we went out to clap the previous week, someone yelled ‘bring your saxophone, Derek’, so this time I did.

Derek Cubitt plays his saxophone. Pic: Courtesy Michelle Lemmon.

Derek Cubitt plays his saxophone. Pic: Courtesy Michelle Lemmon. - Credit: Courtesy Michelle Lemmon

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“It was either You’ll Never Walk Alone or We’ll Meet Again. I’ll do it again next week, so maybe I’ll do We’ll Meet Again then.”

Mr Cubitt has been playing the saxophone for 77 years. He was smitten with Dixieland music when he heard it on the radio show Voice of America in the 1940s.

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That inspired him to start learning the clarinet, but he mastered the saxophone while in a miliary band during his National Service.

That paved the way for a professional career as a musician, including performing at the Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth, the Samson and Hercules in Norwich and at Pleasurewood Hills near Lowestoft, as well as with circuses overseas.

Derek Cubitt. Pic: Courtesy Michelle Lemmon.

Derek Cubitt. Pic: Courtesy Michelle Lemmon. - Credit: Courtesy Michelle Lemon

Up until the social restrictions, he was still performing on the Southern Comfort Mississippi Paddle Boat on the Broads.

Mr Cubitt, who has three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and a great-great-granddaughter, said: “I have made a comfortable living out of it. I’m not as good I as used to be, but I still love playing.”

His granddaughter Michelle, who also lives in Hethersett, posted a video of him, which has been viewed thousands of times, from as far afield as Trinidad.

She said: “He is a wonderful man and I can’t believe just how far the video has travelled. I’m just so proud of him. “

Suzy Smith, who lives next door to Mr Cubitt in Karen Close, said: “What a surprise and treat it was to step out of my front door and hear our neighbour Derek playing his tribute to all the carers out there.

“The whole street and beyond stopped clapping to hear him play. Derek got a lovely round of applause at the end. It was incredibly moving and brought a real lump to my throat.

“He’s an incredible man. He still goes out gigging in a band at age 92. Not only that but he goes to the gym several times a week, still drives a car and digs his garden. He’s an inspiration and a lovely neighbour.”

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