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Morecambe super-gran becomes 'oldest lady drummer in north' with help from Simply Red star

Barbara McInnis with former Simply Red drummer Chris Joyce, who has been teaching her the drums

A musical 89-year-old gran has been 'holding back the years' with lessons from a celebrated drummer ahead of a live performance in Lancaster.

Barbara McInnis will drum with the D'Ukes of Lancaster Ukulele Band at a fundraising night to celebrate Lancashire Day this Monday, November 27.

Retired teacher Barbara, who lives in Torrisholme, is about to turn 90 years young and says she's the 'oldest lady drummer in the north'.

She has been sprucing up her drumming skills with Chris Joyce, former drummer with Simply Red, who has set up a school in the West End of Morecambe.

"I'm the oldest drummer in the north, I'm 90 in January!" said Barbara, a former drama teacher at Heysham High School.

"It's a very good band and Chris has been giving me tuition. I started two years ago just banging about. He's lovely, a really good teacher. We have a lot of laughs! Drumming has changed my life!"

Chris (left of picture) drummed with Simply Red from the beginning of their chart career in 1985 until 1991, playing on many of their biggest hits including 'If You Don't Know Me By Now', 'Holding Back the Years', 'A New Flame', 'Money's Too Tight (To Mention)' and 'The Right Thing'.

His studio in Morecambe has several professional drum kits, recording equipment, a large collection of vinyl records and other music memorabilia. 

Read more: Former Simply Red member sets up drumming school in Morecambe - Beyond Radio

Super-gran Barbara also plays ukulele with Morecambe Ukulele Club and shot to fame in 2016 when her enthusiastic support for her granddaughter Polly Swann as she won a silver medal in rowing at the Rio Olympics, gained media attention.

Lancashire Day is observed every year on November 27 to commemorate the day, in 1295, when representatives from Lancashire were sent to Parliament for the first time

The night of Lancashire songs and clog dancing takes place at the Boot and Shoe on Scotforth Road, Lancaster.

Everyone is encouraged to bring their flat caps and clogs!

It starts at 8pm and all proceeds go to St John's Hospice.

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