Clarinet player 'brings comfort' to rail passengers

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A clarinet player is hoping to inspire others to play music by performing at his local railway station.

A clarinet player is hoping to inspire others to play music by performing at his local railway station.

Philip Lowe, 79, performs at Penrith station to bring comfort to others and overcome his own feelings of isolation.

The clarinettist uses his music to socialise with people at the station and said he "loves having a laugh".

He said: "I hope my performances bring comfort to people and inspires others to play music."

Mr Lowes lives three miles from the station and said the team at Avanti West Coast have made him and his wife welcome.

He said: "I've played at railway stations elsewhere in the world but there is nowhere else quite like Penrith."

Mr Lowe is originally from Manchester and has played the clarinet since he was 12.

He turned his passion for music into a 40-year career as a piano tuner and owned a music shop in Lincoln for 20 years.

Music gives Mr Lowes a sense of nostalgia and reminds him of his parents, friends and places he has travelled.

Mr Lowes' wife suffers from Alzheimer's disease and the pair use their love of music to stay connected.

"My wife and I sing together and it's a great comfort for us," Mr Lowes said.

Penny Giles, local services manager for the Alzheimer's Society in Cumbria, said: "At Alzheimer's Society we know that music has tremendous therapeutic benefits for people living with dementia and their carers, who can become quite isolated."

'Friendly face'

Mark Green, Avanti West Coast station manager at Penrith, said the team loves welcoming Philip to the station.

He said: "Philip brings smiles to so many faces on the platforms of Penrith with his conversation and songs.

"He's a friendly face, which we're sure offers comfort to everyone he comes across."

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