Northampton veteran hopes to find a singer for music he wrote for his late wife

Eileen and Jim Hemmington
Eileen and Jim Hemmington

A Northampton war veteran who wrote an album's worth of songs inspired by his late wife is hoping to find a performer to sing the lyrics over the music he penned.

Jim Hemmington, an ex-Royal Navy first-class stoker, taught himself how to play the keyboard as well as how to read and write music while he cared for his ailing wife.

Inspired by his childhood sweetheart Eileen - whom he married at Dallington Church during in 1944 - Mr Hemmington, 94, ended up writing an album's worth of songs but has failed in his attempts to find a singer for the tracks.

"I have done the music, the lyrics and got the songs recorded on CD," said Mr Hemmington

"I had never been a big music fan. Fifteen years ago I thought of the idea of taking it up to put some cheer into my dear wife and she inspired me."

When Mr Hemmington's wife and childhood sweetheart Eileen became ill he became her full-time carer.

During the difficult period, he taught himself how to play the keyboard and read music.

Louise Wright, Mr Hemmington's daughter, remembers how her mother would sit in the living room while her father played music in the front room of their Kings Heath home.

Mrs Hemmington would often say to her husband that he ought to record the music he played, said Louise.

"I purchased a keyboard and music books and I taught myself to play and to write music," said Mr Hemmington.

"I drifted into the songwriting because I was inspired."

Mr Hemmington wrote eight songs, a combination of ballads and waltzes, and he would like to find somebody to sing the lyrics he penned to accompany his music.

"I have tried to find somebody who will assess the songs and print them but it’s a closed shop," said Mr Hemmington, who contacted agents and celebrities to no avail.

"Whenever I write to celebrities or record companies I rarely get a reply."

If you want to help Mr Hemmington email or write to the Chron at Albert House, Victoria Street, Northampton, NN1 3NR.