“Ten thousand people, maybe more. People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening, people writing songs that voices never share.” – The Sound of Silence
Most people love music, but for a small number of them, it’s part of their identity. For more than 60 years, Lions Hearing Clinic patient Jim Lloyd built music into everything he did; his career, his hobbies, and then his retirement. So when Jim started to lose his hearing, his world threatened to come crashing down.
If you heard Jim’s voice, you might even recognise it. Jim had been on the air as an international radio presenter for almost three decades with an idea he’d pitched to producers himself.
“I came up with an idea for an hour-long program about folk music for BBC Radio Two, which is the big network. And they said yes, we’ll put it on for six weeks. It ran for 27 years!”
Throughout his career, Jim’s appreciation for folk music quietly grew – and so did his record library. When Jim approached retirement, he was not ready to quit his career in music yet.
“We had joined Probus, and they were looking for ideas, for people to organise tours and lunches and that sort of thing. And we were sitting here – and I’ve got all this music here! And I thought, why don’t I do something about the music? So I came up with an idea, and they liked it.
The idea was to get ten or 12 people in to the house. And once a month, I would do a piece about music. This was close to four years ago, and it’s got very popular. So we started running it twice a month. And then more people wanted to come! So now every third month I do it three times.”
And though Jim loved the new program, called Morning Music, his hearing loss was letting him down.
“I think it was deteriorating for about two years. And the last year was hard going,” Jim’s partner Elizabeth recalled.
“During Morning Music, there’s a really nice chap who comes, called Derek, and he’s got a hearing aid. I said to him where did you get it, and he said it was Lions Hearing Clinic. And he said they’re really good. And so we made an appointment, went along to Liz who was the lady he’d seen. And she is really good!”
When Jim returned to try on his new hearing aids, Elizabeth could see how much they would help Jim reclaim his passion for music.
“I was watching, and when it all turned on, Jim’s face was just like a child with joy about something! He was so happy looking! It was just amazing to see his face! I thought this is like a little miracle!”
Jim agreed. Although it was brand new to him, he could already hear the difference.
“And indeed it was. And they are perfect. They really are excellent, I had no idea what I was missing. I can hear so much more. It took a bit of adjusting, no doubt you know this, when it started.
Because teacups were banging!
“It’s absolutely brilliant. It’s a revelation, it’s opened up a whole load of things for me that I’d just forgotten.”