Very sad news from West London: Angela Prendergast, who ran the Rhyme Time children’s activity during the last decade and more, has lost her battle with leukaemia. There are people who object to the use of military language when dealing with disease but most of the people I know, who have been through it, are okay with words like battle, fight and struggle.
When the children were babies we went to Angela’s Rhyme Time activity most weeks, sometimes three times in a week. It was the best of the weekly pay-on-the-door entertainments for children. She cared about the children, cared about the music, she engaged adults and children alike. Between us my wife and I would take our children to Chiswick, Barnes or Sheen (some weeks all three) for the show. Some of the people running similar entertainments would have phoned it in if they could but Angela always put on a great show. She had been a nanny, and clearly a very good one.
She was single when we first went to Rhyme Time (she was looking for love, and made no secret of it), and by the time our children were at school, and too old for Rhyme Time, she had found love, got married, and then had two children. We were so happy for her. And now, so sad for those she leaves behind, and for what she went through – leukaemia, bone marrow transplants, remission, an unhappy ending.
Our time of sitting in church halls singing along to Angela’s MP3 choices has passed. We will remember her every time we hear “Sing” (the Carpenters song), “Ruby” (by Kaiser Chiefs) or any number of other songs. Angela kept her playlists up-to-date; “Ruby” was #1, and our daughter was 3 months old, when she added it to the show. And Ruby was the name of Angela’s doll (pre-dating the song that shared her name). Keep yourself alive.
And Rest in Peace Angela Rhyme Time.