On 14th February most of the boardwalk was destroyed overnight in a devastating arson attack, followed just over a month later by the deliberate burning of a second pond-dipping platform in broad daylight. Many people were extremely upset and wanted to help in some way to put things right on an area of land that they were very fond of. In the weeks that followed, the idea surfaced of putting together a concert in the Westgate Hall to raise funds for a cleanup and reconstruction project. The covid-19 lockdown put paid to all that, but didn’t kill the basic idea, which was then reinvented as a virtual concert.

Thanks to the inspiration of local musician Richard Navarro, who put in an immense amount of hard work in collaboration with a team of artists, a virtual concert was broadcast on 26th April. We are extremely grateful to Richard for organising this epic 1¾-hour medley of entertainment, and also to the 22 local musicians, singers, photographers and poets for freely donating their talents. The virtual concert has so far raised £3714 from 136 supporters, and if you haven’t yet contributed to this worthwhile cause, please click here to make a donation via Justgiving. And don’t worry if you missed the live concert – you can still watch it on Youtube.

Full list of performers and direct links to their performances:

Frances Knight/Ginger Bennett/Derek Sellen ‘The Marshes of Hambrook’

Luke Jackson ‘More Than Boys’

Josh Magill ‘Tomorrow’ (from ‘Bugsy Malone’)

Melzebra and the Buffalos (Mel Dawkins, Heejung Chung and Rachel Hinz): ‘Wishing Well’

Sam Bailey ‘Rolling Acorns’

Mary Anne Smith ‘Rural Living’

Coco and The Butterfields ‘Battlefields’

Anne James ‘Sweet Melody’

Funke and the Two Tone Baby ‘Tales of the Place I Live’

Richard Navarro ‘Remember’

Brendan Power ‘The Dawning of the Day (trad. Irish)’

Tom Cooke the Boater ‘Heron’

Ben Millbery ‘Nightbird’

William Rowlandson Poems by Yeats/The Waterboys and Gerald Manley Hopkins

Luke Dodson ‘River Man’ (by Nick Drake)

Derek Sellen ‘Green’ and ‘Ragwort’

Chaucer Fielder ‘Tales of the Blean’

Alice Heggie ‘Hedgehogs’

Ray Fielder ‘Taken’

Blake Sonnet ‘Mother Nature Calling’

Sarah from Dune ‘Fields of Gold’ (by Sting)

Paul Shave ‘Days in the Forest’