Singer Wally comes to the rescue of widow Dolly

18:03 25 January 2013

Hello Dolly: Dorothy Bell and new-found friend Wally Cotgrave

Hello Dolly: Dorothy Bell and new-found friend Wally Cotgrave

Archant

A fundraiser called Wally sang to a widow named Dolly to stop lift her spirits on her first birthday without her husband.

Fred Bell had been a keen member of operatic societies in Sidmouth and Exeter, and his family wanted to make his wife Dorothy’s 90th birthday special.

Their daughter, Gill White, hoped to mark the occasion by having someone from one of the societies to sing to her mother - and the obvious song was ‘Hello Dolly’.

Gill spoke to Sidmouth Operatic Society’s former chairman, Selwyn Kussman, who recommended 73-year-old Wally Cotgrave.

The singer was won over by the story and battled last week’s severe weather to reach the lunch at the Belmont Hotel.

Gill said: “Wally did a superb job and it really made her day really special, because although Dad couldn’t be there it brought back some lovely memories.”

She added: “We were so thrilled with his performance and wish him all the very best for the future.”

Retired blacksmith Wally, of Winslade Road, has raised more than £18,000 for Help for Heroes, so he obliged to help the family of a supporter of another soldiers’ cause. Fred had been a fundraiser for charity Combat Stress, having suffered as a Japanese prisoner of war.

0 comments

Other News Stories

16:55

Plans to turn nearly 100 acres of farmland on the edge of Ottery into a sand and gravel quarry moved a step closer to reality this week.

Read more
13:41
One of the River Otter beavers. Picture: BBC

A beaver population downstream from Ottery can be re-released into the wild, following a decision from Natural England today.

Read more
East Devon District Councillor Derek Button, who died last month after a lengthy fight with cancer.

Tributes have been paid to one of East Devon District Council’s most respected councillors.

Read more
12:28
Sidmouth Youth Centre is set to be re-opened as a Christmas gift to the town's youngsters. Ref shs 2335-49-14. Picture: Simon Horn.

Saving the youth centre is coming at a price for Sidmouth householders, who will see their town council contributions go up seven per cent this year.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 3°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition

Devon's trusted business finder