Busking Sidmouth pensioners’ �1k for Help For Heroes

A PLUCKY pair of busking Sidmouth pensioners have seen their street show-tune antics raise more than �1,000 for injured war heroes.

A PLUCKY pair of busking Sidmouth pensioners have seen their street show-tune antics raise more than �1,000 for injured war heroes.

Duo Celia Monck and Wally Cotgrave have proved such a smash-hit they’ve doubled the cash target they set themselves in a bid to boost Help For Heroes.

Musical stints in Market Place have brought out the best in townsfolk and seen the twosome touched by tragic and emotive tales from war veterans.

“We were only going to raise �1,000 and then were going to stop,” said Milford Road resident Celia, 73, who read about Wally’s charity exploits in the Herald and contacted him with a musical fundraising idea.


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“When Wally asked ‘when shall we rehearse?’, I said: ‘We won’t, let’s just go and do it – as a sort of trial run’, she said, “The following morning we raised �241 in an hour.

“Passers by are really supportive. One gentleman who was in a quartet joined in with Wally, singing in perfect harmony.”

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Winslade Road resident Wally, 71, said: “We didn’t have a clue how it would work. We’ve made �1 a minute-that’s people’s generosity.

“Everyone knows this is something special. There is a real feeling among people- it is uncanny.

“People have come up to me and shaken my hand. One woman put a rose on Celia’s piano. It really is the loveliest thing I’ve been involved in. You meet wonderful people.

“It’s absolutely unbelievable whose walking around in the street next to you. An old boy came up and saluted me. He had been shot down over Holland, and he was saluting me, it makes you feel very humble.

“This particular charity has touched a nerve, and is a very moving thing to be part of.

“There is an element of that war time spirit, which is a very British thing- pitching in together.”

The busking pair vowed: “We’re going to keep doing it – it’s the power of music.”

Wally paid tribute to Celia’s husband Peter. “He’s the oldest roadie in the world!” said Wally, “he transports all of our equipment and waits on every beck and call.”

Wally and Celia thanked the people of Sidmouth and surrounding shops, and added: “ We’re going to keep doing it – it’s the power of music.”

 

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