Muse guitar auction boosts Ottery Primary School pool project

Tim Stark has raised £3,000 by auctioning off his signed Muse guitar. He shakes hands with Sarah Pea

Tim Stark has raised £3,000 by auctioning off his signed Muse guitar. He shakes hands with Sarah Pearman, head of Ottery Primary School's PTA. - Credit: Archant

A £64,000 project to make Ottery’s only pool available to the community all year round has had a rocking good start thanks to a charity auction.

Tim Stark offered up his signed Muse guitar to raise money for Ottery Primary School’s pool project, as well as children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

The PTA has earmarked £10,000 of its funds towards building a roof over the heated facility to make it usable all year round.

Tim, 40, helps custom-make Muse frontman Matt Bellamy’s guitars and was given the instrument as a gift after the band’s Absolution World Tour in 2016.

The auction received bids from across the world and the winning bid was from a woman in Derbyshire, who spent £3,000 on the items to give to her sons as presents for completing their exams.

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Her bid was split between the two causes.

Tim, who is dad to five-year-old Leo, said: “When Leo started school, I wanted to do something to help out the school. It was a gift given to me last year and it was sitting in a box doing nothing, sitting under the bed.

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“The amount of work the PTA does to raise money is a lot. It is a lot of work that I do not think a lot of people appreciate. No-one is getting paid for it.”

The guitar was a limited hand-printed Drones tour motif, featuring a list of all tour dates and hand-signed signatures.

Also auctioned off were drumsticks and a guitar pick from the band.

Sarah Pearman, chairman of the PTA, said: “At the moment our plan is to earmark £10,000 of our PTA funds that we have already raised to be put towards a roof to cover our heated swimming pool, so that this amazing resource – the only pool in our town – can be used all year round, not just by our school children but by the wider community.

“This project would be a huge undertaking, and we are looking at a ballpark figure in the region of £64,000. So every penny raised at our events and with our fund-raising initiatives is really valuable.”

The PTA will also be holding fundraisers through the year, including its annual Christmas secret shopping, film nights, quiz nights and the school fete on July 14, from midday to 3pm.

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