Simon returns to his old haunt

Hoagy, Hornpipes, Handel and Hoedown presented by Hilary James and Simon Mayor, at Hollingwood Hub on March 21.
Hoagy, Hornpipes, Handel and Hoedown presented by Hilary James and Simon Mayor, at Hollingwood Hub on March 21.

MAJOR plans to regenerate Chesterfield canal have been given the thumbs-up by a musician who is playing a concert in support of fundraising for the project,

Simon Mayor will be joined by his musical partner Hilary James for the show at the Hollingwood Hub next Wednesday, March 21.

He said: “I am very much in favour of anything that preserves our heritage. It seems to me that even if the canal is not used commercially it opens up huge leisure possibilities, not just for boating but for walkers, cyclists and spin-off ventures like Nona’s cafe.

“There are few things more miserable than a neglected canal. I think for it to be restored would provide such a feelgood factor for Hollingwood.”

Simon, 58, who has lived in Reading for 40 years, has fond memories of Hollingwood. He said: “I was born in Sheffield but my mother’s side of the family came from Hollingwood. My grandparents were Ernest and Nellie Bottom who lived on Hollngwood Crescent. Her sisters lived next door and various other Bottoms lived in Hollingwood.

“I couldn’t believe it in when this concert came in. I had very recently been back to Hollingwood for the funeral of an aunt; afterwards, my sister and I had walked down Hollingwood Crescent for old times’ sake. I think there’s always a poignant fascination in visiting your old haunts.”

Simon and Hilary will play old time country blues and English traditional songs and tunes on guitar, violin mandolin and bass mandolin at Wednesday’s concert, which starts at 7.30pm. Tickets £8, call (01246) 477569, email: info@hollingwood.org.uk or log onto www.chesterfield-canal-trust,org.uk