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A Concert in Polperro!
In aid of rescue workers in New York
Richard Courtis at full throttle!  Photo: Richard Knowles © 2001

Like most mad-cap notions, this one was conceived over a beer in the pub and developed as the evening progressed - as they do!

It started with Richard Courtis, a gifted local tenor, who got it into his head to ‘do something for the NY rescue services!' If nothing else the idea of a tiny Cornish fishing village sending aid to a huge American metropolis was certainly a novel one!

Mike Blackmore, Roger Pill and others assembled the idea of a 'Concert on the Green' featuring Richard and another two of our best known local artists - Martin the Hatter and Jo la Cat. The object - to raise money and make a gesture of support!

In four days all was organised for the event to start at 4.30m on the Saturday until ‘whenever people get tired!' Posters were rushed out and distributed and the word was put about!


Whilst all this organising was taking place in Polperro, an American couple Tommy & Sandra Connolly were arriving in this country from New York for a break from the devastation there.

Tommy has worked for the last 10 years in an adjacent building to the 'Twin Towers' and four of his friends are still on the missing list! In fact the day before their departure they had attended the funeral of another friend. Sadly on their first day in England all their luggage was stolen - not a nice welcome to the UK!!

Sandra - originally from Herefordshire - had visited Polperro ten years before and - determined that their holiday should not be completely ruined - they decided to journey down to Polperro. They were stunned to find that residents of a small Cornish fishing village were putting on a concert in aid of NY!!

The Girl with a BIG voice Jo la Cat.  Photo: Richard Knowles © 2001
Martin the Hatter  Photo: Richard Knowles© 2001

In the best Cornish tradition of ‘Drekly' the concert started an hour late and as the gathering gloom two hours later brought a natural end some £640 had been raised. Efforts continued in the Ship on the Saturday and Sunday evenings as well as in the Blue Peter and other pubs. Tommy and Sandra finally made it out of Polperro on Monday Afternoon - their faith in the people of this country well restored!

Polperro has a wonderful tradition of generosity and has excelled itself once again. At the time of writing the glorious sum of more than £1526.40 was in the pot!

Richard Courtis & Jo la Cat!  Photo: Richard Knowles © 2001
Jo la Cat & James Stubbs!  Photo: Richard Knowles © 2001
The organisers would like to give their heartfelt thanks to those who helped put it all together so quickly, the businesses who gave prizes and donations, and all those who gave so generously to the appeal.
Information: Tony White Design: Brian Shepherd
Photos: Richard Knowles © 2001
Polperro, 25th November 2001