Hundreds support Folk For James Concert

Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham on stage at Clickimin. Photo: Dave Donaldson
Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham on stage at Clickimin. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Hundreds of folk flowed through the doors of the Clickimin on Wednes­day to raise money for the Anthony Nolan Trust and The Archie Foundation.

Almost £8,000 was raised at the Folk For James Concert, which saw fiddler Aly Bain and accordionist Phil Cunningham headline the show, along with a host of local musicians.

The event was held in the name of Nesting youngster James Hawick, who suffers from the rare blood disorder aplastic anaemia, though money raised is also to help others.

Both charities have supported James. UK blood cancer charity and bone marrow register The Anthony Nolan Trust, helps to find a match for those in need, while Aberdeen Children’s Hospital Charity The Archie Foundation offers a range of things, including buying specialist equipment, fund­ing research and helping families to stay close to their child when they’re in hospital.

James is need of a bone marrow transplant and family and friends have been fund-raising for the Anthony Nolan Trust, to raise money for the charity, raise awareness and also get folk signed up to be a bone marrow donor.  The sum of £25,000 had been raised in Shetland prior to the concert, with a further £15,000 in Aberdeen.

Family member Peter Malcolm­son said about 770 folk were registered donors in Shetland and Aberdeen, with a further 500 that unfortunately had to be rejected as they did not meet requirements.

A possible match has been found for James, although Mr Malcolmson said they woudl continue to keep the fund open and some fund-raising cash, such as a charity darts night, was still to come in.

He hailed the support and the donor figures, which he said was “absolutely phenomenal for a population of this size”. It was an amazing turn­out for the concert and every­body had contributed, from the artistes, to folk buying raffle tickets.  “Everybody is doing something,” he said.

A total of 520 people filled the Clickimin bowls hall  for the event, presented by the Shetland Musical Heritage Trust, featuring a jam-packed bill of musicians, all of whom had given their time for free.

The James Leask Band kicked off the evening, and other acts included Yell youngsters Megan  Nisbet and Lauren Johnson, with delightful har­monies, fiddle tunes from Shetland’s Heritage Fiddlers and belting vocals from The North Ness Boys.

Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham performed two sets, with banter between the pair about a Swedish tune and Ikea meatballs having the crowd in stitches.

Mr Bain said they were delighted to take part and he knew James’s grandad Drewie Hawick as they had grown up together. He spoke about the money help­ing those in need and  it was good to raise awareness of this kind of illness.

Pianist Violet Tulloch, chairwoman of the Shetland Musical Heritage Trust, said: “We are pretty delighted with the whole evening.”

She said Aly and Phil deciding to come up made the evening and Phil regards Shetland as his second home.

“They were thrilled to bits with the standard of music and the atmosphere,” she said. “Once again Shetland has risen to the challenge.”


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