Bright sunshine greeted Swanage Town Band’s first performance at the bandstand since it was refurbished, helping to raise funds for a statue of a local hero.
The Celebrating Freedom concert in support of The Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust at the Swanage Bandstand near the seafront, was first planned for June 2021 but had to be postponed due to Covid rules.
However with restrictions lifted, the event, also featuring Feverstreet, The Salamanda Swing Band, Karen ‘G’ and Phoenix Rock and Roll, was at last able to go ahead on Saturday 18th September 2021.
Swanage Town Crier Andrew Fleming starts the proceedings
Alan Houghton, who led the campaign to restore Swanage Bandstand made a surprise guest appearance at the concert, performing with Karen ‘G’
“A joyous and beautiful day“
Well-known local singer and event organiser, Karent Grant, said:
“The Trevor Chadwick trustees wanted to raise money for this wonderful statue and I was really happy to help organise this event – and here we are!
“I must also really thank Amanda Jensen, the leader of the Salamanda Swing Band for all her hard work, filling in forms and the risk assessments – she’s been amazing.
“We’ve had to postpone this event several times due to restrictions on events but six months later, the sun has shone – it was all meant to be and to be honest, I’m finding it very emotional.
“It’s finally happened – a joyous and beautiful day. It’s so lovely to have all the town come together!”
Swanage Town Band
The Salamanda Swing Band
Trevor Chadwick rescued 669 children from Prague in 1939
The money raised by the concert is going towards funding a life-sized bronze statue of Trevor Chadwick, a Swanage teacher who rescued 669 children from Prague in 1939 from Nazi occupation. The majority were Jewish but others were the sons or daughters of Czech and Slovak anti-Nazis.
Most of the volunteers who risked their lives, have gone virtually unacknowledged other than Nicholas Winton, who was knighted in 2003.
Now the statue of Trevor Chadwick, created by Langton Matravers’ sculptor, Moira Purver is about to be cast after months of work but more money needs to be raised to reach the £80,000 funding target.
Moira Purver who is sculpting the Trevor Chadwick statue, also performs with the Swanage Town Band
The maquette or minature version of the planned statue was on display at the concert. Raffle tickets to win it are available to buy
“A true hero of Swanage”
Vice chair of The Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust, Mike Bonfield said:
“It’s wonderful to hear the Swanage Town Band playing at the bandstand again and it couldn’t be a better day with lots of local people here.
“It’s also important to be raising funds for a true hero of Swanage – Trevor Chadwick. The hero is often the one who you never hear about and for years no one in Swanage really knew what he did but now more stories are emerging, from his time as a volunteer for Swanage Lifeboat to rescuing all those children from German occupation.
“A real eccentric and spirited person and it’s only right we give him the recognition he deserves.”
Left to right: Kate Cotton, Mike Bonfield and Di Bishop from the Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust
Left to right: John Bishop, Mel Norris, Gerry Norris, chair of Dorset Council Val Pothecary, Swanage Town Mayor Avril Harris, Swanage Town Deputy Mayor Tina Foster and Mike Bonfield at The Chadwick Playground
Renamed the Chadwick Playground
Swanage Bandstand is next to the refurbished children’s playground on the Recreation Ground and appropriately, it’s been renamed the Chadwick Playground to recognise all that he did to help save the lives of so many children. The statue once it’s completed will be positioned in sight of the playground.
Just before the concert started at 3 pm, the playground was officially renamed and the chair of Dorset Council, councillor Val Pothecary, who was born in Swanage, was invited to attend.
Councillor Val Pothecary said:
“The whole project is wonderfully inspiring and I want to do what I can to support it – it’s really captured everyone’s imagination.
“It’s nice to have an excuse to come back and visit Swanage and helping to recognise a hero like Trevor Chadwick is a really good reason!”
Watch the Swanage Town Band
- More about Trevor Chadwick’s life is on the memorial trust’s website
- Donations to the fund may be made online
- To buy raffle tickets to win a limited edition bronze maquette of the planned statue email Caroline Finch
Charity Cancare provided the cakes
More people sign the petition to Save Our Ambulance Car at the stand at the concert