Robert Plant puts in an appearance at Egremont Market Hall
The annual welcome for the Charlie and Kathleen Dunnery Children’s Fund (CKDCF) took place on Friday October 23. The charity, that was started in 2002 by former It Bites frontman, Francis Dunnery, was back in St. Bees for its 13th year with a very special guest, Robert Plant – the former Led Zeppelin front man.
The event which opened the weekend started with a dinner prepared by the Seacote Hotel before Mr Dunnery addressed the room, thanking everyone who had helped make the night happen and those who had fund-raised over the year. He thanked Egremont 2Day for their continued support before going on to talk about the late Peter Watson calling him: “The cleverest man I have ever met and he was someone who carried out his work quietly but it should be known what he did”.
The charity’s sponsored walk around Ennerdale Water would now be known as the ‘Peter Watson Joy in the Rain Walk’.
Mike Peters started the evening’s entertainment off and soon had everyone tapping their feet before John and Wayne took over with Francis Dunnery, Danny Dunnery and Dorie Jackson all joining them on stage throughout their performance.
CKDCF Saturday (Morning)
The CKDCF Joy in the Rain Walk around Ennerdale Water certainly lived up to its new name on Saturday, October 24.
The walk now dedicated to the memory of E2D founder and Francis Dunnery’s former teacher, the late Peter Watson. A minute’s applause was held in memory of our late editor.
Francis Dunnery said, in memory of Peter: “Peter Watson devoted himself to our community and the welfare of those in the area. He was a selfless individual who did it for the right reasons. He was a good man and I am profoundly grateful to have known him. I only wish I could have told him this before he died. And for this error I will remain eternally regretful.”
Though the weather was bleak it didn’t dampen any spirits as the walkers set off on the seven mile journey around Ennerdale Water. Going the extra mile John Lynn was dressed in only a lime green mankini and raised £2,500 in the process.
Unable to be present at the walk, Nicholas Watson told Egremont2Day he was delighted to see his father’s memory honoured in this way. He said: “He contributed a lot towards the local community and it is very comforting to know that the people in the local community have chosen to pay homage to his work by naming the walk, which is for such a good cause and which he wholeheartedly supported and regularly participated in, after him. “I would also like to compliment Mark Andrews and Francis Dunnery on their fantastic efforts and of course everyone else who contributes towards and assists with this very worthy cause.”
CKDCF Saturday (Night)
The concert that took place at Egremont, Market Hall was a sell out as the CKDCF closed its weekend in style with a line-up that oozed talent.
Opening the night was Francis Dunnery himself with an array of other acts that would perform during the night. Performing In My Father’s Eyes Dunnery pointed to the sky in remembrance of his father. Crowd favourite Hometown couldn’t be missed out when performing in Egremont and Dunnery duly obliged. Dori Jackson, returning after missing last year, much to the crowd’s pleasure performed a song from her album, The Courting Ground, called Railway Station Boy. Materya were here from Italy again performing their beautiful songs in Italian.
A surprise performance came from Debbie Rose who had travelled to the event with Robert Plant and wowed the crowd with her amazing voice. John Mitchell of It Bites, John Gilmour Smith and Peter Jones all performed original songs. The band Big Big Train from London closed the first half with three songs Upton Heath, Uncle Jack and their new single Wassail.
After a half hour interval the man that everyone had come to see took to the stage, Robert Plant with Francis Dunnery supporting him on guitar.
Plant told ITV: “I’m very happy to be involved with lots of fundraising occasions, this is particularly very good, because it goes straight to the needs of the people.”
Plant showed his mastery of performance with the way he controlled the stage and the playful Dunnery. Keeping the audience amused with his witty remarks and tales before belting out another well-known song.
In total the weekend raised over £30,000 for the CKDCF.
● Next year’s event will take place on October 21 and 22, 2016.