'Happy Hour' for Ipswich pub to celebrate music legend's birthday
- Credit: Archant
A popular Ipswich pub was chosen to celebrate the 60th birthday of music legend Paul Heaton as he put money behind the bar.
Heaton, from The Housemartins and The Beautiful South, put £60,000 behind 60 pubs in the UK, to celebrate his birthday on May 9, after his initial hopes of touring the UK were halted due to "recording delays".
The Duke of York in Ipswich was one of those chosen by the 'Happy Hour' singer and writer.
Chris Mapey, owner of The Duke of York, said: "It is a lovely gesture. We are delighted.
"I was in total shock when I heard we were picked.
"It was a random email, completely out of the blue, saying this is not a scam email, but you have been chosen by Paul as being one of the best in the UK.
"We were sworn to secrecy as well, there was no advanced posts on social media. We couldn't drop hints to anybody.
"I didn't even tell my team until yesterday (May 8), that's how closely guarded we kept it."
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Customers flocked to the pub on Woodbridge Road on May 9 for free drinks and to celebrate the musician's birthday.
Chris and Julie Irving, from Birmingham, are big fans of the 'Song for Whoever' singer.
They were on holiday in Southwold when they saw the news, and visited the Ipswich pub to raise a glass to the musician.
Mr Irving said: "We've got every album and been to his tour. He did a video for my 50th birthday and we've met him four or five times. We are very big fans."
Mrs Irving added: "He just thinks of his fans an awful lot, he's done a lot for the NHS too, gave them free tickets to a lot of his gigs. It shows the sort of man he is.
Phil Hastie, another customer said: "I've seen The Beautiful South live four times.
"It's a fantastic idea – the next best thing to him being here. We can raise a glass to him on his birthday."
Ray Slegg and Steve Langdon, regulars at the pub, said: "I think the reason Paul chose this place was because it is a musical pub.
"Chris is doing a great thing for local musical talent and I think Paul recognises that."
Two pubs in Norfolk – in Bodham in north Norfolk and The Eagle in Norfolk Street, King's Lynn – were chosen to help celebrate the singer's birthday.