Stowmarket: Peel Centre forced to cancel gigs

THE John Peel Centre in Stowmarket had to cancel two acts due to be staged on Friday and Saturday when urgent plumbing work was required.

A performance by up- and-coming pop band The TenFiftySix and a production of David Copperfield will be rescheduled after organisers shelved the gigs.

The centre, based in the Corn Exchange, Church Walk, Stowmarket, dates back to the 19th Century and is due to close at the end of June to begin the final phase of its restoration.

Sheila Ravenscroft, John Peel’s widow, said: “The band who were due to play on Saturday were from London and it is disappointing that we could not have them play. “

She explained that the decision was made to cancel the gig because they could not guarantee the plumbing work would be completed.

“Earlier in the week we decided that we could not risk the groups travelling up.

“We have a lot of work coming up. The building work will see a mezzanine sprung floor, where the bar is going, a cafe and proper toilets.

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“We have done well to put gigs on. Billy Bragg totally sold out and this Friday we have a big gig with the Wedding Present.”

Stowmarket Chorale will have the honour of being the last act to take to the stage before work begins, with their performance of The Creation by Haydn on June 30.

Andrew Stringer, chairman of the centre, said that the centre had to close from a “health and safety point of view”.

He added: “We had to do the work, we have to make that clear but we have sorted out the issues now.

“We have to rely on a small amount of plumbing to do an awful lot of work.”

The centre has recently received funding to put on the John Peel Centre Stage at StowFest, the two-day music festival in the town.

“We have received funding from UCS Bury for the John Peel Centre Stage at StowFest and we will have a big top and marquee,” he said.

“It will be the only John Peel Stage, anywhere this year, as there is no Glastonbury.”

The recent unveiling of John Peel’s record collection has seen a record number of visitors to the centre’s website.

The collection is available from www.thespace.org