Village remembers their famous residents

By Sarah ChambersTWO decades ago brothers Justin and Daniel Hawkins were quiet, bright pupils at a small village primary school.Today they are extrovert showmen strutting their stuff before audiences of millions as members of the highly-successful pop group The Darkness.

By Sarah Chambers

TWO decades ago brothers Justin and Daniel Hawkins were quiet, bright pupils at a small village primary school.

Today they are extrovert showmen strutting their stuff before audiences of millions as members of the highly-successful pop group The Darkness.

Just this week the chart-topping band were performing at the 10th annual MTV Europe Music Awards in Edinburgh - and scooping the prize for the Best MTV2 UK & Ireland Act.


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It is a very different world to the one in which the brothers grew up in the quiet village of Darsham, between Saxmundham and Halesworth.

They used to travel to school in nearby Yoxford with little sister, Suzi, before later moving from Darsham to Lowestoft.

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Peter Scuffil, headteacher of Yoxford Primary School for the past 25 years, remembered his two former pupils with fondness.

“I liked them both. They were both very interesting in their different ways,” he recalled.

“Actually Justin was a rather quiet boy at school and it was not his musical ability that shone then, but he was an all-round good pupil.

“He was definitely artistically gifted - a most excellent drawer and young artist as was his brother really. They both had a sophisticated humour.”

Mr Scuffil said Daniel appeared the more outgoing of the two brothers, although it is Justin who fronts the band as lead singer.

“I suppose I was surprised by the actual field that Justin has shone in simply because he seemed, as I say, quite a quiet boy. Now he's exactly the opposite,” he added.

“Both of them are imaginative and creative and clever. Justin was an excellent cartoonist, so his drawing skills were really good.”

The Darkness have risen to stardom with their number one album, Permission To Land, and reached number two in the singles chart with I Believe In a Thing Called Love.

Although pleased at their achievement, Mr Scuffil was equally proud of pupils who had made their mark in other ways.

“I hope that Yoxford Primary School can contribute in helping its pupils become generous, kind, productive, creative and happy citizens, no matter what path they choose to follow. Fame isn't everything,” he said.

It was only earlier this year that Mr Scuffil, who taught the brothers between the ages of seven to nine, became aware of their musical success.

Although he has seen coverage of The Darkness in the newspapers, he has not seen or heard band perform and does not know what they sound like, although has tried without success to watch them on Top of the Pops.

sarah.chambers@eadt.co.uk

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