Stowmarket: John Peel Archive website is a big success with more than 300,000 visitors

The late John Peel at his home in Great Finborough

The late John Peel at his home in Great Finborough

A website dedicated to the eclectic music collection of a legendary DJ has had more than 300,000 visitors.

The John Peel Archive, which includes about 2,600 albums, has recently been showcasing rare David Bowie singles.

John lived in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket.

His widow Sheila Ravenscroft, said: “It has been wonderful, we have had the most amazing response. A lot of hard work has gone into it.

“Only a very small percentage of the music collection has gone online –it has only been 100 records from each letter of the alphabet. John has about 27,000 albums alone.


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“We focused on Bowie because of the V&A exhibition. The first time John saw Bowie, which was before he was singing, was when he was a mime artist and supported Tyrannosaurus Rex, as they were then known.”

The online music collection first started on The Space website in May last year. Each month 100 records were added to the collection – everything from Peter Gabriel to Madonna – until the end of 2012.

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The Peel archive had about 200,000 people visit in the first few days. Since then 10,000 people logged on each month.

This year the collection has its own dedicated website – www.johnpeelarchive.com – which has had more than 30,000 visitors since January.

Mrs Ravenscroft said: “We would like to carry on and do more with the website but it’s a question of getting the funding to carry on. We cannot do it without the funding. We are scratching our heads to see where we go next.”

The collection of David Bowie singles includes a 1978 re-release of the 1964 single Liza Jane and a 1969 promotional single of Space Oddity.

Mrs Ravenscroft said there could be further special focuses on artists in the future.

She helps manage the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in Stowmarket. The venue has several up-and-coming acts due to perform in the next few days.

There will also be an open mic night on Friday, June 21.

For more information go to www.johnpeelcentreforcreativearts.co.uk

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