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Tribute concert to musical bus driver boosts funds for Yarmouth charity

PUBLISHED: 11:09 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:24 15 April 2019

Musician Tosh Ewins presents to Diana Staines of Centre 81 a cheque for �785 raised at a concert in memory of community transport driver Phil Abbott, who died after a short illness. Mr Abbott�s widow Trish (right) and former colleagues watched the presentation.

Musician Tosh Ewins presents to Diana Staines of Centre 81 a cheque for �785 raised at a concert in memory of community transport driver Phil Abbott, who died after a short illness. Mr Abbott�s widow Trish (right) and former colleagues watched the presentation.

Archant

A charity concert for a popular Norfolk musician has raised funds for a Great Yarmouth charity.

Tosh Ewins (third from right) on stage with fellow musicians at the concert in memory of Centre 81 driver and volunteer Phil Abbott, who died after a short illness.Tosh Ewins (third from right) on stage with fellow musicians at the concert in memory of Centre 81 driver and volunteer Phil Abbott, who died after a short illness.

Phil Abbott, a driver at Centre 81, died on his 67th birthday six weeks after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

A concert in his memory, organised by friend and fellow musician Tosh Ewins, raised £785, with the funds donated to Centre 81.

Mr Abbott, a retired computer consultant from Reedham, had been a volunteer and bus driver at the charity for seven years.

He was also a ukulele player, performing in a community choir at Beccles, where his wife Trish is a singer and Mr Ewins plays the guitar.

The sold-out charity show, at the Seagull Theatre in Lowestoft, saw 15 musicians from across the country perform blues and gospel-style songs from the comedy movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou. They donated their time and expenses, and the £785 raised for Centre 81 was a record for one of Mr Ewins' concerts, which have amassed £3500 in five years.

Mr Ewins, 59, who regularly organises charity concerts said: “Phil was a great bloke. We got on like a house on fire and shared a stupid, Monty Python sense of humour. It was such a shock when he passed away.”

Widow Trish said: “He loved Centre 81 and being involved in the Instant Choir, so this was a marvellous tribute to Phil, who was 'there' on stage because one of the musicians played his ukulele during the show!”

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