Organ grinders reach milestone
A couple from Deddington who have used their street organ to raise money for a cancer charity for more than 20 years handed over their latest donation last week.
Geoff and Joan Todd, who have now raised more than £100,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support since they started fundraising in 1991, gave the £2,013 donation to Macmillan’s Oxfordshire fundraising manager, Sara Rawnsley.
The couple, who started the Banbury Organ Grinders festival 22 years ago and now tour across the UK and France giving talks and attending festivals with their street organ, were originally inspired to raise funds for Macmillan after Mrs Todd’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and wished to be cared for at home.
Mrs Todd said: “I know how lonely people can feel when they have been affected by cancer.
“We used to visit motorway service stations in the run-up to Christmas when many people would be travelling alone, for the first time since the death of their husband or wife.
“The Macmillan support line is a fantastic resource for anyone who feels lonely or isolated.”
The pair collect cash when they are out with their street organ.
Mr Todd said: “A visit to a French street organ festival started our love affair with organ grinding as they all wear national costumes when they perform and we decided to make Pearly King and Queen costumes to perform in.
“We were asking people to donate pearl buttons so that we could make our costumes and after a morning in Deddington Market Place, playing the organ and collecting buttons, we were surprised to find £70 in the pot and so our fundraising began.”
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Weather for Banbury
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West