60s night will make big difference to young Charlie

Roy Haines (half hidden), Charlie plus Charlie's dad Jamie
Roy Haines (half hidden), Charlie plus Charlie's dad Jamie

More than 30 musicians across seven different acts will once again be taking us Back To The Sixties at the Riverside Caravan Centre, Bognor Regis.

Now in its ninth outing, the event takes place on February 17, organised by Roy Haines who will be one of the performers with his band The Fenmen.

As Roy explains: “The event is a 60s-themed revival featuring local bands and musicians who were active in the area during that period.When we first started this, we never envisaged that we would keep going for all these years. We just thought it would be a one-off. A lot of musicians had got together for various things, and we thought maybe we could all get together, and so we organised the first one. One of the problems was finding a decent venue, so we went to the Riverside as quite a large place, and it had the infrastructure there.

“I think at first they were a little bit hesitant, but they ran with it and said ‘Let’s give it a go’, and it worked really well. But even at the first event, we felt we had to have a focus. It wasn’t ever a case of doing it and just enjoying it. We decided to do the first one for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, and we have always done it for charity. We have done St Wilfrid’s a couple of times, and we have done Chestnut Tree House and we have also done one or two smaller causes. This year we are doing it for a lad called Charlie Fielding in East Preston.”

Charlie had a swelling on his spine caused by a rare arteriovenus malformation (AVM) which led to his spinal cord becoming damaged resulting in paralysis from the waist down (www.facebook.com/Charliedavidfielding).

Charlie’s needs are ongoing, so physiotherapy and equipment will be key in giving him the best possible chance at a normal life.

Roy added: “I have spent a lot of time with his parents, and it is likely this will be a condition for life and he will need a lot of help. If all goes to plan, typically and traditionally this event has generally raised between £5,000 and £7,000 each year. It makes the whole thing very worthwhile as well as obviously being a social thing. Most of us musicians are in our 70s and the audience is often about the same, people that have grown up with us and followed us.

“It is more or less the same musicians every year. We have got this framework of musicians that were with local bands in the 60s. Sadly there are some that can’t do it any more and some that have sadly passed away. Really, it is about the musicians that are left standing!”

This year’s acts include The Detours and Friends, Johnny Devlin, The Southbeats, Dave Harris and Chalky.

“It starts at 7pm and goes on until midnight. We always have a set list and a running order, but it is not the same each year. We change things around to give all the artists the chance to headline. We just enjoy doing it and hope that we can carry on. We do take it from year to year really, but we are certainly looking at doing it for the tenth-anniversary next year.”

Tickets are now available from Riverside Caravan Centre, Bognor Regis, price £12.50 for a five-hour show.