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Symphony at the Tower concerts come to an end after 21 years

Posted on - 5th January, 2017 - 3:43pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Events, Grimsargh, Lostock Hall, Music, News, Preston City Centre
Katherine Jenkins headlined the second night of the 2014 Symphony concerts

Katherine Jenkins headlined the second night of the 2014 Symphony concerts

The final note has been played as a series of concerts on the edge of Preston comes to an end.

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St Catherine’s Hospice has announced the Symphony at the Tower concerts are to be discontinued.

Performances have taken place at Hoghton Tower since 1995 and seen the likes of Status Quo, Katherine Jenkins and James Blunt perform along with the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

The concerts have raised tens of thousands of pounds for the Lostock Hall-based charity.

Status Quo headlining at Symphony at the Tower

Status Quo headlining at Symphony at the Tower

Chief executive of the hospice Stephen Greenhalgh said the rising cost of insurance and putting on the event, plus the British summertime weather – or unreliability of it – were a major factor in the decision.

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He said: “Much has changed over the last two decades when it comes to organising major events including insurance and regulatory requirements that, quite rightly, place much greater and more exacting demands on organisers to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

“With many wetter summers in recent years, evenings at Hoghton Tower that could have gone ahead 20 years ago, cannot do so now and after the two cancellations, insurance cover quite logically goes up significantly.

“It is also important to acknowledge how disappointing it is for supporters who really look forward to these evenings, when they are cancelled unavoidably at late notice. Although we are grateful for their understanding, this is not what we would wish for.

“We recognise that some events have a shelf life and, in the interests of the patients and families whom we serve, supporters can be assured that we are constantly looking ahead to alternative ways of fundraising and promoting the essential work of the hospice.”

Symphony at the Tower in 2012, crowds enjoy the weather

Symphony at the Tower in 2012, crowds enjoy the weather

The concerts have been put on in association with Lancashire concert promoters Cuffe and Taylor, and the hospice is now exploring different events.

Read more: Katherine Jenkins sparkles at the Symphony

Mr Greenhalgh said: “We also have a number of brand new fundraising events lined up for 2017 which we hope our supporters will feel inspired and excited to take part in – from a cycle challenge to a family-friendly obstacle run. Our popular and long-standing Moonlight and Memories Walk and Yellow Day Garden Fete are also set to return, as well as our newer and increasingly successful Christmas Festival weekend.

“We are extremely grateful to so many who have worked with us to make the Symphony at the Tower events such fun and raise considerable income for the hospice. In particular, we offer our special thanks to John Nickson who created the event, to Barbara Conroy and Lorraine Charlesworth who carried it forward and to Progress Housing, Eric Wright Ltd, and Cuffe and Taylor.

“We have had countless sponsors, companies and amazing volunteers alongside the Hoghton Tower charity whom we wish to thank for their fabulous efforts and of course, we also wish to give our heartfelt gratitude to the tens of thousands of people who have come along and supported us. The loyal support that we receive from local people is mind-blowing and we cannot thank them enough for their ongoing kindness and generosity that helps us to care for their loved ones when it matters most.

“So, whilst there will be some sadness because the Symphony’s long-standing, successful run has ended, I hope that our supporters will continue to enjoy the attractive range of activities that are available in 2017.”

Other acts who have performed at the Symphony include the Human League, Aled Jones and The Christians.

What do you think of the decision? Have you ever been to Symphony at the Tower? Let us know in the comments below

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