A LANDLADY has come to the rescue of one of her talented regulars after he was a victim of crime.
Nigel Clarke, bass guitarist in local band Destination, was upset when his £324 Marshall amplifier was stolen from the back of his car, parked near his Queens Place home in Chester.
Now Shirley Childs, licensee of The Oddfellows Arms in Frodsham Street, has paid up-front for a new amp and will eventually get the money back out of the weekly quiz night.
Nigel, 54, who saved up for months to buy the original equipment, said his group had been managing to carry on playing by reorganising their system, but added: 'The difference in the sound with this new amp is amazing. We rehearsed for the first time last Thursday. A gesture like this shows there are some nice people around.' The former roofer, who has been in a wheelchair for 16 years after a fall, featured in The Chronicle after the amp was stolen.
'I had a lot of people stop me in the street and ask if I had heard anything about getting my amp back - even total strangers,' he said.
A father and grandfather, Mr Clarke said the band's next gig was at Malpas's Jubilee Hall in aid of Malpas Scouts. The performance will be a homecoming for Destination because this was the venue where it all started in the 1960s.
All the band members are from Malpas, except the present drummer who is from Whitchurch; the original drummer, Ray Hancock, sadly passed away.
Mr Clarke's other great passion is Chester City FC and he is a well known supporter because he hardly misses a game. Speaking about the day Chester won promotion back into the football league, he said: 'I was over-whelmed. It was brilliant. When the team did the lap of honour around the pitch, the team captain Paul Carden ran over and said 'thanks for your support'. It's nice when the players know you by name, with it being a small club. They are more like friends rather than idols.'
Mrs Childs said: 'I upfronted the money and said I would collect it from the quiz over a few weeks. I felt sorry for him. He always comes to quiz night on a Monday. I thought if we can't help one of our own it's a bit sad.'
Mrs Childs has been landlady for about 12 months and said the pub had raised about £3,000 for charity since she started. 'We like to do our bit,' she said.