I read with interest the article by your columnist Ian Clayton regarding the recent appearance of Anne Sexton, all the way from the USA, to appear at the Wilton Ballroom in Castleford.
Ian seemed amazed, firstly that such an artiste should appear here, and at the attendance at this event and general integration of the soul aficionados, dancing and singling to the songs played.
First I would like to say, with due respect to Anne Sexton, that there is a true soul legend actually living in the area and has done for years, namely Tommy Hunt, who appeared at one of the last sessions of the truly iconic Northern Soul venue, namely the Wigan Casino, before it was forced to close.
Tommy has continued to grace soul clubs up and down the country for many, many years, despite being in his 80s, very frail and needing assistance on stage, but like the true legend he is, he continues to perform the music he loves, as an accomplished professional artiste.
One read the article and was left with the with the impression that the Wilton Ballroom is the only event which encourages and promotes such events.
Soul, especially Northern Soul, is alive, well, thriving and is continually supported by dedicated soulies in the area at regular events such as the Old Manifesto Club at Knottingley, which recently celebrated its 41st birthday, Eggborough and Drax and a host of other local soul clubs.
Indeed I attended one such event recently, in my voluntary occupation as slideshow operator, front of house assistant, merchandiser and general event helper, where people travelled from Durham, the east Coast and Lancashire to support a Prostate Cancer fundraiser, for which the profits after the event, to help fund the research, were in excess of £4,000.
Secretary and administrator of Charity Soul UK
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