Fund to bring a ‘positive’ out of John’s ‘tragedy’

John Hardiman

John Hardiman

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A TALENTED musician who died aged just 30 is to be honoured through a fund-raising concert.

John Hardiman who grew up in Woolpit, followed his brother Alan into the Royal Marines in 1998.

Both were musicians with the marines with John playing the tuba, double bass and bass guitar.

The two brothers were among four Suffolk musicians chosen to play in the Royal Marines Band at the prestigious Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall in 2001.

But John suffered from spasms in his arm as a result of repetitive strain injury.

That saw John, who was unable to continue to play his music, quit the marines in 2010 and move to London.

He died last year. An inquest is still to be carried out to determine the exact circumstances of his death.

Now his family and friends have set up the John Hardiman Music for Youth Fund, with the aim of helping other young musicians in Suffolk develop their talents.

“John was a really gifted musician,” said his mum Karol.

“Obviously his death is still painful.

“We just decided that we needed to do something to keep his memory alive and set up this fund so that something positive could come out of what we feel is a real tragedy.

“John was a local boy and there is a good chance that this fund will be helping children in the village.

“It is the best way for him to be remembered.”

John had lived in Woolpit from the age of three and went to the village primary school.

He completed his A-levels including music at Stowmarket High School.

Brother Alan had already been in the marines for three years when John signed up in 1998.

He joined the marines Scotland Band in 2003 and was with them for seven years.

But eventually his love of music saw him suffer an injury to his shoulder, which gradually got worse.

“He suffered from repetitive strain injury from playing such large instruments,” said Karol.

“It didn’t respond to treatment. Instead it got to the point where he couldn’t play anymore.

“His arm would go into spasm and eventually he lost all use of his arm

“And unfornunately it led to his death last year.

“John had great music opportunities.

“I think Suffolk was really good at promoting its musicians.
“Our hope is that the fund set up in his memory will help support somebody who may need a bit of encouragement.

The concert – Church Going Folk – takes place at Woolpit Church from 7.30pm to 11pm on September 1.

It will feature eight acts from musicians aged from 16 to 60: Ellie Jamison; Ben Sayer; Pluck ‘n’ Squeeze, Peter Twitchett; Two Coats Colder; Paddy Butcher; The Plimpies and Tilly Dalglish.

Organiser David Scotford said it will feature ‘some of the best local folk music, in the beautiful setting of our medieval village church’.

Tickets cost £5 for adults or £3 for children and are available on the door or in advance from Woolpit Post Office.