Bridport digs deep for food bank with ‘We Shall Overcome’

Local musician John D Revelator and friends playing in the Ropemakers pub as part of the ‘We Shall Overcome’ event

THE people of Bridport have shown their support for all those in their community by raising hundreds of pounds for a local food bank at the recent ‘We Shall Overcome’ events.

This year two events were held, a talk on the recent history of protest music and a day of music at the Ropemakers pub on Saturday, October 8th – which raised money and donations of food and supplies for the Cupboard Love food bank.

They were part of a national series of events called ‘We Shall Overcome’, which involved more than 260 separate gigs and activities across the country to raise money for those in need within their communities.

Music filled the West Street pub from 3pm and featured many local performers, including Garry ‘Slide Man’ Smith, John D Revelator with Ashley Reed, Those Voices Poor, Nature Cage, Abi Rich, The Seed Bombers, Behind Closed Doors, Ruthy Ni Conallian, Jamie MacDonald and Black Water County.

Earlier in the week, an audience at WI Hall were treated to a fascinating talk – ‘Revolution Per Minute’ – from journalist, musician and activist Neil Duncan-Jordan.

It explored protest music since the 1930s and touched on folk, blues, jazz and hip-hop in tracing the development of the genre.

The events, including a generous donation from John and Geraldine at the Ropemakers, raised a total of £769.39 for the food bank, along with more than £100 worth of food donations.

Keith Hatch, who organised the events, said: “It was a brilliant couple of days and I really can’t get over how generous people were with their donations.

“It is very sad that in the 21st century and one of the richest countries in the world, people need to rely on food banks to survive.

“However, these events were about local people supporting each other and Bridport really shone through.

“The musicians speaker, pub staff, volunteers and local businesses who supplied raffle prizes were brilliant, but most important it was the public who came to the event and gave so generously.”

Canon Andrew Evans, from St Mary’s Church in Bridport, organises Cupboard Love and said: “The We Shall Overcome fundraising events in Bridport were amazing.

“At the Ropemakers, donations of food and money rolled in from the start and did not stop. Everyone gave what they could and I am honestly amazed at the amount raised.

“All the money will be spent on Christmas hampers which will just make it a wonderful time for some people who really need a hand up.

“Bridport is a really dynamic town where people are making it very clear that they will not tolerate food poverty; they will not sit back and watch the chaos caused in people’s lives by cuts in benefits, zero hour contracts and the loss of an income caused by ill health.

“Lives unravel really quickly and because people support Cupboard Love food bank with donations of money and food, we can walk alongside individuals and families who are having an awful time.”

Bridport & Beaminster Reporter| Lottie is currently studying for an NCTJ Diploma in Journalism through a distance learning course and joined the paper in April 2014 on a freelance basis, becoming a staff reporter in January 2015. She is now the reporter for the View From Bridport and View From Beaminster papers.