Jukebox gift linked to star singer-songwriter

Holywell Inn Action Group members  Beverley Smith-Walsh, Eileen McAlonan and John Walsh.
Holywell Inn Action Group members Beverley Smith-Walsh, Eileen McAlonan and John Walsh.

Platinum selling singer-songwriter Al Stewart is proving a lucky charm for the Holywell Inn Action Group.

Not only did he agree to perform at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax, next month to help the community raise funds to buy and turn the Holywell Inn into a community hub - his name is now set to raise thousands more pounds for the cause.

Al Stewart

Al Stewart

Group chairman John Walsh met Al Stewart while writing for a magazine and has kept in touch as he becam a big star around the world.

Mr Walsh recently called in on an old friend, Alan Black, who runs Sound Leisure, Leeds. Al Stewart’s name cropped up and Mr Walsh was pleasantly surprised to find his friend shared the same passion for the folk-rock musician.

He returned later with two tickets for the concert and refused payment saying he would be happy to accept a small item to be raffled.

“He rang back that night saying you are having this,” said a delighted Mr Walsh referring to a Sound Leisure Melody Xi iPod Jukebox.

Internet prices are around £4,700 and now Mr Walsh is hoping another benefactor will come forward and buy the jukebox and then given it back to the group to be housed in the Holywell Inn - provided a deal can be struck to buy the premises.

“It’s a beautiful art-deco piece with bubbles. light changes and based on a copy of a Wurlitzer. I was absolutely staggered and amazed with the donation and it’s creating a lot of interest,” said Mr Walsh.

And, in another musical bonus Al Stewart suggested he sign a guitar on behalf of the cause.

Tim Stanhope, of Leeds Leisure has donated a Freshman Folk Cutaway Electro Acoustic Guitar which is being raffled locally and online and that is expected to raise thousands.