Saturday, 23 October 2021

Singer comes out of retirement (again)

VINCE HILL is coming out of retirement again after agreeing to perform at a charity event at the Fawley Hill

VINCE HILL is coming out of retirement again after agreeing to perform at a charity event at the Fawley Hill Estate.

The 79-year-old singer from Shiplake officially retired last year but said he felt compelled to return to the stage once more for a “great cause”.

He said the Chiltern Centre for disabled children in Henley was particularly close to his heart because his son’s partner’s eight-year-old daughter, who suffers from cerebral palsy, goes there.

The centre is one of 30 charities that will benefit from the steam and vintage rally that will take place on the weekend of May 18 and 19 at Sir William and Lady McAlpine’s estate.

There will be a wide variety of attractions including stationary engines, traction engines, horse-drawn ploughs, JCBs, steam cars, Ferraris, buses and boats, a Hurricane, Spitfire and a Red Arrow,

There will also be a display by the Red Devils, an auction, car boot sale, a dog show judged by TV presenter Ben Fogle and children’s craft stalls. Elvis impersonator Ben Portsmouth will also perform.

Hill will play a 45-minute set on the Saturday night including some of his biggest hits and songs from musicals.

He said: “I’m looking forward to it. I’ve officially retired but when Lady McAlpine and the Chiltern Centre asked me to play, I said, ‘why not?’ It’s such a marvellous cause.

“I think I’m going to rank alongside Frank Sinatra for having the record number of comebacks.”

Other attractions include a “quiet corner” with a vintage tea room and a view of the trains as well as a “kiddies korner” with games, face painting, storytelling, a sweet stall and Shetland ponies from the Riding for the Disabled charity.

Frieth School is bringing a bouncy castle and games and Tigglywinkles Wildlife Hospital is bringing animals including hedgehogs.

Lady McAlpine said the Greenwichand Docklands International Festival would be bringing a group of “wacky” performance artists from Spain.

“Tents are beginning to go up — excitement is mounting,” she said. “The field layout changes daily as new attractions offer themselves.”

The estate will also be open on the Friday evening with entry costing £6. Entertainment, fairground rides and a bar will be open.

A pop-up restaurant will be hosted by Jimmy Garcia from the Wild Food Kitchen in aid of the Chiltern Centre. There is one table available for £85 per person as well as tables available on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets for Saturday and Sunday are £10 per day or £16 for the weekend (concessions £8 and £14). Children under 12 enter free. For more information, call (01491) 571373, email estate@fawleyhill.com or visit www.fawleyhill.co.uk

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