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Published:  11 September, 2008

DURNESS is next month to stage a follow-up to last year's successful inaugural festival commemorating the village's links with John Lennon.

Leading Canadian singer Allison Crowe is to headline the concert on October 11 two days after what would have been the ex-Beatle's 68th birthday.

Proceeds from the event are to go towards the upkeep of the garden planted in his memory in front of the village hall.

Allison Crowe was one of the stars of last year's award-winning John Lennon Northern Lights Festival, promoted by Prince Charles's North Highland Tourism initiative.

Lennon holidayed on his cousin's croft in Durness every summer between the ages of nine and 15. He returned in 1969 with Yoko Ono and suffered the car accident which famously put them both in hospital at Golspie.

North-West Sutherland played a significant part in young Lennon's life and his hit song 'In My Life' is said to have been partly inspired by his visits there. Shortly before last year's festival, it emerged the singer had tried to buy Durness Estate shortly before his assassination in 1980. Earlier this year Yoko Ono praised villagers for their respect to Lennon's memory.

Allison Crowe (27) is breaking off her European tour and flying from Prague to perform at next month's concert. She said this week: "John Lennon was an amazing, artistic, peaceful, spirit. He made a huge impact on society. Durness made a huge impact on him and on me too, and I'm glad to return."

She said she had a ball at last year's event, which attracted over 1000 revellers from throughout the UK and abroad. "There were performers everywhere and there was such a sense of community throughout the festival. It was an experience that can't be matched."

Canadian singer Allison Crowe will headline the concert.

She added: "I'm honoured to be able to help raise money to upkeep the garden. It's an important part of the community, to be kept alive and growing along with the memory of John Lennon and the times he had in Durness."

Durness Community Council chairwoman Mary Mackay was delighted that Lennon's links with the village were again be celebrated. "I could not think of anybody more fitting to celebrate John's links with Durness than Allison. She was a knockout last year," she said.

"We are hoping it will be a great day, and it keeps John's flame alive in a place that he loved very much."

Allison Crowe has toured widely in North America and has had two one-hour television specials broadcast across Canada. She is being supported by fellow Canadian vocalist and classical guitarist Billie Woods.

Other support events in the pipeline include a photographic exhibition of the area by Shona McMillan, whose recent display in Kinlochbervie Fishermen's Mission was a huge success.

Tickets priced 10 for adults and 5 for under-16s and are available from Loch Croispol Bookshop in Durness on 01971 511777 and from Mary Mackay on 01971 511255.

 

 

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