The legendary John Peel has been sorely missed and fondly remembered this Christmas as supporters and admirers generously contribute to the upgrading of the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts. The ambitious tribute to the man who would host a show on BBC 1 Radio for over 40 years has been a worthy legacy. Located in the heart of Suffolk, the John Peel Centre has been through numerous upgrades and renovations throughout the years since its opening and the facilities are ready to grow once more. Soon to be equipped with a mezzanine, post guards, full functioning parking garage and upgraded space, the centre can carry on the traditional free-thinking and eclectic tastes of the music John Peel would showcase.
The ambition is to raise £25 000 by Christmas and although in most cases this would be difficult given the time, it’s a testament to the significance the centre apparently has on the surround community – people are giving freely and generously. From cash donations to contributing practical needs such as racking and shelving, art supplies and audio equipment, the community has made their opinion clear. The John Peel sessions were highly anticipated and featured many of the classic bands that are legendary today. It was in no small part that John Peel music was respected by listeners and his ability to critically dissect what people wanted from their idols. According to Wikipedia, John Peel set the stage for smaller British acts such as ‘Adam and the Ants,’ ‘Echo and the Bunnymen,’ ‘Joy Division’ and ‘The Smiths’ to name but a few. What would British Radio be without John Peel, probably less diverse to say as much, but then that’s probably a good enough reason it was essential for a man such as John Peel to exist.
John Peel’s widow, Shiela Ravenscroft is the patron of the new centre so it is without a doubt his legacy is in good hands and the hands of hundreds of young impressible minds that train and leave the centre full accomplished artists. Many influential radio figures sing John Peel’s song of praise for being a man who contributed so much to British airwaves in his decades of service. Somehow I believe the centre will without a doubt reach their goal before Christmas and give back so much more in dividends to the community. The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts is most definitely going to have a very merry Christmas and many New Years.