A Peterborough band who have hit all the right notes for charity for more than three decades have been given a top award from the Queen shortly after losing a founder member.
The Hometown Rock and Roll Band have played hundreds of gigs for Peterborough good causes over thirty years, raising more than £300,000 for charity,
Now the band have been given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The band discovered they were being given the award just days after guitarist and singer Stuart Smith died after a battle with cancer.
Geoff Lovell, fellow guitarist and singer, said: “Stuart was a founder member of the band. He was a good guitarist and a good singer, and he was a really nice guy.
“When we found out we had been nominated for the award we had a meeting with representatives from the organisers, and Stuart said he would have loved to have met the Queen.”
Drummer Graham Seal added: “I knew Stuart for over 40 years, and his death has hit us all hard. He would have been proud we have been given this award.”
The band – made up of Geoff, Graham, Stuart, bass player Jack Thomas, singer Peter Glover and singer David Cupit – have not played any gigs for a few years, but regularly organised and played nine shows across Peterborough in the past, with all money raised going to local causes.
They have raised cash for charities including the East Anglian Air Ambulance, Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall and hospitals in Peterborough.
Graham said: “The band was originally formed by Mick Lemmon, and we raised money for cancer support, because he had cancer.
“We have been putting on shows ever since, and have always raised money for Peterborough charities, rather than national ones.
“It is something that we have enjoyed doing over the years, and people have enjoyed coming to see us, and we have made some money for charity as well.”
Graham and Geoff attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace earlier this year, where they met the Queen and other winners of the award.
The band will receive their award from the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire later this year.