Stardust set for Maybole in charity gig

Organisers Susan Wilson (left) and Sandra Davidson (right) want to raise �30,000 for the National Autistic Society with their Rewind to the 70s project.
Organisers Susan Wilson (left) and Sandra Davidson (right) want to raise �30,000 for the National Autistic Society with their Rewind to the 70s project.

CARRICK is set for a seventies flashback in aid of autism as the decade’s stars are scheduled for Maybole Town Hall.

Rocker Alvin Stardust - who had hits with My Coo-Ca-Choo, Jealous Mind, and Good Love Can Never Die - will be lighting up the venue in March, alongside 50s-style pop fivesome The Rubettes, for a one off concert in aid of the National Autistic Society.

The gig will be one in a series of seventies-inspired events taking place across Scotland over the next year, culminating in a show at the 1000+ capacity Assembly Hall in Edinburgh in October 2013.

And Maybole’s inclusion on the exclusive agenda is all down to one Girvan lady.

Sandra Davidson, 55, had been coming to Girvan for more than 20 years before she moved to the town six years ago, and is determined to rock the social scene in aid of a cause close to heart.

Together with friend Susan Wilson, from Bannockburn, Sandra wants to raise at least £30,000 for the National Autistic Society (NAS) - a nod to her 14-year-old nephew and Susan’s 17-year old son, both of whom were diagnosed with autism at an early age.

Deciding to do something different to raise awareness of the illness, the two set upon their concert quest after seeing some of the bands perform live earlier this year.

And while Maybole has hosted a few legends - including queen of rock’n’roll Linda Gail Lewis and band The Peas in August - Sandra doesn’t think the town has ever seen the likes of the seventies showdown heading its way.

“People will see a fantastic show and have a great night,“ she said. “When you go to weddings and things people always go back to the 70s music, and it’s a big star coming to the town.

“As soon as I saw the hall I thought, ‘This is absolutely ideal. Alvin Stardust will be fantastic in here‘,” she said of the 260-person capacity venue on Maybole’s High Street.

But while the show promises to be “a lot of fun”, the real motivation for Sandra and Susan’s relentless efforts to bring Rewind to the 70s together is charity.

A former sales and marketing director, Sandra has been dedicating time every day to the organisation of their fundraising events since April, And neither her nor Susan are taking any remuneration. But she says the effort is worth it.

“You have the big charities, but sometimes it takes smaller people to make people aware that the illness exists on their doorstep,” she said. “I hope this will build up an interest.

“At the end of the day it is all about the children and autistic adults. And I have loved doing it.”

Robert Moffat, national director of the NAS, said he was thrilled with the ladies’ imaginative fundraising plans.

“It is nothing short of fantastic and it’s brilliant to see the biggest stars from the era of glam and glitter giving their support to a very important cause,” he said.

“The money raised by Rewind to the 70s will help fund our vital support services for people with autism and their families and make a real, positive difference to the lives of people with the condition in Scotland.”

Prior to Alvin Stardust’s appearance in Maybole on March 29, where he will also meet and greet, the Town Hall will host a 70s-themed charity night featuring live band Highway on December 1. Tickets are available from Maybole Town Hall, and are priced at £10. Tickets for the March gig will go on sale on November 30.

To find out more about Rewind to the 70s visit www.rewindtothe70s.co.uk, or to access information about NAS go to www.autism.org.uk.