Heather Large meets a man determined to continue raising funds for a cancer charity, through music, in memory of his mum.
When Mark Fielden’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, he wanted to help the charity supporting her through her treatment.
He decided to organise a musical fundraiser called Chords Crush Cancer and it proved so successful that it has become an annual event.
Since it began in 2016, the charity extravaganza, which this year takes place on February 4, has generated more than £14,000 for charity Lingen Davies Cancer Fund.
Sadly, Mark’s mother, Margaret, died after the second event but the family vowed to carry on raising money in her memory.
“Mum was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. She was treated at Lingen Davies Cancer Centre. The treatment they gave her and the support they gave the family was fantastic. I felt I wanted to give something back to them.
“My friends are musicians so it seemed a logical thing to hold a music event. The idea for the name came from me wanting to have cancer in the name and we came up with the idea of musical chords crushing cancer.
“The first event in 2016 raised £1,100 and that’s when it was decided to make it annual event.
“People said it was a great night and we should do it again. Mum was at the first and second events and took on the role of folding the raffle tickets.
“She passed away in March 2017 and I discussed what to do about the event with my sisters Helen and Sally and dad Tony. It was unanimous that we should carry on and raise money in mum’s memory,” explains Mark, who lives in Shrewsbury.
“I think she would have been very proud. She wouldn’t have liked the focus to be on her, she would have wanted it to be about raising money for the charity,” he adds.
Almost all of the events have taken place at the Inn On The Green in Radbrook, Shrewsbury, and the pub will be the venue for this year’s fundraiser on World Cancer Day.
The evening will include live music, magic, caricatures, raffle and a charity auction with some fantastic lots including a signed Wayne Rooney Manchester United shirt and Clive Tyldesley’s commentary notes from the 2008 Champions League Final.
More than 50 prizes will be up for grabs at the event including music tickets for Bastille at Ludlow Castle, Shed Seven, Suede and Heal Festival, which takes place at West Mid Showground later this year.
There will also be tickets to see acts including Geordie comic Carl Hutchison, Britain’s Got Talent 2022 winner Axel Blake and Babatunde Aleshe, who recently appeared on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here.
Shrewsbury Town Football Club has also donated a special prize giving people the chance to watch a match from the ‘best seats in the house’.
As well as two tickets, they will receive a meal for two in the Sovereign Lounge and a signed shirt.
“The club has been very kind. They also featured the event in their match day programme.
“Mum was a massive Shrewsbury Town fan and that’s how I got into watching them as well,” says Mark, who is supported by his fiancée Carly Edwards.
Other prices include two Sunday lunches at Cromwells Tap House, a voucher for LevelUp Escapes Shrewsbury, an alpaca trekking experience and a guided tour of Shrewsbury Prison.
“Over the years we have gained tremendous support from a whole host of famous names and companies – Chris Ramsey, Carl Hutchison, Joel Dommett, Russell Kane, Bryan Adams, Sir Tom Jones, The Ememy, Bastille, Shed Seven, artist Terry Kneeshaw, Eve Jones, Phil Taylor, Gazza, Manchester United, Ooni Pizza Ovens, Cazoo and Camp Bestival to name just a few,” explains Mark.
Headlining the music part of the evening will be Bridgnorth duo Cooper & Davies and also taking to the stage will be Shrewsbury-based acoustic musician Andy Mills and a band from Bridgnorth called The Beautiful Ways.
They will be joined by Magic Martin, a close-up magician from Wem, and caricature artist Clive Pritchard, from Newtown.
Mark is also working closely with Planet Doughnut to create some special doughnuts with the Chords Crush Cancer logo on for the night.

He is hoping the event will be even more successful than last year’s fundraiser, which generated £3,356, bringing the total raised to £14,275.
“The aim is to get to £20,000 if we can. My sisters and dad will be there along with Carly’s mum and dad, Dot and Bob.
“I want to say thank you to Carly, our families and friends, and everyone who has supported us over the years.
“When I see the room full of people listening to the music, looking at the magic and having a caricature drawn, I have to take a moment to think about what we’ve done, given people a good night and raised money for charity at the same time. It makes all the hard work and graft even more worthwhile,” says Mark.
Lingen Davies aims to make a positive difference to lives affected by cancer in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales.
While the charity can’t eradicate cancer, it says it can make life easier for those who are going through it, or watching loved ones go through it.
Chords Crush Cancer was recognised for its fundraising at the annual Lingen Davies awards evening in 2020 when it was awarded the prestigious Errol Williams award. It has also been highly commended for two further awards.
Head of fundraising Helen Knight,  says it it is thanks to the hard work and dedication of supporters like Mark that the charity is able to continue supporting and enhancing local cancer services.
“As a charity we rely on the local community to support our vital cancer awareness raising work, and ensuring we can support the best possible cancer services at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and rehabilitation in the wider community.
“People throughout Shropshire and Mid Wales will benefit from our work and the efforts of Mark and the brilliant Chords Crush Cancer event. To have already raised more than £14,000 in memory of his mum Margaret is phenomenal.
“A tremendous thank you to Mark, Carly, and everyone who has supported their fundraising so far.

“February 4 promises to be a fabulous evening.”

Chords Crush Cancer starts at 7pm and entry is free. For more information, see



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