Chris, 16, of Collier Row nets �591 for charity with tribute concert to grandfather

A young multi-instrumentalist from Collier Row said goodbye to his grandfather with a special concert – and raised �591 for charity.

Sixteen-year-old Chris Hatwell, of Owen Close, performed a 90-minute set at Holy Trinity Church, Barkingside, in aid of Brain Tumour UK and the Lymphoma Association earlier this month. Chris’s grandfather James William Hatwell died in June after battling a brain tumour.

Chris is no stranger to public performance – the Havering Sixth Form College A-level student holds prestigious scholarships and awards from Awards for Young Musicians and the EMI Music School.

But this concert was unique because Chris played seven of his own pieces, including a number written specially for his grandfather.

“It was quite difficult but I’m good at keeping my emotions in check,” said Chris. “Three of my piano ones were quite emotional, sad ones - but on my guitar, the rumba I wrote was more uplifting.”


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James Hatwell, who also lived in Collier Row, was 73 when he died – and Chris says the former drummer and guitarist “really loved his music”.

In the event programme, Chris wrote: “He wasn’t just my granddad – he was my best friend too.

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“This event is just a small way of saying thank you for being in our lives and making our time so special and unique.”

Chris’s mum Jane added: “His granddad would have been so very proud of him on this night especially. Chris’s performance and public speaking was quite professional considering the circumstances.”

Donations from the event bring the total raised for charity by Chris’s family to more than �1,600. You can donate by visiting www.justgiving.com/James-Hatwell.

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