Memorial plaque for Accordion Man approved by council

The Accordion Man is an iconic face throughout St Albans

The Accordion Man is an iconic face throughout St Albans

Jonny Back © 2011

A memorial plaque which fans of an market day busker petitioned for has been given the go ahead by the council.

John ‘Paddy’ Delaney played the accordion at St Albans market for more than 30 years and passed away earlier this year.

His death sparked a sea of tributes online and resulted in a petition for a permanent tribute to be placed in his former busking spot on Upper Dagnall Street, St Albans.

The petition received more than 1000 signatures and was presented at a full council meeting last Thursday (9) by Melanie Wall, who recently organised a busking day in Paddy’s honour.

The council was unanimous in its decision to allow the memorial, opting for a plaque to be put in Upper Dagnall Street to mark permanent performing spot for buskers. Melanie said: “I love this idea. It would be a ‘living’ memorial that encourages music to be played by the young, old, established musicians and those just starting out- something that Paddy encouraged.”

Councillors Roma Mills, Chris White and Beric Reed all spoke in support of the memorial before the full council voted to grant permission.

Cllr White said: “I think in an era like today towns like St Albans are in danger of being clone towns with the same sets of nationals [shops] up and down. It was therefore nice to have someone like Paddy who made St Albans different.”

The busking day raised £1600 for the plaque, with more donations on their way.

Melanie added: “The memories that were recounted as people were putting money into the tins were heartwarming, and sadly the shock on some people’s faces who only learnt of his passing because of the event was also testament to the love and respect this town had/has for Paddy.”

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