Hartlepool lifeboat boost in memory of singer Johnny Larkin

John Larkin (left) and Sylvia Bowron with RNLI 2nd Coxswain Gary Waugh after they presented him with a cheque for �300 in lieu of flowers in memory of the late of Johnny Larkin. Picture by FRANK REID
John Larkin (left) and Sylvia Bowron with RNLI 2nd Coxswain Gary Waugh after they presented him with a cheque for �300 in lieu of flowers in memory of the late of Johnny Larkin. Picture by FRANK REID
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A popular Hartlepool musician has helped boost a cause that was close to his heart even following his death.

Country music singer Johnny Larkin, who died in April, was a strong supporter of Hartlepool’s RNLI volunteer lifeboat service.

Johnny Larkin

Johnny Larkin

Donations for the RNLI were requested instead of flowers at Johnny’s funeral and raised £300.

The money was presented to the service at their base in Ferry Road by Johnny’s son John Larkin and his close friend Sylvia Bowron.

Sylvia, who accompanied Johnny at country music events and festivals for 10 years, said: “Johnny did a lot of fundraisng for charities including Parkinson’s Disease because his wife died five years before.

“Although he got certificates he never really knew where the money went as everything went down to London.

“He was very proud of being from Hartlepool and this is why we have chosen to give this money to the RNLI.”

In 2011, Johnny and friend Stan Laundon made a DVD for a country single called There’s A Tear In My Beer.

The song was written by US country star Hank Williams in the 1950s and sales of Stan and Johnny’s DVD raised £1,000 for Hartlepool RNLI.

Gary Waugh, second coxswain and full time mechanic for Hartlepool RNLI has fond memories of that and of working with Johnny.

He said of the donation from Johnny’s funeral: “We think it’s fantastic. We can’t operate without these donations.

“It all goes to training the boys and girls and if we didn’t get such donations there wouldn’t be a lifeboat, it’s as simple as that.”