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In Pictures: Maldon mayor unveils memorial for ‘hugely influential’ musician David Hughes

Updated: Jun 28

By Ben Shahrabi


Friends, family and fans gathered to celebrate the late author and musician David Hughes.
Friends, family and fans gathered to celebrate the late author and musician David Hughes. (Credit: Ben Shahrabi)
A “pillar of the community” has been honoured with a memorial in the centre of Maldon, unveiled by the mayor as crowds gathered to pay tribute.  

David Hughes, a musician and author who based much of his work on the Maldon District, was remembered in a ceremony outside Plume Library on Thursday afternoon.


After he died in April last year aged 72, his fellow musicians began to raise funds for a bench in his memory.


Celebrated folk musicians Julie Matthews and Chris While are members of St Agnes Fountain, a festive band David founded in 2001. While on tour, they encouraged fans to donate.

Old friends - Julie Matthews and Chris While
Old friends - Julie Matthews and Chris While raised funds to have the bench engraved in David's memory. (Credit: Ben Shahrabi)

Julie thanked everybody who helped get the bench installed in the churchyard on Market Hill.


She said: “People all over the country wanted to play a part in remembering David.


“This is for everybody who wants to sit and reflect. David is always in our hearts.”


The Mayor of Maldon, Councillor Andrew Lay, cut the ribbon to officially unveil the bench.


He said: “You get to do a lot of things as mayor, but I’m really honoured to be invited to celebrate this great man.


“He was an intrinsic part of Maldon.”


A family affair - David's children, Ruby and Taylor Hughes, were joined by David's brother, Ian Hughes, his daughter Lilli and his grandson.
A family affair - David's children, Ruby and Taylor Hughes, were joined by David's brother, Ian Hughes, his daughter Lilli and his grandson. (Credit: Ben Shahrabi)

David’s brother, stained glass artist Ian Hughes, thanked friends, family and fans who turned out for the unveiling.


He said: “I’m so proud, and my brother would have been so proud. This is brilliant.”


Taylor, David’s son, reflected on his father’s dry sense of humour, which was at the heart of much of his music.


Crowd of people
'An honour' - Maldon Mayor Andrew Lay cut the ribbon to officially unveil the bench. (Credit: Ben Shahrabi)

He joked: “Dad would be absolutely thrilled at whoever it is who gets the first splinter from sitting on this bench.


“Thank you very much for making this happen. We’re all really pleased and touched.


“Whoever gets the first splinter, let us know.”

Four people
David, pictured left of Julie Matthews and Chris While, died last year. (Credit: St Agnes Fountain)

Childhood friend John Shirbon remembered David and his late father, Gerry Hughes, who was formerly Mayor of Maldon.


He said: “They were real both pillars of the community.


“I was staggered when reminded of David’s astonishing body of work after he died. He was hugely influential and very underrated.”

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