Saturday, 7 December 2013


What began as a one-off rock concert and charity event in Shildon Civic Hall, County Durham, is now in its third year.

Ronington, an annual nine-hour rock concert, is organised by musician Russ Tippins in memory of his friend Ronnie Patchett, from Ferryhill.

It raises money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and has proved so popular that Russ and Shildon Civic Hall manager, Paul Watson, are putting the event on again in February.

Russ says: “We first put on Ronington to mark the first anniversary of losing Ronnie to cancer.  It was a great celebration of him and the music he loved.  It was such a success that we’re now organising our third.

“Ronnie loved live music and I can’t think of a better way to remember him than through a concert. 

“We’ve already raised almost £8,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and that’s something everyone involved is very proud of.”

Not for the fainthearted, the marathon rock gig features 10 bands, beginning at 3pm and ending at midnight.  Once again, it is a mix of popular up and coming acts and well known names on the regional rock circuit and playing a raucous mix of original material and cover versions.

This year, the bands are Bon Jovi Forever, The Karma Heart, The Last Fakers, Damaged Inc (tribute to Metallica), The Russ Tippins Electric Band, The Dirty South, Blackjack, American Girl, Tin Pan Alley and The Flying V’s.

Ronnie Patchett, from Ferryhill, worked for the Coal Board for many years and died from bowel cancer aged just 54.  He was diagnosed in November 2009 and was given the opportunity to trial a new drug at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.

As well as being a great fan of live music Ronnie also enjoyed spending time outdoors and was very active in his local community, becoming a school governor as well as a Councillor for Ferryhill and later for the Borough of Sedgefield.

Ronnie’s wife of 34 years, Sue, and children Amy and Marc will all be attending Ronington III and it is always a special night for the family.

Sue says: “This concert is such a nice thing to be involved in and I know Ronnie would be blown away by the idea.  It’s been really successful over the last two years and we’ve had so many people asking us if we’re going to be doing it again.

“Russ puts in so much time to pull things together.  We try to support him as best we can but really it’s his hard work that makes the event what it is.  We’re looking forward to it.”

Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in 2008 to help find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer – including the clinical trials of new drugs.

This year, thanks to tremendous ongoing support, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has been able to fund an Imaging Flow Cytometer for £438,000, which allows scientists to see cancer cells that may be circulating in a patient’s blood. 

It has also part-funded the complementary therapy programme, which provides relief from the symptoms of cancer and its treatment for patients at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care and jointly funded a cancer patient ambulance.

Early next year, thanks to the Foundation’s largest funding contribution to date, £850,000, the latest generation in stereotactic radiotherapy surgery will become available to cancer patients from across the North East and Cumbria.  It will be used to treat tumours which are currently inoperable and delivers extremely high doses of radiation with pin-point accuracy.

Ronington III is on Saturday 22nd February at Shildon Civic Hall.  Tickets cost £10 and are available now from the venue, and online at

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