Saturday April 6th 2013 saw the first Big Busk – Happy Days in Shrewsbury take place in the town’s beautiful medieval centre. A celebration of community, music and talent in glorious sunshine. This remarkable event saw over 40 musical acts, made up of over 200 people, who filled the town with a carnival atmosphere. Performances covered a whole range of musical genres from opera and classical to contemporary and folk. There were also dance flashmobs and a collective performance of Imagine by John Lennon which took place on Pride Hill in which approximately 100 singers and musicians took part.

The original event was organised as a tribute to Ben Bebbington by his family and friends. Ben was tragically killed in September 2012 and April 6th 2013 would have been his 44th birthday. It also raises awareness and funds for The Shrewsbury Ark, a charity that had supported Ben in recent years and meant a huge amount to him.

The Shrewsbury Ark provides support for people who are homeless or vulnerable. Together, we hope to help meet the challenge of ensuring that some of the most marginalised members of our community are not forgotten. This can seem overwhelming at times, but with your support we believe we can continue to give value to everyone, and help those who are striving to make positive changes in their lives.

Although Ben will not be with us in person, his memory will remain through the music, and the spirit of the event.

Happy days.


"We will remember Ben fondly for everything he brought to those around him, and will miss his gentle and friendly presence in the Ark.Ben was a regular visitor, coming it at least weekly to spend time with his friends, and it was truly a privilege to be counted among these. When Ben was with us he shared his love of life, and in particular his passion for music, poetry and art.

Known as a busker within the town, Ben would often come in with his guitar, and some great afternoons were had when he would favour us with an impromptu ‘jam’. At other times, Ben would simply sit quietly in the yard, with his portable radio, his newspaper and a selction of notebooks and scraps of paper in which he collected his thoughts for use as future poems or song lyrics.

Ben will be missed by all how knew him, and as important as he thought the Ark was to him, equally Ben was important to all of us."

Tim Compton, Manager, The Shrewsbury Ark


After you left, I left too.

Wherever I move onto I’ll always return again,
like the silver coin found in a well.
It’s time to cast those seeds into a different breeze,
watch a different rippling tide,
off to build fires on the occasional banks
and under an angry fire lit night sparks,
through to the dripping honey-melting sunrise.

Maybe even free swans from night lines on the way,
then watch the flock above make stars blink when passing obscure.
Because you can drift away from echoes
until they’re inaudible, they say,
and you can get out of most things somehow; it’s said 
that even trapped birds fly in dreams.

Then someday, one summer’s evening, I’ll be staggering back, 
to sleep awhile and dream awhile of harvest fields in orange sepia 
and you of course in Technicolour,
because I can always see you in my dreams.

Benson Bebbington