Cafe tribute to musician

Launch of Phil's Coffee Shop at Blackpool Music Academy. Pictured are Julie Jackson, John Shaw and Lynda Debenham and (below) Phil Roberts, who died after a battle with cancer.
Launch of Phil's Coffee Shop at Blackpool Music Academy. Pictured are Julie Jackson, John Shaw and Lynda Debenham and (below) Phil Roberts, who died after a battle with cancer.
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A CAFE named in memory of a Blackpool musician has been officially opened.

John Shaw, founder of Blackpool Music Academy, decided it would be a fitting tribute to name the new centre’s cafe after one of their music tutors, Phil Roberts, who died, aged 49, after a battle with cancer.

Phil Roberts, who died after a battle with cancer.

Phil Roberts, who died after a battle with cancer.

The cafe, which is part of the academy’s premises on Waterloo Road, is now open for business for music students and local residents.

Mr Shaw said: “After converting an old building into a state of the art music school and conference centre, we have now opened our new premises.

“It has a 16-seat coffee shop which we have named Phil’s Coffee Shop.

“The committee decided we would name the coffee shop in his name for all the work he put into the academy and also for helping to raise funds.

“Phil Roberts was a wonderful musician and an excellent tutor, giving instruction in acoustic and electric guitar.

“He also was well known in Blackpool as he ran the band Black Pearl.

“The academy will continue his work giving 100 per cent passes in all examinations.”

An army of handy volunteers have been recruited over the past year to help set Blackpool Music Academy up in its very own sparkling new premises.

Work to renovate the centre would have cost £50,000, but local companies who gave up their services for free have helped to the tune of around £30,000.

The kitchen was also developed by a £10,000 Awards For All grant.

The school aims to make learning a musical instrument possible for people of all ages and financial situations.

It is run on a not-for-profit basis and tuition is available in guitar, banjo, drums, keyboard and a whole range of other instruments.

Mr Shaw added: “Phil had been with the academy since 2009, then he came to me in 2011 to give me the bad news he had cancer.

“But he felt very positive he could get well and he carried on working while having his treatment.

“He still gave the school 110 per cent.

“He hung on until he got the results of the exams he had put forward and died knowing he had got a 100 per cent passes in all the exams he had put in for.

“Music was always to be first in his life and Phil will be remembered for the pleasure he brought to many people.”

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