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Norwich band's missing banjo found in back of taxi

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:34 02 July 2010

The He Hews.

The He Hews.

Peter Walsh

Members of a Norwich street busking band, who were left devastated after a beloved banjo went missing, have today thanked the Evening News after the instrument was returned - by a city taxi driver.

Members of a Norwich street busking band, who were left devastated after a beloved banjo went missing, have today thanked the Evening News after the instrument was returned - by a city taxi driver.

The He Hews contacted the paper after they lost the instrument somewhere outside a fast food takeaway and neighbouring taxi office on Cattle Market Street following a gig at the Steam Packet pub last month.

The band, who can be seen regularly entertaining crowds outside Jarrold in the city, made an urgent plea for the return of the banjo, which is inscribed with the words He Hews.

And following the appeal, the instrument, contained in a soft black case which also contained a bottle of wine and belonged to band leader Chris Dickerson, has been returned to a grateful and delighted band.

John Clarke, who plays drums for the He Hews, said: “We got it back! A driver from Loyal Taxis saw it and dropped it off. It was sitting in the car; he wondered whose it was, saw the article, and then dropped it off.

“We were right chuffed because if it hadn't gone in the paper we wouldn't have got it back. We really appreciate the paper's help.”

Mr Clarke said the banjo was the topic on everyone's lips when the band, complete with the newly returned instrument, played a set in London Street on Saturday.

He said: “There were lots of people outside Jarrold on Saturday who said 'You got it back then'. Chris must've just left it in the back of the taxi and the driver dropped it off on Friday.

“We're going to send some CDs to Loyal Taxis and will do a free gig for them if they want. We were so chuffed to get it back.”

Mr Dickerson was devastated to lose his “faithful friend”, which had accompanied him all over the world in the past few years, but said he was delighted to have the banjo back.

He said: “I didn't think I would see it again - I was on Ebay and had already bid on three banjos. We've got a gig at Bedfords coming up on April 23 so was glad to get it back for then. I'm very pleased. He was a very nice man who dropped it off and I was very grateful.”

Ian Harvey, director of Loyal Taxis, based in Cattle Market Street, Norwich, said: “I'm pleased they've got it back. If we have anything left in a car and can identify who the people are and where they are, we will return it.”

Have you got a lost and found story with a happy ending? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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