John Maughan, aka The Boscastle Busker, has sung in and around Boscastle for over forty years. With his mellow baritone voice and a huge repertoire of songs, he is the catalyst that galvanises a roomful of people to sing for sheer pleasure.
Harmonies rise and fall in a great organ of song. It is a magical experience! It is also inspiring to hear him busking for Cornwall Hospice Care, unamplified and unaccompanied in the beautiful setting of Boscastle harbour. He realised that many people no longer carry money and so the Hospice have set up this QR code so that you can donate on line, using your phone and your donation goes straight to the hospice.
The busking began in honour of a promise made to a friend, and so far he has raised £21,715 for the hospice in memory of Morgy and the good times we all had with our band, The Damnbuskers! Alastair Wreford wrote an article for The Cornish Guardian on John’s early fund-raising, with the caption “The Boscastle Busker” and the name stuck.
This has opened many doors even leading to an invitation to sing to Palestinian refugees in the camps of The Gaza Strip in 2003, and, accompanied by harmonies from Cheryl, their singing has been appreciated from Glasgow to the most remote villages of Gambia, and many places in between!
For over twenty years he and Cheryl were the driving force behind Wednesday’s singers’ night at The Wellie in Boscastle, a session that welcomed singers and listeners. Unfortunately the singing did not fit in with the business plan of St Austell Brewery when they recently bought the Wellington Hotel and thus ended decades of traditional local singing and music. The BBC made a recording of the Biddick family playing "Boscastle Breakdown" in The Wellington in 1945!
He has recorded two CDs with a variety of accompanied and unaccompanied voice and instruments, Ben Maughan (accordion), Mike Silver (guitar), Martin Frith (fiddle) and Cheryl and Julie (vocals).