WHAT an evening we had at the York Barbican. I went along with my friends from school days. It was such an accolade to John Barry Prendergast.

My grandad and I used to go to Rialto Cinema twice a week. My father used to meet Jack, John’s father, in the Edinburgh Arms during breaks in the evening of the cinema.

One Sunday, I used to go to the Rialto to see shows. Early in 1956, Mr Prendergast asked if we would listen to his son and his band, called the John Barry 7. We listened, and then folks were throwing pennies to get them off. York folks were like that then. But to be a fan and see him blossom into such an icon has been so wonderful.

The performances were fabulous, the artists, York Railway Institute Band were wonderful singers, like Johnny De Little, York Guildhall Orchestra, Prima Vocal Ensemble and Millegro. Everyone was on their feet applauding such talent.

The only one thing that spoilt it was very chilly air. Perhaps the air-con was not working.

Mrs Barbara Pettitt, Rosemary Place, Navigation Road, York.

• I HAD the pleasure of not only attending the York Celebrates John Barry event on Sunday evening, but also representing one of the charities that benefited. I’m sure every one of the 1,400 people who attended was proud and honoured to have been at such an event to salute one of York’s greatest sons, organised by York people, performed mainly by York people and benefiting two York charities. On behalf of all the staff, trustees, clients and volunteers of York Mind, I would like to thank everyone who performed and helped out selling programmes, and to all those who bought tickets, filling the venue to capacity. Most of all though, thank you to the volunteers who spent months planning, preparing and organising the event – especially Graham Bradbury, the unsung hero of the night, having given hundreds of hours of his own time to make sure we had a concert to remember.

The two Lord Mayor’s charities, York Mind and York Against Cancer, will be sharing a donation of at least £10,000.

Anyone connected with the City of York, or John Barry and his music should be feeling very proud.

Ian Savage, Fundraising manager York Mind, Highcliffe Court.