Norwich man to play banjo in Westminster Abbey

Mike King who is to play the banjo at Westminster Abbey in the memorial service for Sir Ernest Shack

Mike King who is to play the banjo at Westminster Abbey in the memorial service for Sir Ernest Shackleton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A banjo player is taking his musical talent to Westminster Abbey.

Today, Mike King, 70, from Norwich, who is patron of the Hostry Festival and a member of Friends of Norwich Bloom, will be playing his banjo during a memorial services for Sir Ernest Shackleton, the explorer.

He said: 'Being asked came as a big surprise and it is a great honour.'

'I can't imagine many banjos have been played in Westminster Abbey, but Hon Alexandra Shackleton, Sir Ernest Shackleton's granddaughter, who thought it would be nice.'

When the Shackleton Company opened in Norwich, Mr King did a demonstration - marking the beginning of the relationship.


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The banjo is an important part of the explorer's history.

When he famously left Elephant Island to look for a means of rescue, he left a crew member with a banjo, saying it was 'vital mental medicine'.

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