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Birthday gig - with Alan Davies and Jimmy Carr - will raise more than chicken feed for Holloway farm

The Freightliners team Pic: Dieter Perry The Freightliners team Pic: Dieter Perry

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
2:20 PM

Comedy stars including TV’s Alan Davies and Jimmy Carr are coming to Islington to help raise cash and celebrate 40 years for an inner city farm.

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Alan Davies Pic: Anthony DevlinAlan Davies Pic: Anthony Devlin

The stellar line up takes to the stage at the Union Chapel, in Compton Terrace, on Sunday, for A Night of Comedy for Freightliners Farm, which has been organised by Mr Davies.

Established in 1973, the farm lets people from all walks of life, including children from disadvantaged families, get a chance to see pigs, cockerels, cows, rabbits, geese, goats and more – all without leaving the city.

But the urban smallholding in Sheringham Road, Holloway, relies almost entirely on grants and donations to keep running.

Liz McAllister, manager of the farm, said: “We make some money from the farm shop and we sell manure and so one, but basically we need things like this to survive.

Jimmy CarrJimmy Carr

‘Grateful’

“We are so grateful to Alan for arranging this for us.

“He lived round the corner and regularly brought his family here. When his daughter was about three I think this was her favourite place in the world.

“Alan was on tour in Australia with the family and apparently she spent the whole time asking when they were going to the farm.

“In the end they found a farm to visit and she started crying saying: ‘this isn’t my farm’.

“It’s amazing for him to help us in this way.”

This is the second comedy fundraiser for the farm following a successful event, also spearheaded by Mr Davies, in 2012.

The birthday line up this year is hosted by John Robins and features Big Train’s Kevin Eldon, Xfm’s Josh Widdicombe, Cornish casio rappers Hedluv and Passman, Katherine Ryan and more.

Ms McAllister said: “It’s such a big line-up for a small charity like us. Even the people you don’t know by name, you will see the picture and realise you know them off TV or somewhere else.”

Freightliners began life on a disused railway track near Agar Grove, just across the border in Camden, before moving to its current home in 1978.

Four decades later, it still provides opportunities for youngsters and people in a very urban borough to get a taste of country life.

“It’s funny watching people grow up,” said Ms McAllister.

“Just in the 12 years I have been here I’ve seen five-year-old’s turn into young adults.

“The farm is older than me – just.

“We want to get people’s memories and pictures of the farm over the past 40 years. If you have any please get in touch.”

Anyone with memories to share, or find out about tickets for the event, call 020 7609 0467 or tweet @freightcityfarm.

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