Shropshire Star

It's a mystery solved: Singer Toyah's swing-ing time in Shropshire

It's a mystery – why was Toyah Willcox sitting on a swing in Shropshire?


The diminutive pop star from the 1980s, still packing out concert venues today, sprang a very special surprise for guests at a wedding in the county by performing for the bride and groom.

Toyah on her swing

But no-one was more surprised than Toyah herself when she came across the swing in a hotel bedroom.

She was so taken aback she tweeted a photo of the red padded swing to her 8,000 followers on Twitter.

She sent fans a cryptic message asking them to guess where she was.

Toyah had travelled to the region from Cardiff where she had performed to thousands of fans on Saturday night.

And despite a lifetime in the music industry, the "pocket rocket" admitted to being surprised herself when she walked into her hotel room – to find a swing hanging from the ceiling.

"It was two firsts for me," Toyah said. "It was the first time that I had sung at a wedding, and certainly the first time I have had a swing in my bedroom."

So amazed was she that she even took a photo of her room to post to her 8,500 plus followers on Twitter saying: "Getting ready to surprise a bride and groom at their wedding dinner with a show. My hotel room has a swing in it!!!!!! Very 50 Shades."

Toyah, who who shot to fame for her appearance in Quadrophenia and had a string of hits in the 1980s, made the special appearance at the wedding of Joanne and Scott Shephard at the Hundred House Hotel at Norton, near Telford.

She travelled from Cardiff where she had been appearing on Saturday night for the wedding on Sunday, a surprise sprung by Scott, who works in the music industry.

Later she tweeted us at the Shropshire Star:

The singer, who will perform at Telford's Oakengates Theatre on June 12, said: "I was asked if I would perform at Joanne and Scott's wedding because she has been a fan since she saw me in Birmingham when she was 11 and loved my first two albums," said Toyah.

"I told them I had been married 29 years and would thoroughly recommend it and I did a 45-minute set. I chose Patti Smith's Because the Night as it seemed perfect for a wedding and did some of my hits including It's a Mystery and Echo Beach."

A surprise for guests as Toyah sings at the wedding of Joanne and Scott Shephard held at the Hundred House Hotel

Another famous name performing for the guests was Dennis Seaton, former front man for Musical Youth. His appearance was a present for the couple from Scott's friend, R&B singer Mark Morrison.

The new Mrs Shephard, a teacher from Oakengates, said:"It felt a bit surreal to have such a favourite artist of mine sing at the wedding. Dennis was great as well and a wonderful wedding present."

Stuart Philips, head chef and managing partner at the hotel, said: "The staff were just as starstruck as the guests I think."

He said the swingswere the idea of his late mother, Sylvia Philips, who when first married lived in a tiny cottage. She had the idea of attaching a swing to the bedroom ceiling so she could sit at her dressing table.

The Hundred House where guests were in for a surprise
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