A TIRELESS charity fundraiser is having his 75th birthday marked by a special orchestra performance today.

Young musicians from the Coda Fiddle Orchestra were set to play their hearts out for president Maurice Patterson MBE at the event at Bournemouth Library.

Maurice, a retired Royal Air Force Wing Commander, who lives in Highcliffe has helped raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for a host of causes.

The Coda Fiddle is a participatory community music project based in Boscombe and works with children, young people and families across the borough.

It’s the only project of its kind in the UK and is almost entirely dependant on private donations.

The orchestra is led by Jack Maguire, a former co-leader of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Musician in Residence at the Arts by the Sea Festival.

One supporter of the orchestra said: “Without Maurice’s relentless fundraising there would probably be no CFO.”

Maurice, who flew the legendary Vulcan aircraft in his military career, is also a trustee of the John Thornton Young Achievers’ Foundation and a key figure in Bournemouth Rotary.

JTYAF was set up after the death of Lt John Thornton in Afghanistan in 2008.

John’s mum, Linda, said: “Maurice has been an absolute star and a wonderful man. He works tirelessly and has provided us with huge support over the past six years for which we are extremely grateful.”

The concert will feature young musicians from four to 18 performing Vivaldi concertos including the Four Seasons.

‘An amazing aircraft’

MAURICE Patterson has a particularly keen interest in the Bournemouth Air Festival each year – because he flew one of its star attractions.

He piloted the famous Vulcan aircraft, whose return is a keenly anticipated highlight of the festival every year.

He flew the iconic Cold War aircraft as a flight lieutenant and squadron leader in the 1960s and 1970s, with 9 Squadron and later 44 Squadron at RAF Cottesmore, Waddington and Cyprus.

He told the Daily Echo in 2012: “She is an amazing aircraft, but very complex and sophisticated.

“She takes a lot of looking after and that means a lot of money.”

Mr Patterson left the RAF as a wing commander.