Tributes have been paid to a legendary powerhouse of Bridport’s music scene.

Paul Hindes passed away in December, aged 79.  

Paul was a great friend to many and there has been a huge outpouring of grief and love since his passing. 

Instrumental in setting up Number 10, tributes have flooded in praising Paul for the kindness and support he gave to aspiring musicians. He has been credited with giving many young acts their first gigs at the bar.

His partner of almost 50 years, Sheila Meaney, says the response from local musicians in particular has been ‘overwhelming’ and a great comfort at such a sad time.

“It’s been lovely hearing the impact Paul made on the music scene,” said Sheila. “He loved music, he was incredibly social and loved to chat to people. I knew Paul loved his music and went off to Number 10 every night but now I’m hearing about the huge significance of it all. There was quite a lot going on down there! Paul was instrumental in giving people a chance and it’s lovely to hear the magnitude of what he did.”

Paul was originally from Essex and what Sheila describes as a ‘city slicker’, with a high-powered job in the City in the commodity market. The pair met at a party in London, where Sheila also worked as a teacher, and moved to Bridport together in 1987.

An economist by trade, Paul's big passion was music. He helped to set up Number 10 and eventually ran the place himself with a big focus on live music.

“Paul absolutely loved his music was a very sociable man,” said Sheila. “He was also an incredibly good cook and then found himself at Number 10, cooking, meeting new people and music every night. It was small beginnings but he was immensely happy there.

“The music was an eclectic mix and covered all genres so there was something for everyone,” Sheila said. “But the greatest thing was giving people a chance and there would be a lot of open mic nights with Paul encouraging people to have a go. It grew from there really. It went on to become very popular and it’d be packed with people watching live music.”

Paul was diagnosed with terminal cancer back in May. It was the ‘cruellest kind’, said Sheila, as it affected his voice.

“For someone so sociable who loves to talk, cancer of the oesophagus is incredibly cruel”, she said. “It was difficult for him, but he kept on talking.”

Paul’s funeral takes place today, Thursday, in Weymouth. He leaves behind daughter Lykke and son Sean.

His favourite song, Blackbird by Paul McCartney, will be performed by local artist Elijah Wolf. Elijah said: "Paul was like a second father figure to me - the first person to give me a paid gig and a constantly loyal and supportive friend.

"He was always there to lift spirits and give kind advice. He was true lover of music and supported so many artists, from pros to absolute beginners. I’ll always be thinking of him as I know will so many more musicians whose lives and music he supported."

Paul's family has stated family flowers only but donations can be made instead to Weldmar, Fortuneswell and Bridport Musical Theatre Group.

“Weldmar were incredible and we could not have asked for better care and support,” said Sheila. The nurses were incredibly kind and I am grateful to everyone who cared for Paul – Weldmar and later Fortuneswell - and would like to say ‘thank you’ to them.

“Paul battled until the very end and his passion for music was always there. Some of the local musicians would take him out to gigs when he was able and some of them performed for him here in the garden.

“The musicians he supported were Paul’s second family. He loved them to bits and created something very special – a community of people brought together by a deep love of music.”

Paul’s funeral is for family and close friends – but a celebration of his life is being planned for a later date for all who knew and loved him to attend.