Cambridge Street, Harrogate

Chris ‘Toffee’ McDougall, Musician

This is one of my places in Harrogate, outside Marks Expensive. I was outside the church at the other end of the street earlier but they asked me to move on because of a funeral. This is a good spot when it’s sunny, but I don’t make much money here, not like Scotland where people are really generous and you never get moved on.

I was born in Paisley about 54 years ago, but I was brought up in South America, hence the nickname Chris-toffee. I’ve travelled the world busking but Scotland is the best – I did the Edinburgh Festival for years. I could park the van anywhere and never get moved on. Down here you never get a night’s sleep, and it always seems to be three-thirty when the police wake you.

So why do I stay? I have no choice. I used to have a little dog, but she got sick. I had to sell the van to pay for an operation for her. She seemed to be getting better, but about ten days later I was busking in the Valley Gardens, and she just started fitting and died before I could get her to the vet. I miss that little dog: she just used to curl up at my feet, and listen to my music.

My Place is a section where people share places that are significant in their livesIf you would like to take part in My Place, simply email your photo and a text of up to 250 words to johnbrucemullin@hotmail.com

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