I’ve been involved in Morris since I started dancing with Hammersmith Morris Men in 1971. At the same time, I started playing bass for ceilidhs in North Circular Accidental Band. Since then I’ve danced with Painters Morris in Dudley, Kennet Morris in Reading and back to Smiffs in London. All Cotswold. Played bass for ceilidhs with Ludds Lot, The Committee Band, Cockaigne, Also Known As and rock cover bands Busy and The Vortons.
When Angie and I moved to Ilfracombe, I left Smiffs and The Committee Band because it was too far to travel for practises. I was asked by Richard if I’d like to play bass for Wreckers. Rather an unusual idea, I’d seen amplified fiddles and guitars played by other sides, but not an electric bass that sounded any good outdoors. As luck would have it, I’d been to an open mic/session in a pub in Appledore and seen a chap playing a bass through a Phil Jones portable amp, and it sounded great. So I bought one and joined Wreckers. I also started up a ceilidh band called Full English, with an ex-Smiff, Dave “Butty” Robinson on boxes and Lisa Sture on fiddle.
Ange and I then moved to Hayling Island, to be a bit nearer our family in Reading, which seemed to be getting bigger by the year, and I retired from work. I stayed a member of Wreckers, although I could no longer come to weekly practises. When we were booked for Chippenham, I noticed a North West Morris side, who impressed me. I got chatting to their box player Jim, who said he’d seen me playing with Wreckers and wanted me to join his side too. This was Customs And Exiles, based in Wokingham, Berkshire. I joined, and also joined his ceilidh band Diatonics, with ex members of The Committee Band, which had re-formed to do one-off gigs and festivals.
Two years ago I joined Mary Rose And Royal George Morris, who are based in Portsmouth, a bit nearer to me. I also joined Battle In Progress, another rock covers band, this time doing American grunge. A bit different…
I had a brief fling with a trombone, but it came to nothing.