Letters round-up: Friars Aylesbury tribute to rock legend Lemmy

Motorhead's Friars gig on March 31, 1979 (Credit: Mark Jordan)
Motorhead's Friars gig on March 31, 1979 (Credit: Mark Jordan)

Friars Club boss David Stopps pays tribute to rock legend Lemmy in this week’s round-up of the Bucks Herald letters page.


Tribute to Lemmy

If ever there was a true Friars Aylesbury legend it was Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister.

I first put him on at Friars Aylesbury on 22nd April 1972 as bass player with Hawkwind, just a few months after Bowie had debuted ‘Ziggy Stardust’ at Friars in the old Friars Aylesbury Phase Two Borough Assembly Hall venue in Aylesbury’s Market 

Lemmy had originally been a rhythm guitarist but was asked to play bass after Hawkwind’s original bass player Dave Anderson suddenly quit the band.

He developed a unique style of bass playing often using a rhythm guitar style double stop approach, playing two strings together.

Friars also put on Hawkwind with Lemmy at Watford Town Hall in March 1972.

In the summer of ’72 Hawkwind released the iconic ‘Silver Machine’ with Lemmy singing which would prove to be the biggest hit of their career.

Fast forward to August 1977.

Lemmy was back at Friars Aylesbury with his ground breaking three-piece band Motorhead, this time at the Friars Phase three Civic Centre.

Accompanied by Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor on drums and ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke on guitar, many would say that Motorhead were the first heavy metal band, but Lemmy always denied this, describing Motorhead as a rock band who play Motorhead music.

That first Friars Motorhead gig just days before the release of their first album ‘Motorhead’ with its famous gothic logo was a total onslaught to the senses.

Many people left the venue scratching their heads thinking ‘What was that?’.

Motorhead returned to Friars Aylesbury a further three times, March 1978 as part of their ‘Overkill’ album tour, March 1979 as part of their ‘Bomber’ tour and on October 23, 1980 just days before they released their iconic ‘Ace of Spades’ album.

The photograph above was taken by Mark Jordan at Friars Aylesbury on March 31, 1979.

Very sadly, Phil Taylor passed away on November 11, 2015 and Lemmy on December 28.

The Friars community pays tribute to two musicians who were at the heart of what Friars was all about. They were both hugely important to Friars and to the evolution of British music.

David Stopps

Friars Club, Aylesbury


Do you know Janet?

Fifty-three years ago while working in Uganda I met a young nurse from Ayesbury.

Her name was Miss Janet Atkins and if she is still alive she would now be 81 years old.

I have often wondered whether she got married and had children.

After leaving Uganda in 1965 she worked at the Shrubbery Hospital as a midwife but the last time we were in contact was in 1966.

I have lived in Canada for quite a long time but will be returning to Uganda in two weeks to not only do some preaching but also to teach two groups how to make and use a pole lathe.

If any of your readers know anything about Janet I would love to hear from them. My email address is rgodber@rogers.com.

Thank you.

Roy Godber

Address supplied


So much rhetoric

With the north of England being flooded and little reason this won’t flow down the country, flood defences will only try and stop what our actions are doing.

Don’t we need to stop warming our planet to halt the water rising?


Can you please help?

Can you explain?

How we seem to point one direction,

Then spin round again.

The leaders of the world,

Met in Paris, France.

To slow down global warming,

Give the next generation a chance.

So there was smoggy China

Willing to do a deal.

The wording had to be right

For all signatories to seal.

So little island UK

Signs up to this pact.

But within a week, so few days,

The opposite seems to act.

Let’s all go fracking in the National Parks.

Let’s squeeze out some shale gas.

Is every other country doing the same?

Was it just words on paper? Alas.

Way back in Rio,

There was a saving plan.

But some logging continued

You can’t stop progress man.

Ask the people in Cumbria

If our actions are making things better?

Storm after storm, will tell you

They are just getting wetter.

We have free wind energy.

We have natural energy from the sun.

Fossil fuels are for dinosaurs.

Keep ignoring it, will too much damage be done?

So please can you help?

Should we all do our bit?

Natural energy solutions.

Not nuclear fuel or shale gas try to hit.

Pip Rance

Langdon Avenue, Aylesbury


Tough times ahead

As we enter the New Year, it is usual to look ahead. 2016 will bring many new challenges for those of us who live and work in Buckinghamshire.

We have a major push from central government for a large increase in house building, particularly across south east England. The tens of thousands of new houses that will be required in Buckinghamshire to cope with the rapidly-growing population will bring massive changes.

As a county council, we will continue to urge our colleagues in District Councils to protect our precious Green Belt, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and most attractive rural countryside.

Nevertheless, not only will towns expand but there will be more traffic and demands for key infrastructure from roads and schools to health facilities.

This will be a great challenge and it is important that local councils work together as a team to try to meet this need.

There will also continue to be pressure on our environment from other threats such as flooding, pollution, fly-tipping or crime. Again we must all work whether as individuals or councils to not only reduce external impacts but also make such anti-social behaviour unacceptable.

One of the biggest challenges we face in Buckinghamshire is coping with the need to keep children safe, particularly from the threat of sexual exploitation.

There have been too many cases in the area of gangs and individuals preying on vulnerable children. Despite our very limited financial resources, the county council will continue to invest with our partners in the police, health and education to tackle this modern scourge.

I am not forgetting the need to continue to invest in restoring our roads.

Over the past five years, we have invested close to £100 million on major road and pavement improvements.

Much has been done but much still remains to do.

We will continue to invest in these although we will not be able to maintain the previous levels of expenditure.

Lastly, it is important that I make residents and local businesses aware of our financial position.

The county council is an efficient organisation.

We have saved more than £100 million by savings and increased income over the past five years. We have also sold off land and property and entered into cost-saving partnerships with other councils.

Our staffing levels have reduced very significantly.

Nevertheless, these savings will not be enough to cope now with the complete loss of all Government funding and indeed a new ‘tax’ being levied on our Business Rate income.

We will be forced to consider an increase in our council tax to fund services particularly the high-cost, high-growth care for our county’s elderly.

I am aware that this will not be popular with many residents but, along with more reductions to services, will be necessary to cope with increased demand.

The year ahead will be challenging financially but also potentially rewarding with the opportunity to shape the places we live in, with more services devolved to local parish and town councils and more integration across the public sector, particularly between the care received from local councils and the health service.

Tough times but also exciting times. Here’s to a great 2016 in Buckinghamshire.

Councillor Martin Tett

Leader of Bucks County Council


The Courtowns

I no longer live in Aylesbury, but I read your article of December 18 in my mother’s paper.

The Courtowns I believe did live in Walton Street, but latterly moved to Redberry House, Bierton.

The present Earl’s grandmother, widow of the 7th Earl, lived with her daughter Lady Moyra Streatfeild and family.

Lady Moyra was my guide lieutenant and more to the point had Mary Otway in the company, sister of John. Lord Courtown may well have encountered John via his 

Denise Holme

Address supplied


A white elephant

I read with great interest John Elvin’s response (December 30) to my previous letter pointing out that a viable bus service would be of far more use to the residents of this area than re-opening the East-West railway.

Mr Elvin is wholly mistaken in his assertion that I must have been away from the area for the last thirty 

I am fully aware of the lobbying work done over the years by the ‘rail enthusiasts’ to get the ‘chuff chuffs’ running along this line again and despite all the propaganda, it made as little sense to me fifteen years ago as it makes to me now!

I hope Mr Elvin will forgive me for being somewhat sceptical about the findings of ‘focus groups’ and so called ‘professional consultants’ these are presumably the same people who have endorsed the plans for a third runway at Heathrow and have told us what a wonderful thing HS2 is going to be for us 

Mr Elvin himself makes the point that the line wasn’t closed as part of the Beeching Plan but later by British Rail themselves.

Quite telling that even then, British Rail considered the line not to be viable, even had the economies outlined by Mr Elvin been carried 

So what has changed since the 1960s, apart from the fact that even more people now have cars to free them from rail timetables?

As has happened consistently throughout this process, like everyone else, Mr Elvin fails to address the single fundamental flaw in this proposal.

This is a rural community, its residents don’t all live in Winslow, so to access this system, the residents of Stewkley, Mursley, Swanbourne, Little Horwood, Great Horwood, Granborough, North Marston, Steeple Claydon, Padbury, Adstock, etc will have to drive to the station in their cars, (unless Mr Elvin envisages a sort of Beijing during the Mao era scenario where we all take to our bikes and thousands of us cycle into Winslow at 7am in the morning?)

Can anybody explain to me why someone living in Thornborough, or Nash would drive into Winslow, to catch a train into Milton Keynes, then catch a bus (buses?) to get from the station to somewhere close to where they work and do the reverse process at the end of the working day.

The fact is, they won’t do that, they’ll continue to get into their cars and drive from their front door to the car park where they work.

Mr Elvin makes the point that rail usage has doubled over the last twenty years.

My assumption is that a sizeable proportion of this increased usage is on long distance city to city travel, for which rail is perfect.

But the roads in this area aren’t blocked in the mornings by cars driving from Oxford to Cambridge.

They’re blocked by the thousands of cars (mostly with one person in them) trying to get the 10-15 miles from this area’s disparate towns and villages into Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, Buckingham etc, and that problem will not be solved by the East-West rail link.

It will only be solved by a massive investment in a good viable bus service for the area which will take people from where they live to where they work.

The quarter of a billion plus pounds being spent on re-opening this massive white elephant would buy a hell of a lot of buses!

Name and address supplied