Looking back at when the people of Aylesbury hopped on a coach to see the likes of Jimmy Hendrix and Pink Floyd

Aylesbury had no shortage of great live music in the 1960s and 70s, but when certain bands were not playing in town fans organised themselves to make sure they didn't miss the action.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 12:57 pm
Jimi Hendrix

Coaches ran on a non-commercial basis to venues around the country, ensuring that fans could get their fix of the big names of the time, even if they didn't play in Aylesbury.

The initiative began in 1967 with coach trips to the Saville Theatre on Sunday evenings.

Legandary Beatles manager Brian Epstein had bought the theatre and ran concerts there to provide a stage for the very best British and American artistes.

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Pink Floyd

And what artists they were, bands and acts witnessed by the coach parties included Jimi Hendrix, The Four Tops, Little Richard and Pink Floyd.

Aylesbury Grammar School teacher Robin Pike booked a small Wall’s coach to leave Walton Road from outside the school at 6pm on Sunday evenings.

The trips were unadvertised, but word of mouth ensured that they were fully subscribed with fans arriving from all around Aylesbury.

Robin said: "There were no dress regulations although long hair and army greatcoats were pretty much de rigeur!

"The Jimi Hendrix trip was memorable as he played Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band when the album had only been released a few days earlier. The audience included Paul McCartney too."

And the coach trips ran into the 1970s too, with scores of Aylesbury fans hopping on the bus to go to Birmingham NEC for Bruce Springsteen, Wembley for The Rolling Stones, Earl’s Court for Pink Floyd The Festival hall for Donovan, Oxford for Van Morrison and many more shows besides.

Robin added: "The latter trip was memorable for requiring two coaches travelling in convoy!

"About this time Friars started promoting concerts at the Queensway Hall Dunstable and coaches were run from Aylesbury, Princes Risborough and sometimes Buckingham. I was running the Aylesbury coach when it ran into trouble one night coming out of Ivinghoe en route to Cockney Rebel in Dunstable.

"The coach gradually filled with steam as it slowed to walking pace up on the Downs. Fortunately it was able to reach a filling station (closed) and refill the coach’s radiator which had sprung a leak.

"The musos were not at all bothered as they had gone across the road to a pub. Eventually the coach was able to stagger down into Dunstable and everyone did get to see the band."

What are your memories of the coach trips? Email [email protected]