Famous Friars music club celebrates 50 years in Aylesbury with reunion
This weekend marked 50 years since the first ever Friars Aylesbury shows - and a pair of events that were both poignant and fun made sure that the celebration was a stylish one.
On Sunday Friars founding fathers David Stopps, Terry Harms, Jerry Slater, Pete Frame, Stephen Daglish, Kris Needs, Adrian Roach and Robin Pike took part in a round table discussion with fellow found John Fowler who was speaking from the US via Skype. The three hour filmed event was held in the Kings Head's Cromwell Room in Aylesbury, and - on the very day 50 years ago that the club began - it was a heartening chance to share memories and musings about the club. David Stopps said: "We wanted to do something for posterity, it's a miracle that we are all alive still - five of the original organisers were there at The Kings Head and one on Skype. 50 years to the day. "We could have talked for longer, and it was fascinating. There was so much detail there that I had forgotten or didn't even know. “For example Roy Harper (English folk singer) had decided that money was the worst thing in the world when he played Friars. And when I paid him his £100 he ate two of the £1 notes and threw the other 98 into the air!” The early Friars events always took place on a Monday night - and to mark the closest Monday to 50 years - a special music event organised by Robin Pike and Kris Needs, was held at the Temple Street Wine Bar. This event was attended by Friars friends and fans past and present - including former Zigzag founder Pete Frame who had driven from Scotland for the anniversary weekend. Friars regulars from that time will also remember Leaper's Corner - which was lovingly and anarchically brought back for the event by revellers known as 'idiot dancers' from that time. Kris, who also edited Zigzag, and designed the Friars membership card, said: "I think that everyone had a really good time. There was a really warm vibe in the air. "He added: "The high point of the night for me was when I started playing Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival, because that was the very first song that I ever heard when I walked into Friars." And Robin Pike - who came up with the idea for Friars after attending the legendary 1960s Mothers Club in Birmingham, summed up the celebration night. He said: "It was an emotional evening and a very successful evening, and captured that small club feeling that Friars had. "Everyone was friendly and talking to each other, and quite a few people who were there were there that first night in 1969. "We have been arranging this for about a year, it was a magical evening." The profits from the event, plus donations collected on the night raised money for the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity. At the time of going to press the final total had not been counted.