1960's music scene.

Canvey Carnival Talent Contest?

One of the interesting aspects of the Canvey Island Archive is the gradual emergence of information and pictures of the 1960’s music scene, especially as was centred on the Youth Club at Furtherwick Park School. Quite recently we re-established contact with Pete Simpson, one time bass player with The Siver Buttons, later known as “the fabulous It band” and subsequently The Central Heating Big Band.

I have posted other pictures supplied by Pete and he has now come up with what I believe must have been from a Canvey Carnival Talent Contest prior to 1966, quite probably organised by the Youth Club Warden Rodney H Vinall.

By 1966, the Siver Buttons had become it and Nick had left to be replaced by Micky Becker as Vocalist, ant they played at the concert.

On the far left, are most members of the Siver Buttons, far left, holding a document is lead guitar Mel Vickers; third from left, holding drumsticks is drummer Martin “Spud” Edwards; fourth left sitting, to whom the other to are pointing is bassist Pete Simpson; just left of centre, in the glasses, holding a tambourine, is vocalist Nick Arthurs,the only member of the band sadly no longer with us. His brother, Tony Arthurs, also as vocalist, is feature with The Diamonds, on the archive, on the very same stage, “Jiving and Twisting the Night Away”, in “Memories of the Casino Ballroom”. The rhythm guitarist Mick Goodall, who has also featured on this site is strangely absent from this group shot.

There has been some speculation regarding others in the picture, it has been speculated that the band at the back right of the stage might have been The Four Oaks.

However what excited me, with all due immodesty, is the first, albeit partial photo of the North Avenue Jug Band, aka The Hot Street Syncopators. The good looking one standing far right is me languishing over my tea-chest bass. I don’t recognise the person sitting on me tea chest and nor do I know where the other two members of the band, Malcolm and John Wilkinson (the latter now, of course, better known as Wilko Johnson) were when the picture was taken. In 1996, we were not entrants, but played in the intervals and backed solo artists, as discussed in Sandra Davies’ Carnival memories.

Just another small piece of the rich Canvey tapestry.

Comments about this page

  • Hi – quick addition to the info on the Canvey Carnival Talent contest pic above. The band that was thought to be The Four Oaks is, in fact, The Trolls – L-R: Paul Andrew Smith, Vic Collins, Steve Prout and Michael Langridge. We played locally for a few years before I left for Canada. Vic went on the play with the Kursaal Flyers and The Ugly Guys. I formed a band in Canada called ‘Wednesday’ and had a few #1 records here and in the USA (Last Kiss, Loving You, Here Today Gone Tomorrow etc). Canvey was such a great place to grow up and, to me, a very pertinent influence on, what was to become, a successful musical career.
    Cheers
    Paul Andrew Smith
    Wednesday

    By Paul Andrew Smith (21/11/2019)
  • Hi Paul, I was a bit doubtful when told the band was the Four Oaks, but after 50 years, I could not be sure. Thanks for the confirmation that it is the Trolls. Were you not the band that practiced at the Youth Centre, a little younger than the Silver Buttons and in your early incarnation, played a lot of Shadows covers?
    Kind regards, Tony Maguire

    By Tony Maguire (24/11/2019)
  • Hi Tony
    correct. We practiced at the Furtherwick Road School Youth Centre for a while and began by playing the Shadows instrumental repertoire then later added a vocalist, Jimmy Proops, which opened up our song list to include Kinks, Stones, Small Faces etc.
    They were great times.
    Incidentally, I think that’s the only picture of The Trolls that exists.
    cheers, Paul

    By Paul Andrew Smith (25/11/2019)
  • Thanks Paul,
    I well remember the Trolls from the Youth Centre days. I was “road manager” of the Silver Buttons and tea chest bass player in the North Avenue Jug Band with John and Malcolm Wilkinson; John now, of course, better known as Wilko Johnson of Dr Feelgood, The Solid Senders, The Blockheads, The Wilko Johnson Band and Ser Illyn Payne of Game of Thrones.
    I now live in Leeds, but am looking forward to meeting up with surviving Silver Buttons and others down in Essex in January for Mel Vickers’ 70th party. I’m sure that memories of the Trolls, Noughts and Crosses and other bands from the period will be remembered in depth.
    Good to hear from you.
    Tony

    By Tony Maguire (28/11/2019)

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