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.
    Paul Andrew Smith

    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.

    By Tony Maguire (28/11/2019)
  • Hi to all you guys connected to the 1960s music scene! You may remember about a couple of years ago several of you (particularly members of the Central Heating Big Band) came down to the War Memorial Hall when the Archive held a 60s music memorabilia event. It would be great to see you all again when we hold an Evening of Music and Entertainment on Sat 18th Jan featuring our Free Spirit Band and the U3A choir. Doors open at 7pm.
    Hope to see you all then, Mel Vickers bring your sax!
    PS. Roger Brown sometime bass player with CHBB is now bass with Free Spirit. Graham Stevens.

    By Graham Stevens (26/12/2019)
  • Hi Graham, I was at the previous 60’s music event at the War Memorial Hall with others associated with Silver Buttons/ Central Heating Big Band and a very enjoyable afternoon it was. Unfortunately, the event this weekend coincides with a long arranged celebration of Mel Vicker’s birthday in Clacton.

    By Tony Maguire (15/01/2020)
  • Hi – can anyone remember bands that played out front of the Lobster Smack Pub?

    By Paul Andrew Smith (21/01/2021)
  • Hi Paul,
    I am Graham Stevens,long time ago vocalist with my brother Chris’s band The Premiers . We played down at the Lobby in the summer of 64 ( previous pages on the site re the band give more details). Unfortunately I can’t tell you of any other bands from that time who might have gigged there.
    Having read your previous comment on this page it seems to me you are Mr Modesty himself! I have just listened to tracks of your band ‘Wednesday’ on you-tube.This is truly top rank professional stuff and in my opinion puts you in the same league as the Feelgoods, Eddy /Hot Rods and the Kursaal Flyers! So PLEASE can you give the Archive a full history of your life on Canvey particularly in connection with the Canvey Youth Centre music scene which led to your obviously successful music career in Canada and the U.S. Thank you. Graham.

    By Graham (24/01/2021)
  • Hi Graham – I remember the Premiers well. They were good years for bands starting up. The beginning of a new, fresh wave of music, and not because we all wanted to be stars, but because we loved music.
    From my time at William Read where I found a broken record of ‘ Yellow Rose of Texas’ – to my music classes at Furtherwick Road where I was fascinated with the classical records that were played in class – all influenced my lot in life.
    I do have some info about us if you are interested. Maybe we can trade emails somehow

    By Paul Andrew Smith (01/02/2021)
  • Hi Paul just picked up this comment. I am afraid I am not so good on the person to person e mails but what would be good if you could put a page together re your Canadian music career so everyone can share it on the Canvey Archive . Regards Graham.

    By Graham (21/02/2021)
  • Hi – in answer to the requests for more information on my musical career that began on Canvey I’ve sent this link:

    Hopefully you are able to access the info.

    By Paul Andrew Smith (08/03/2021)
  • Hi does anyone remember jan & James duo who played at the club.

    By Becky cole (11/12/2021)
  • I am looking for any information on a band called The Earl of Canvey in 1970 early 80’s

    By Patsy (23/06/2022)
  • Does anyone remember the name of the music store on Furtherwick Road opposite Woolworths in the mid 1960s?

    By Paul Andrew Smith (13/07/2023)
  • Sorry I can’t remember the name of the music shop opposite Woolworths. I do remember buying my 45 singles records there! It was owned by two brothers, Dennis and John Baglow. Hope this info is correct.
    Correct me if I’m wrong!

    By Wendy (13/07/2023)
  • Would anyone know of Jim Willis who lived on convey island. He was a guitarist in the 1950’s/60’s. Trying to contact family/ relatives for some research that I am doing.
    Any info appreciated. Tony

    Ontario, Canada.

    By Tony Freer (26/10/2023)
  • Hi Tony in Ontario, I’ve asked friends if they’d heard of this person; no luck on that count. However one did discover a facebook page of a Jim Willis, currently living on the Island. Whilst he appears to be originally from Islington and an Arsenal supporter he might be of the right age. Hope this helps your research.

    By Tony Maguire (30/10/2023)
  • Thankyou Tony. Will follow up, but believe the individual I am looking for died a few years ago. Tony.

    By Tony Freer (31/10/2023)

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