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Wyenot News - The Weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 142 - 11th April 2007
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This Week - [Ross from an unexpected helicopter flight - Filming the Dagenham Roundhouse Boys]
[Important Note - Aerial Ross - part one, Wilton - part two, Tudorville]
[Aerial Ross - part three, Ross Town - Lions Charity Walk - Aerial Ross - part four - gas pipeline]
[Cross Keys Festival - Easter Bonnets - Open Air Easter Service - Letters]
[Zebras at the Prince - Easter Draws - Traidcraft - Readers' Photos - Police - Isle of Arran - Nice photo]
[Fishing: deep sea and fresh water - Weather Station]
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WNTV: An unexpected photographic helicopter flight with Nick

Easter weekend turned out as a series of unexpected events for me this year. Having just got over an unexpected filming which took place on Saturday, Monday afternoon found me photographing Ross Town, the controversial gas pipeline, Symonds Yat, The Doward and Wilton and various other local places from a helicopter.

I had just emerged from my bed on Monday morning and was, rubbing the sleep from my eyes whilst heading for the kettle when the phone rang. 'Hi Alan, it's Nick Dale from Ross Lions. Would you like to come flying today - get some shots of the gas pipeline and aerial shots of the town?' Having always loved flying - especially in light aircraft and helicopters, how could I refuse?

One o'clock found Nick and I heading for Staverton Airport, where he regularly flies helicopters with locally owned company, 'Heliflight'.

When we arrived back in the aircraft, over Ross, I used a real camera but on the way - from takeoff to just approaching the town, I filmed the flight with a video camera. That film can be seen by clicking below. The video is best viewed in full screen mode.

I took hundreds of aerial shots of the area and over the next few weeks, I shall be running a series of aerial photography shots. Keep watching over this and the next few issues of Wyenot News - you may see your house from here!

Nick Dean with the 'Heliflight' helicopter used for the afternoon of photography, G-LUKY., Staverton. Ref: DSC_0030

Filming the 'Dagenham Roundhouse Boys' for a television documentary

I was unexpectedly filmed on Saturday afternoon for a future television documentary about what went on at my teenage haunt, the famous Dagenham Roundhouse rock music venue, at which all the big rock bands performed on their road to success.

It was back in the late '60s and early '70s that it all took place. As soon as one walked through the door, the aroma of patchouli mixed with, let's just say various 'exotic smoking mixtures' would have you comfortably stoned within minutes. We were there every Saturday night enjoying the company of weekly bands like Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, to name less than one percent - before they became really famous.

The venue was 'The Roundhouse' or 'Village Blues Club'. I did know that I was going to be filmed at some stage but my email failed me when the date finally arrived, I found out about it via a panic phone call the evening before. 'Didn't you get our emails? We're coming to Ross-on-Wye to film you tomorrow!'

I'm glad it happened that way really as I would have suffered dreadful panic attacks. As it was, Friday evening I was busy and so did not have time to think too much about it.

Continued . . .

Ref: DSC_5844

The documentary type film is being made by my old friends, Harold Curren (Better known as 'H') and Ken Gascoigne of 'Avec Design', with the help of Dagenham Council. I would like to mention Dee Hunt at this stage, the Mayor of Dagenham. Dee has been keen from the outset at getting the film off the ground. (I don't personally know you, Dee but I knew your brothers, Colin and Trevor very well. The Roundhouse definitely needs to go down in the annals of history and you're doing a great job to help that cause!)

Those who have been filmed so far for the movie include: Mick Box of Uriah Heep, Brian May, the Roundhouse Promoter, local legend Andy Townsend, Bonny Thompson aka Diamond (Bonny has since worked with Benny Hill and 'Little and Large',) John 'Whiskers', Steve Kelly and myself.

Lined up to be filmed next are Mick Abraham of 'Jethro Tull' and 'Blodwyn Pig' fame, Tony McPhee of the 'Groundhogs', Edgar Broughton from the 'Edgar Broughton Band' (one of my favourite bands that Rocked the Roundhouse) and Paul Fenn. Paul began booking the Roundhouse bands at the age of 16 and now has one of the world's biggest agencies.

The voice-over for the film is being recorded by Billy Bragg, who now has a street named after him in Dagenham. 'Bragg Close' is now where the old Roundhouse car park stood. Editing of the film will be performed by students at Barking College. A DVD with 'extras' (hence the songs) will be released on the unsuspecting public and the out-takes will be archived in Dagenham Town Hall.

On Saturday, Steve Kelly was filmed in Wales followed by myself, in Ross-on-Wye. We both gave interviews and song performances. After the filming was over, I took the film crew along to the Prince of Wales, where they kindly filmed a couple of songs performed by The Zebras.

Dagenham Roundhouse Friends

We are all separated geographically now - Dagenham, Bristol, Heathrow, Wales, Ross-on-Wye, Japan but we have remained in one another's hearts for nearly forty years. That is what you call true friendship!

Ref: DSC_5906
1970s Dagenham Roundhouse 'Village' Boys and Girls Today (PG)
Live in Ross-on-Wye: Alan Wood - 'Love Song' and 'Dark Globe'

Oh Dear! My vocals on this are absolutely awful. My stress levels were climbing rapidly and I should have stuck to the first take! Although most retakes were through mistakes due to nerves, not all of the out-takes were my fault!

I didn't like the first go and decided to go at it again - I sung the same verse twice in Dark Globe, a balloon took off behind me during the 'Love Song' and, sensing that something was going on, I turned around during the recording and, in what would have been absolutely the best take - a nearby boy racer roared his car engine at the end and I dropped the final guitar chord.

As a result, the vocals begin painfully sharp. I would not have run this video but Tina likes it - and I'm sure my mum would have done as well but that's about alll.

1970s Dagenham Roundhouse 'Village' Boys and Girls Today
'Village Blues Club interview: Alan Wood

These answers to the interviewer', 'H' Curren's questions are merged together before the final edit is complete.

On the final edit, Billy Bragg will be recording a voice-over and I am guessing that all of our answers will be mixed.

I think one of the best answer to the questions was given by Bonnie Thompson in her interview below: 'You can't really explain - people would have to be there and experience it themselves'.

That just about sums it up for me and many of the others.

In the lingo of the time, it was, 'far out, man', and I would not have missed it for the world!

'Village Blues Club' Live in Wales: Steve Kelly - 'Don't You Cry'

Steve Kelly and I have been friends since 1970 and I have fond memories of Steve and Sue, particularly at the extremely loud Deep Purple performance. Deep Purple performances were rumoured for their volume and were extremely near the pain threshold for most normal human beings with that low ceiling in the Roundhouse venue.

Great song, Steve and it's also good to hear your memories of the place!

I'll be in touch later this week. It's not through lack of wanting to - it has only been through total lack of time. This thing has taken over my life.

'Village Blues Club interview: Steve Kelly

Steve Kelly remembers Quintessence and Skid Row.

'Village Blues Club interview: ' Promoter: Brian May

Brian May remembers the Hawkwind naked lady.

'Village Blues Club' Interview: Bonnie Thompson (Diamond)

Bonnie remembers Deep Purple.


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