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Rock ’n’ roll reunion

Posted on June 26 2013 at 10:41:58

Friends reunited

Alvechurch Village Hall was filled with the sounds of the Sixties (and Fifties) when The Swinging Chimes and The Rockin’ Berries got together for a jam session.

Nine former and current members, several of whom played in both bands over the years, spent the afternoon making music and reminiscing about the good old days, joined by their partners and a few curious onlookers.

Since making their names on the Brumbeat scene more than 50 years ago, the musicians have all stayed in touch – most still live locally, though bassist Tim Munns (a Chime and a Berry) had travelled from Newquay for the occasion.

The reunion was organised by Janet Windle (nee McKenzie), who played keyboards with both bands, and Bob Lawton (lead singer with the Chimes and later manager of the Berries - and now The Village cartoonist!), via Facebook.

The venue was particularly apt, as The Swinging Chimes had one of their first gigs here – tickets were one-and-six, including refreshments!

The Swinging Chimes in 1959

The Rockin’ Berries still perform around the local area, and lead singer Geoff Turton has just finished the Made in Brum tour with Jasper Carrott.

“We’re all still alive and kicking,” says Bob. “John is nearly 80 years old and he’s still drumming!”

Above: Friends reunited at the Village Hall: Alan Palmer (C), Doug Baylis (C), John James (C), Bob Lawton (C), Chuck Botfield (B), Tim Munns (C/B), Geoff Turton (C/B), Ray Taylor (C), Janet Windle (C/B)
B= Berries C=Chimes

Right: The Swinging Chimes in 1959: Geoff Turton, Doug Baylis, Tim Munns, Bob Lawton, John James.

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