Celebrating Birmingham's Popular Music History
1960s Selly Oak band featuring Tony Collinge
My friend Steve Wardle was the singer in this band.
Tony Collinge went on to play bass in The Foundations
Tony Collinge sadly passed away earlier today. If you have any stories about him I’d love to hear from you. It would mean a lot to me and the family.
I first met Tony Collinge as a young man of about 18 years old when he joined the staff of GKN the metals factory in Smethwick where I too worked in the offices.
I knew he was a guitarist in ‘The Couriers’ at the time, as I had seen them play at the Weoley Castle Community Centre, where they had organised a regular Friday night Rock & Roll evening for the local youth, which was very successful. He was a very pleasant agreeable young chap & both of us being young guitarists with similar interests, got on well very quickly. He eventually asked me to join ‘The Couriers’ along with Paul Hancox & Steve Wardle, as new members of the band, as I have already mentioned. We eventually spent about 12 months, becoming ‘Shingles’ & touring the regular venues of the Bham & West Midlands area getting our bookings via the agent Phil Myatt, if I recall rightly. We got to know several of the other local bands who played the same venues. It was a heady time in the mid ’60s where we all got to learn pretty quickly our trade. His girlfriend at the time was Lynne, who was the girl he married not long after. After we eventually split up & went our separate ways, I got married to Paul’s sister, Sandra, & only ever saw Tony once again, many years later when we managed to contact him for Paul’s 50th birthday bash & he made our one off reunion bash. I knew he had been driving trucks on the continent & had married an Italian girl.
Oh, I did as I mentioned remember seeing him playing once in the late ’60s at a night club in Bham in a band called ‘Sight & Sound’ which was a local pro band at the time.
I got on well with Tony & had great respect for his talent. I remember his younger sister & his Mum & Dad when they lived in Cherrington Road, Selly Oak. His Mum used to make us Cornish pasties to take to gigs if we had to travel a long way from home. Good memories of our youth.
Best Regards, Tony Russell.
I was there at the formation of ‘Shingles’. It was around 1964, with the splitting up of ‘The Couriers’ who were a well known local band from the Weoley Castle, Bham area.
The vocalist Dave, Rhythm Guitar Brian , & drummer Dennis had decided they were getting a little long in the tooth to carry on playing Rock & Roll & Pop music, & suggested to Tony Collinge, Lead Guitar & Derek Arnold, Bass that they might like to carry on as the Couriers with some new younger members. I myself new Tont Collinge & he asked me to step in as Rhythm guitar, Steve Wardle as Lead vocalist & young Paul Hancox as drummer, which we all did. After we were all settled in the band & started to gig around the pubs & clubs, us new boys decided we wanted a new ‘groovy’ name for the ’60s. Paul came up with the name ‘Shingles’ & off we went to work. It lasted probably just over a year before we eventually split up up, as many bands did in those heady days. I remember Paul being head-hunted by various pro bands, as he was a superb young drummer with a great talent. I remember him playing with ‘Locomotive’ a good pro band at the time in Bham. He eventually ended up being asked to join the’ Mindbenders’ after they split with Wayne Fontana. Later on he moved on to Stan Webb’s ‘Chicken Shack’ & also ‘Mungo Jerry’
Derek moved on to a local band called ‘Copperfield’ . I remember seeing Tony Collinge at a club in Bham city centre with the band ‘Sight & Sound’ along with Ricky Price, who later ended up with the remnants of ‘The Move’.
Steve & I decided to stop playing & get on with normal life with our girlfriends.
We had a one off Reunion bash together a few years ago to celebrate Paul’s 50th birthday.
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