Ardsley Waxwing


Years active:

Late 60s



St Austell



Band Members:

Steve Betts (Vocals/Keyboards)
Mark Wright (Drums)
Geoff Wilton (Guitar)
Thomas Royle (Bass)
Roger Langmaid (Guitar)


Made up of students from St.Austell Grammar School and later Richard Hubbard from West Hill Secondary AW had a brief flowering around 1969 and would have made their eponymous hero, a character from 'Mad' magazine, proud.
The first line-up (above) adopted a number of different band names before finally settling on AW.

As well as their age, what made the group remarkable was their ability with limited time and resources. Fellow student and unofficial technical director, Richard Larsen worked with Thomas and between them they made various bits of equipment including amps and an impressive pair of pa columns.  Richard sourced old radio and tv speakers and Thomas made the cabinets from plywood covered with black vinyl.  The speaker grille fabric was very 60’s curtain material!
Roger's guitar and sax were of a 'fall apart' nature, and part of Mark’s drum kit came from Thomas on a 'use now, pay later' basis. (I don't think he ever did).  Thomas learned bass whilst in the band and initially followed words supplied by Steve with the notes written in above.  His Jazz bass sometimes had neck problems and was eventually sold.  These days of course it would be worth several thousand pounds, being an original USA Fender of that era!

The later line-up boasted Steve Betts (later of, Books, Associates and Eurythmics fame) on vocals and arrangements, Geoffrey, 'Wilts', Wilton, lead guitar, Roger Egon Langmaid, guitar and sax, Richard, bass and guitar, Ian Davis, bass and trumpet and the pocket dynamo, Mark Wright on drums.

Led by the irrepressible Steve (who some years later changed his stage name to the more memorable Howard Hughes to increase his visibility as a session player), fun was always the buzz word, but the effect was good, competent, danceable musical entertainment comprising of three sets, 'Cream', numbers, a miscellany including several by 'The Who', and the third a collection of soul classics and Spencer Davis favourites with the odd Stones number thrown in.
Geoff, always the perfectionist, if not entirely happy with his playing would disappear, well into the evening, and would prompt the short conversation, 'Where's Wilts?'. 'Gone home!'
Limited gigs saw them at a friend's garden party, Fowey Town Hall, Working Men's Club, sixth form socials and Hewaswater village hall among, possibly, others.  Fowey Town Hall was their first pay to enter gig.

Once, on hearing them rehearse from outside Fowey Town Hall where they had a gig that evening, local legend Gordon 'Scouse' Edwards, then with The Lynx , then later with The Pretty Things, Annie Ross and others, offered and provided some of his band's better gear.





Links to other bands:


Did you play in this band? If so please get in touch!