Here's a very simple fact. No Robin
Pike, no Friars. Ever. Robin was a local school teacher very tuned in,
unlike many of his colleagues, to what was happening musically. He
suggested to David Stopps whom he had met whilst Stopps was managing
local band Smokey Rice (and appeared at the Grammar School Sixth Form
dance in 1968) the idea of running a music club in little old Aylesbury.
Stopps was not convinced given Aylesbury's dubious record of rock
promotion and also felt it might work better in High Wycombe with a
bigger population. Robin persisted and with a very enthusiastic
collective, Stopps came on board.
Robin found a suitable venue, the
ex-Services club, The New Friarage Hall in Walton Street and on June 2nd
1969, Friars opened as a club for the musically aware. Despite trials
and tribulations and more than one brush with closure, the club got
bigger and bigger and who'd have thought we would have seen Phase Four
41 years later? Without Robin, we quite probably wouldn't have.
Step forward Robin Pike, Friars Hero.
Here's Robin in 1976 at the Kevin
Ayers gig (third from left)
accepting the Friars Heroes Award from David Stopps,
Friars Aylesbury, October 8th 2010.
Picture: Michelle Needs
Picture: Russ Naylor