On the search for drummer Alan

Terry and the Orbits - from left Charlie and Joe Whyte, Derek Smith on drums and Alan Rowland.
Terry and the Orbits - from left Charlie and Joe Whyte, Derek Smith on drums and Alan Rowland.
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A FORMER musician wants to be reunited with an ex-bandmate so they can relive their 1960s heyday from the booming Teesside music scene.

Terry Metcalfe is keen to get back in touch with Alan Roweland, who was in a band called Terry and the Orbits with him.

Terry Metcalfe, who is searching for old bandmate Alan Rowland.

Terry Metcalfe, who is searching for old bandmate Alan Rowland.

Alan, whose name could be spelled Allen, lived in Derwent Street, Hartlepool, and was the bass player in the group, which formed around 1963.

Also in the group were drummer Derek Smith, from Hartlepool’s Headland, and brothers Charlie and Joe Whyte, from Guisborough, who were lead and rhythm guitarists.

Alan Gowland later became rhythm guitarist after taking over from Joe.

Terry had initially been the group’s manager, but stepped in as singer when the band’s original vocalist, also called Terry, left the band.

Terry, 73, (pictured left) from Linthorpe, in Middlesbrough, who is still in touch with Charlie, has found an old tape recorded on a TK20 machine of when the group was playing at a pub.

Hartlepool-based Brian Robinson Music made the tape, which features 16 tracks, into a CD and Terry is keen for Alan, who would be in his early 60s now, to hear it. Terry, a father-of-four and grandfather-of-three married to Sue, said: “Alan was a good lad. He was the kind of lad that would note perfection.

“This is how dedicated he was – in the early times when we used to practise in Charlie’s mum’s front room, and we were working on a particular bassline, he would go home to Hartlepool about midnight – that should have been it.

“But about 2am, Charlie heard a noise at his window, somebody throwing bricks.

“When he looked, there was Alan who had travelled all the way back from Hartlepool, shouting up to Charlie, with the bass guitar in his hand, shouting ‘I’ve learned the rest of the bassline!’

“He was stood at two in the morning outside playing the bassline.”

The band would play at various venues around Hartlepool, including The Catcote, The Queen, The Pink Domino and Hartlepool Rovers Quoit Club.

Terry, who was also an industrial sewing machine engineer and later performed with The Rockhavens and the George Carter Band, who formed the “big band” sound at The Queen’s Rink, added: “On one occasion we got the opportunity to practise while doing a gig at a pub in Middlesbrough.

“I took a Grundig tape along and taped the band.

“I want to get hold of as many of the band as I can, get them together and have a good laugh reminiscing with it all and let them have a listen.

“They probably won’t remember there was a tape – I’m the only one that ever kept it.

“I played it over the phone to Charlie and said ‘do you recognise this band?’

“They were excellent days – if you weren’t around in the ’60s you’ve never lived.”

Terry would love for Alan, or anyone else who remembers him, to get in touch on (01642) 279127.