One of Chippenham's claims to 'fame' is that it was the place of the fatal crash which lead to Eddie Cochran's death in 1960. He, his girlfriend and Gene Vincent and two other passengers were in a taxi taking them from Bristol to London on 16th April after a concert at the Bristol Hippodrome. The driver lost control of his car and crashed at 11.50pm.
Amongst the police who arrived on the scene was Dave Dee later of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich fame. Chippenham hospital is just a few yards away from the scene of the crash, and the assessment there showed the injuries were too much for our small cottage hospital, so Cochran was transferred to Bath where he died the next day.
Recently there's been an Eddie Cochran memorial weekend most years, where participants dress in their '60s gladrags; parade around town in big American cars, preferably with lots of chrome; and dance the night away to various bands from that era or of the tribute variety. This year's event on the 16th April is already being advertised in the town.
Last year was the 50th anniversary of the crash and the pictured memorial stone was placed at the scene of Eddie Cochran's demise on Rowden Hill, not far from the Rowden Arms pub on the opposite side of the road.
This is for ABC Wednesday and is the fifth in my themed round of posts about Chippenham.