Wednesday, 16 February 2011

ABC of Chippenham: Eddie Cochrane

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.

11 comments:

  1. One of my older sister's favourites back then, and I remember Summertime Blues! Flighty xx

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  2. didn't know about the crash, but I know EC's Summertime Blues!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  3. You have only ever shown us pictures of your feet. Now is the moment to reveal yourself in all your '60s finery. Or 50s?

    Esther

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  4. To Esther - there were pictures up for Meet at Malvern. Including Victoria playing the piano. And Gail's - turtles on a log!

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  5. thanks for the history moment looks like a fitting tribute and perfect for the letter E I love to hear about the places people live

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  6. Ah, tis true, Diana, that I didn't see all the pictures for the Malvern Meet. (Though I spent a lot of time peering into the group photo taken at Patient Gardener's house - it's so interesting to see what everyone looks like!) None the less . . . here on Veg Plotting . . . I think we saw VP once in a balaclava but never in circular cut, polka dot skirts or bikers' gear.

    Esther

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  7. Good to read they have now put a memorial stone for Eddie, I will look out for it next time I am in the area.

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  8. I learned something in your post -- thanks.

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  9. I remember when I first came to Chippenham thinking, why all the Teddy Boys on the Bath Road? Then I saw the little plaque. I suppose it's an early version of those tragic flowers by the roadside memorials.

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  10. Welcome to all ABCers, especially first timers chubskulit, shopannies and Berowne :)

    Flighty - that's the only song of his I remember!

    Esther - my 60s finery would be a little on the small side as I was a mere slip of a girl then ;)

    EE - well remembered :)

    Mark - I think it's part of Chippenham's quaint quirkiness that someone's demise is commemorated so much

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