Colin Kingwell celebrates his 85th birthday this month and has spent almost half his life living in and loving Chorleywood.
“ I first came to Chorleywood after the war. In my teens I was living in Perivale near the Hoover factory and we would go on country rambles with our youth club. One time we came out to Chorleywood. It was very rural, I have photos of my friends and myself messing about..one is taken by a signpost in Solesbridge Lane just on the edge of what is now Loudwater. When I married Joan we first lived in Greenford, then West Ruislip before we came to Chorleywood in the 70s. The house we bought was derelict. It had been occupied by Iris Philpott who was divorced from broadcaster Trevor Philpott. She died when she fell through a plate glass window at the entrance of Walkers (later Budgens) in Lower Road. Her house, Wroxton, in Lower Road had been left to deteriorate so we were able to buy it at a low price. It was a ‘modern’ extension added to Wroxton Cottage (built 1855) around 1900/1910 but the house was later split into two. The extension had been a veterinary surgery at one time and I still come across the odd glass phial in the garden. The house overlooked the first lawn tennis clubhouse in Chorleywood.”
Colin, a retired decorator has been a jazz musician for as long as he can remember
“ I play New Orleans style jazz on the trombone. It’s happy music but it has a serious side to it. I belong to two bands now, The Po’ Boys – a quartet, and the Jazz Bandits which has been going since 1956 – although not with the same line up! I have played with some talented musicians over the years including Ted Wood (Ronnie Wood’s brother) who was Jazz Bandits’ drummer/vocalist and went on to play with Temperance Seven. We used to get to some pretty interesting parties with the Woods! The brilliant pianist Lil Hardin Armstrong, Louis Armstrong’s second wife stood in once too
We were the pop music of the day (before the Beatles took off!) In the heyday of trad jazz we would support and play on the same stage as the best – people like Chris Barber Band, Ronnie Scott Quartet, Humphrey Lyttleton and even The Rolling Stones! (Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival 1963) That same year Jazz Bandits won the National Jazz Federation annual prize and we went to Switzerland where we won a recording and broadcast session. It was all great fun – and still is!”
Catch Colin with The Po’ Boys every Last Friday of the month in The Dumb Bell, Chalfont St Peter, SL9 0QY