Graham Header



The first three people above in this photograph were part of our psychedelic light-show called “Purple Infinity”, complete with go-go dancer.  Remember this was back in 1969.

The band personnel in this photograph are, fourth from left, Paul Marshall, (Lead Vocals), Graham Hicks, (initially Drums, then Lead Guitar), Paul Foster, (Vocals/Keyboard) and Reg Hancock, (Bass Guitar).

Sadly Paul Foster passed away in late December 2010.


This photograph above was also from the same photo session at Pentire, Newquay.



The two pages above is the actual contract that Western Union signed to BCD Entertainments Agency in Bodmin.  This contract dates back to 14th February 1969.  The keyboard player in the band at that time was Fernley Jane.

I was recently re-united with this contract. Many thanks to Richard Prest of Kernow Beat. This is a fantastic piece of memorabilia.


A Musicians' Union newsletter listing "Western Union" as new group members.

New Group Members were:-

P.E. Marshall - Vocals/Drums
P. Foster - Organ
G.A. Hicks - Drums/Gtr.
R. Hancock - Bass Gtr.



A brochure from Bill Harding "The Music Centre" at 1 Fore Street, Newquay. I bought various drum accessories from Bill.

Western Union




Western Union - History

(Many thanks to Reg Hancock for all the help with the information below)

Western Union were based in Mitchell Avenue in Newquay.

I auditioned for the band at Lane Village Hall, nr Newquay.  I remember I had a very basic drum kit at the time, consisting of Broadway bass drum, an Eric Delaney red glitter plastic snare drum and cymbal. As I didn’t have a full kit I felt embarrassed when I setup my drum kit for the audition.
Despite this concern, I still managed to pass the audition.

Later I purchased a red glitter Edgware small tom-tom and a Premier floor Tom-Tom to complete the drum kit.  I still have that red glitter Eric Delaney snare drum.

The personnel of the band at the time I joined were:-
Fernley Jane – Keyboards
Paul Marshall – Vocals
Reg Hancock – Bass Guitar
Graham Hicks – Drums.

Later I progressed from being the drummer in the band to the guitarist.

Keith Wilcox was our first drummer, followed by myself, who became lead guitarist when Bill Gill joined the band as drummer. Bill eventually left because of work commitments and finally we were joined by Paul Moon, I think this was our best line-up.

Fernley Jane, (Keyboards), left the band and moved to Bristol and went underground. Fernley was eventually replaced on keyboards by Paul Foster.

We then had a guitar player that filled in when Fernley disappeared/left the band/went underground.  We called him "King Rat". He used to lodge at our manager, Don Marshall's house, his real name was (I think) was Malcolm Stott. He was a strange character he disappeared/left the band/went underground as well.  There seems to be a theme running here.

We also employed a psychedelic light-show called “Purple Infinity” complete with go-go dancer.  The liquid light shows consisted of overhead projectors using liquid colour wheels to project moving images onto a wall or backdrop.

We also auditioned at the Westward TV studios in Plymouth, complete with the light show.  Reg remembers that we played so loud during our audition that some of the sound bled through into the studio where the compere, Roger Shaw, was presenting a show that was being transmitted “live”.




Mode of Transport:-

This was our mode of transport. A Morris LD van, very similar to the one in the photograph above.

The van a Morris LD van, was purchased from Fred Hunter, who used to deliver potatoes to the “Gay Gannett” cafe in East Street Newquay. He owned Hunters Fruit shop which is still there in name only, which is at the bottom of East Street, almost opposite the old Bus Station. Fred lived in Bethel, just off Phernyssick road. Reg Hancock picked up the van from there.


Equipment we used:-

Reg Hancock (Bass Guitar):
Wilson semi-acoustic bass guitar, a Vox Foundation Cab powered by an ex-army surplus amplifier, bought from Frank Ruse's shop in Nanpean. Reg later graduated (if that's the word) to a Selmer Combo when he joined Safron. It was nicknamed the Toaster.

Graham Hicks (Drummer)
Broadway bass drum, Eric Delaney plastic snare drum, Edgware small tom-tom and a Premier floor tom-tom.
Graham Hicks (Guitarist)
Black Fender Telecaster. Can’t remember what amplifier I used.


On the 20th August 1969 I bought my black Fender Telecaster with case, from Selmer Musical Instruments in Charing Cross Road, London for £80.  A couple of years later I part-exchanged that guitar, along with a salmon pink Fender Stratocaster, to buy my Gibson Les Paul.  How I regret parting with those two Fender guitars.


One of my favourite songs at that time was “Man of the World” by Fleetwood Mac, featuring Peter Green on guitar.  I bought that Gibson Les Paul because I wanted a guitar sound like Peter Green, who was my guitar hero at the time.


Some of the songs we played:-

Things get Better – (Eddie Floyd)
Get Ready – (The Temptations)
Morning Dew – (Tim Rose)
If I Were a Carpenter – (Tim Hardin)
Time is Tight – (Booker T. and the MG’s)
Please Mr. Postman (made popular by The Beatles)

Some of the gigs we played:-

St Austell YMCA
Blue Lagoon, Newquay
Rosehill Country Club, St. Issey
The Three C's, Newquay
Bodmin TA Centre
The Flamingo, Redruth  (supporting Spooky Tooth)
St Just Town Hall
Newquay Youth Centre
St. Breward Village Hall

We also played at the skating rink in Camborne (once). Don Marshall, our manager, used to run the “Big Fry Chippy”, which was next door to the rink, that's why we played there.



We signed to BCD Entertainments in Bodmin on the 14th February 1969.  I now have in my possession the original contract that we signed on that day, which was very kindly donated to me by Richard Prest of the excellent Kernow Beat website.  BCD Entertainments were to receive 20% of any fee earned at any such performances.

I have a Musician Union Members Sheet which lists “Western Union”, with Paul Marshall being (Vocalist/Drummer), so Paul Marshall probably shared drumming duties with myself at this stage. This document seems to date from mid 1969.  Paul Foster is listed as being on keyboards at this time.

Our manager, Don Marshall, had a café in the town called the “Gay Gannett” and we would spend quite a bit of time around the premises.  Quite often members of the “band for the week” at the Blue Lagoon would call in. The “Gay Gannett” café, what a place!  Western Union band members, Paul Marshall, Paul Foster, and Reg Hancock used to work there between gigs.


Rock History (sort of) - The Iveys - Badfinger

During the week of August 17th- 20th 1969, we were playing on one of the weeknights supporting “The Iveys” at the Blue Lagoon.  I remember them telling me that they had been invited by Paul McCartney to record at Abbey Road, and telling me that they were going to cut short the residency at the Blue Lagoon because of the session with Paul McCartney.
On Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd August, the Applejacks, who had a hit with “Tell Me When”, substituted for The Iveys who were busy rehearsing a new song, "Carry On Till Tomorrow", to be recorded for The Magic Christian movie soundtrack.

I also remember one of The Iveys telling me that the manager at the Blue Lagoon, Harry Costa, had told them that because they were canceling 2 nights at the Blue Lagoon, he would not have them back again.  The Iveys changed their name to “Badfinger”, signed to the Beatles Apple label and had four consecutive worldwide hit songs including two top 10 hits with “No Matter What”, “Come and Get It”. They also wrote the all-time ballad “standard”, Without You” which has since been covered by hundreds of artists, and became a No. 1 hit for Harry Nilsson and a No. 3 hit for Mariah Carey.


The Iveys