Photo Gallery - Click HERE!
Be patient! The sound you will hear is a favourite from The Renegades repertoire played by Roy McMahon. There is another one on the "Photo" page.
I make no apologies for including this page as The Renegades were, more than any other group, Grove Park's own.
In the spring of 1959, 4a2 classmates John "Andy"Andrews , Steve Lloyd and Roy McMahon realised that they had a common interest in music. John was an avid record collector and both Steve and Roy were budding instrumentalists on drums and guitar respectively. They decided to form a group (in those days bands were groups of elderly gentlemen playing for Ballroom dancing!). They quickly recruited Kevin Hughes from 4b2 and John Halstead from 5a2 and the Renegades were born. At least the group was, the name came along later, courtesy of Steve Lloyd. The line-up was: Steve (drums), Andy (vocals), Roy (lead), Kev (bass), and John (Rhythm).
Their first performance was on 4th May 1959 at Meadowslea Hospital in Penyffordd, as part of a "Toc H" concert party. From then on until their final demise, by which time they were "The Beavers", they performed all over North Wales and Merseyside. In the early days it was a round of local village halls, youth clubs , especially St. Margaret's in Garden Village, and regular dances at the Church House and the "Memo". By the early 60's the groups favourite "gig" was their regular Saturday night at the "Fareway". A "highspot" of their career came in July 1959 when they were invited to take part in a contest at ""The Soho Fair" in London. The winners of that competition were an unknown, at that time, group called Emile Ford and The Checkmates. They won singing "What do you want to make those eyes at me for?" the prize was a recording contract. The record of that same song was released late that year and went to Number 1 in the charts that Christmas. It stayed there until the New Year making it the first No. 1 hit of the sixties!
When John Halstead left school to join the constabulary he was replaced by Dave Loose. Dave didn't stay long as his passion in music was Country & Western and he wanted to follow that trail (sorry!). Ron Nicholson was then brought in and stayed until the end. In the meantime Max Rooks had joined as a second singer but he, too, soon went his own way. John Andy left for the real world and was replaced by Don Foulkes. Steve left in 1962 and was replaced, firstly by Harold Martin, then Ross Mills. In late 1961 the group had been augmented by the addition of a pianist - the one-and-only Derek "Noddy" Crewe. From then on every performance had to include the obligatory "Muleskinner Blues"!
Every person named in the preceding paragraphs are Old Wrexhamians. If you add to them, people who played in other groups, such as Derek "Dooley" Williams, John Greaves, Andy Scott, Mike Evans, Adrian Jones etc. you will see that throughout the fifties and sixties Grove Park was a hotbed of latent talent! There were a few others who, at various times played with the group but didn't stay long. I'm thinking of: Colin Holt, Noel Davies, Ken Nicholls & Christine James. Mike Povey occasionally "sat in" for Steve in the early days. If I've left anyone out, let me know!
In 1963 a college friend of Roy's, Dave Jones, was brought in as vocalist. He adopted the stage name Dave Eager so the group became Dave Eager & The Beavers. Also recruited, after Ross Mills went to university, was drummer Jim Noble. After Dave left in 1964 The Beavers were left to go it alone. The group finally disbanded in mid-1965, after six eventful and very happy, years.
At the school re-union held at the Wynnstay Hotel in 1996, The Renegades re-formed for a "one-off" performance. The line-up that night was; Derek Crewe (piano & vocals), Steve Lloyd (drums), Kev Hughes (bass), Roy McMahon (lead & vocals), Ron Nicholson (rhythm). Additional vocals were contributed by Kev's wife, Rhona.
To find out about Roy's musical career, click here!
To find out what Kev is up to these days, click here!