Travellin' Country

Jim Allison's memories of Travellin' Country :-

Travellin' Country formed in early 1970's , around about the same time as 'The Saddlers' featured on this website. We played all the West Cumbrian clubs, also in the Penrith areas NW. Scotland and the Newcastle areas. We played mainly C & W music, especially Johnny Cash material, but I also used to do some Chuck Berry numbers, with my Telecaster, I wasn't a great singer, but always seemed to go down well !

The photo above was taken at the Solway Lido in Silloth. (The other two pictures were taken at the Tin Mission in Workington).

Left to right is yours truly on lead guitar, using a Futurama III with a Hagstrom neck built in Sweden . It gave the Luther Perkins 'lick' much better than my Fender Telecaster.

To my right is Syd Donockley and next to him, his wife Peggy. Both Syd & Peggy did both lead and backing vocals. Syd  & Peggy then lived in Blackpool, but I understand they moved to the USA , and have now sadly lost  contact.  Next to Peggy is Stan Watson, a well known rhythm guitarist and vocalist in the country music scene in West Cumbria , and a former member of 'The Saddlers', who still lives in Workington. In the background is drummer Jeff Duffy who now lives in Morecambe, but was fruit & veg manager at Tesco's in Workington whilst we played together.

We played together from early 1970's, until I left in 1975 to do a mature students degree at Lancaster Uni.

In the early 70's C & W was so popular that we were always fully booked a year ahead. I 'taught' Syd's eldest son to play guitar and take over from me, but he was a natural, and still plays as a session musician for people like Midge Ure, Elkie Brookes and Barbara Dixon.

Our claim to fame was winning a local talent competition, the prize being appearing at the old Wembley Stadium, with top country stars like Johnny Cash, George Hamilton IV, Tammy Wynette and Don Williams.

We actually got to meet Johnny Cash, in his dressing room at Wembley and shared a tipple or two of bourbon with him.

I can't really remember much after I left, except that Syd & Peggy got to perform at the Grand Ole Oprey in Nashville ......some achievement. !

Jim Allison

Adventure on the road

We were on our way to a gig in a place called Kershopefoot in the Scottish borders. Having had our share of riding about in clapped out old vans, we bought a Mark I Cortina Estate and a large camping trailer, which we had converted so we could lock up our gear.

This was our first gig with the Cortina Estate & trailer, and we were all enjoying the warmth of having a car with a heater. I was driving that night along the old A74 feeling like 'this is great'. Next minute, something overtook me, and suddenly I realised it was the trailer. It crashed into the ditch and being made from chipboard, the trailer disintegrated :-(. I was laughing my head off, but poor Syd was frantic about our gear.

We had to scramble down into the ditch, and believe it or not, despite there being little left of the trailer, except the chassis, all our gear was fine, including my Hagstrom 12 string, and Syd's acoustic Gibson, both in soft cases. Of course we never made the gig, but did receive more bookings.

Turned out the guy who had fitted the tow hitch to the trailer had used mild steel bolts, instead of high tensile one's and they'd just sheared off. !!!

Many thanks to Jim Allison for providing all
the pictures and information for this page.

At various times he was also with other groups including The Wildcats, Adel and the Delrons and Harmony Showband.