The 70's band Speed originated from a group of three lads who formed a group called Pollution whilst in their final year at Greenhill Senior High School, (now Falinge High School) Falinge Road, Rochdale. The first gig was, as you'd expect, on the school stage. The line up was Gary Hey vocals and rythmn guitar and lead vocals, Roy Bywater on Guitar and vocals and Brett Robinson on drums.
With none of the three ever having played their instruments for more than a couple of months (having learnt a few chords on the guitars and a steady beat on the drums) it was soon recognised that a lead guitarist was needed. This allowed Roy to switch to Bass guitar where he felt more comfortable.
After a short search, a guitarist was taken on. This was John Rimmer from Crumpsall, Manchester, who was not only a keen and experienced guitarist, being a couple of years older than the founder members, but also had wheels. This allowed John to travel to weekly practice sessions which were at that time held at The Champness Hall Youth Club, on Drake Street, Rochdale. It also provided the group with an added vehicle to help the band get to the few, but increasing number of gigs.
Other than John's Cortina, with girlfriend (soon to be wife) Margaret included and providing much needed moral support, the group used Roy's brother John and the family's minibus to transport the increasing number of pieces of equipment.
John Bywater also helped in getting the odd gig, including being equal second band on the billing at the annual Rochdale festival two years on the run, held behind the Rochdale Town Hall.
Top of the bill on one such events was MUD, of Tiger Feet fame which at the time was about to hit the top of the charts. Pollution also bumped into Mud whilst playing on stage at Rochdale College (Now Hopwood Hall College). On this ocassion, a drum steadying leg went through their PA amps mains lead, putting it out of commission.
Still, I don't thing Pollution were too disappointed as they were then invited, by Les Gray, Mud's frontman and singer, to use their equipment, which was far superior to Pollution's.
Roy Bywater (pictured above circa 1974