The Saracens
Barnoldswick, Near Colne

Line-up included  
Ken Ranson vocals
Cliff Stocker guitar
Geoff Peacock bass
Alan Percival drums

The group was originally formed from Barnoldswick lads (near Colne), later changes included drummer Alan Percival from Burnley. Sadly, Alan passed away a few years ago, but will be remembered not only for his playing, but also his flamboyant style (and his 'dubious' jokes). A great lad and a great drummer. 

The photo, taken on the steps of Burnley Casino Club in 1965 (now the Mechanics Institute) are, from left to right: Ken Ranson (vocals), Alan Percival (drums), Cliff Stocker (guitar - now leader of Slack Alice) and me, Geoff Peacock (bass). I still have the Gibson EBO bass (among others) - it's currently being 'lightly re-furbished'.

We played a lot at Nelson Imperial alongside most of the current stars who appeared there, as well as at Rawtenstall Astoria and most other venues in East and Central Lancashire (The Pink Elephant springs immediately to mind!).

We even managed the Twisted Wheel on the odd occasion (when my T60 bass cabinet fell off the stage!).

The Top Twenty Club at Hollinwood was a regular Monday night booking (never 'gigs' in those days) which we were happy to do for very little money, as Monday nights would have been spent doing nothing otherwise. They always had a great crowd there, albeit on the small side, but it was a small place, so they created a good atmosphere.

We also did the Pyramid Club and 3 Cellars in Rochdale, and a club in Bacup (can't remember the name).

We loved coming over to the Rochdale/Oldham area, where a our brand of R&B was much better appreciated than closer to home.

Another memory is of playing alongside David John and the Mood at the 3 Cellars, after first playing at Nelson Imperial, then driving over to Rochdale for the all-nighter: I think we went on at about 1-45 am. New Year's Eve (1965) saw us at a club in Leigh, where Alan dropped a cast-iron mike stand on my foot and broke my toe.

On packing the van afterwards, the condensation on the inside had frozen into icicles, which dripped down our necks all the way home - about an hour's journey - a painful night all round, believe me, but I wouldn't have missed it for all the beer in Thwaites' Brewery!

Geoff Peacock

Alan Percival went to the same youth club as me,Sandygate in Burnley. Great lad, he married my sister in law`s sister Marjorie Hall. They split up and he then married Gloria Aspinall.

Catherine Bradshaw


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Comments (3)

Topic: The Saracens
Steve Riley says...
Was the club in Bacup "The Tender Trap"?
11th January 2015 1:33pm
Geoff Peacock says...
YES! It definitely was the Tender Trap. Can't think how I managed to forget that name.
6th April 2016 10:36pm
Geoff Peacock says...
Sadly, Cliff Stocker passed away on 24/4/2016. He will be greatly missed by all Slack Alice fans everywhere. A real gentleman, a fantastic singer/songwriter and a true legend.
26th April 2016 1:04am

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