two most famous old boys of Margaret Glen-Bott are probably Alvin
Lee and Richard Beckinsale.
Alvin (which was not his name at school)
was one of the first pupils to attend Margaret Glen-Bott where
he was something of a rebel, often being sent home for wearing
unsuitable rock-n’roll type clothing. The head teacher Miss
Lovatt warned him to “Smarten up and get rid of that guitar
as you’ll never make a living out of it.” Possibly
the only time she was quite so wrong!
His favourite teacher was a chemistry
teacher whose lessons he enjoyed so much that he came top. But
behaving nicely in a smart new school in Wollaton Park didn’t
suit him. He kept a guitar hidden under his desk and used to
practice chord shapes whenever he was bored.
He left school at 15, having played
guitar since he was 12. Above is a rare picture from 1960, with
the band the Jaycats, the year he left school. Alvin is on the
Later he moved to London with the band
Jaybirds which became Ten Years After. Alvin and the band hit
the big time, famously playing at Woodstock and featuring in the
classic documentary of that name. It's said that the band toured
America 28 times in 7 years – still a record for a British
band. Alvin is regarded as one of the most technically brilliant
guitarists of rock’n’roll, though he later became
as well known for rhythm and blues and country rock, releasing
over 20 albums in total.The
picture below was taken at the Isle of Wight Festival, in 1970.
Alvin now lives in Spain, though his
mother lived near MGB school until her death last year. In May
2004 Alvin toured the UK for the first time in nine years, including
a gig at the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall. The tour was in support
of his latest CD release, "Alvin Lee In Tennessee".
Richard was also an early pupil at
MGB, leaving at the age of 15. He took on a number of jobs while
studying at Clarendon College for further qualifications, and
won a place at RADA. He broke into TV with a small role in Coronation
Street but he is probably best known for his performances in
Rising Damp and Porridge.
He had a daughter, Samantha, who
also became an actress, with his first wife Margaret. Later
he married Judy Loe with whom he had a daughter Kate, now a
top screen actress. Richard died tragically young of a heart
attack in 1979, aged only 31.
Helen Whitehead, Editor, Farewell