Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
Article by Paul Wright, 2019
The Fireflies

The “Fireflies” were a well polished, and very popular local group doing some great covers of sixties records of the time. I fondly remember them covering Booker T and the MG’s instrumental “Green Onions”. This involved drummer Dave Wagg having to keep a really fast tempo going on the cymbals and snare drum.

The Fireflies in 1965

 Left to Right, Johnny Tyrell, Mick Cox, Dave Wagg,
Derek Wagg and Ben Jennings

The line up of the 1965 photo with the Volvo car is left to Right, Johnny Tyrell, Mick Cox, Dave Wagg, Derek Wagg and Ben Jennings. Dave and Derek were brothers by the way. This shot was taken down on the Embankment at Wellingborough.

Lead guitarist “Mick Cox” used to play a Burns guitar, and I had the real honour of drumming alongside him and his friend Pete May in the 1960’s.

Mick’s father was Gordon Cox, who was one the partners at Rushden engineering company “Cox and Wright”.

They lived up at Avenue Road, and Gordon drove a beautiful E Type Jaguar car.

“Cox and Wright” were based on the corner of Wellingborough Road/Sanders Lodge. That factory became Helix lighting, but is now used by “Home Outlet Store”.

By 1966 the “Fireflies” decided to add two guys to the group, and they recorded their farewell disc in 1967, at the Shield Studios in Kettering.

As a point of interest the classic Volvo car, and I suppose the eternal image of Roger Moore driving his Volvo sports car in the 1960's cult TV show, “The Saint”, endures even today.

The Volvo Car Corporation supplied the "The Saint" television producers a total of five P1800 models for use on their show. As you can appreciate this was a massive PR opportunity, and Volvo happily supplied the first one in 1962, registered as 71 DXC, within one week of it being requested.

In 1964, Volvo moved production of the P1800 line from England over to Sweden, and sent one of the new 1800S models, registration 77 GYL, to the set of "The Saint". The first car was then chopped up for better interior shot access for the cameras.

Incorporated Television Company (ITC), were the producers and distributers of “The Saint”. The founder members of that company were Val Parnell and Lord Lou Grade. Incorporated Television Company was wound up in 1998.

You may have seen one of the cars, at the "Cars of the Stars" museum in Keswick, this had the official 'Saint' car on display for you to enjoy. That car was the fully restored 1964, registration 77 GYL, with a giant Saint logo on it. (I can hear the sig tune in my head now, how about you?)

That museum closed in May, 2011, along with the Bond Museum in Keswick.

Nearly all of the vehicles were then sold to an American collector. He relocated the collection to America, where he used it to establish a permanent 'Cars of the Stars' exhibition at his Miami Auto Museum.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the Leisure, Clubs & Societies index
Click here to e-mail us