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Martin Chambers of The Pretenders

Martin (right) with John

My old house

Martin Chambers, the former drummer for The Pretenders, returns to his old house in Hereford. BBC H&W's Andrew Marston eavesdrops on a trip down memory lane.

Martin Chambers may have played gigs all over the world - including the Philidelphia gig at Live Aid -  but he's still a Hereford boy at heart, born and raised in the city.

BBC Hereford and Worcester's Andrew Marston joined Martin as he took a trip back to the home in the Newton farm area, where he lived from 1951-59.

The former Pretenders' drummer even got to look around his old house, parts of which, for some bizarre reason, are made of aluminium from Lancaster bombers, in the company of John, who now lives there.

As he walked up to the house he recalled a childhood accident, and a trip to Hereford hospital to get stitches:

Martin Chamber's old house

The house, seen from the road

"I fell over pulling my tricycle up the steps, which wasn't too clever, and fell on my head."

He also vividly recalls having to be rescued by his Dad:

"I can remember getting locked in the bathroom – I couldn't get out and my Dad had to climb in through the window to get me out."

Life and love

His trip to the area brought back a flood of memories - of playgrounds and 'witches hats', of attempts to burn down his Dad's shed, and of the closeness of the people who lived in this community:

"I remember coming home from school once, and my Mum was out - I thought I'd been abandoned.

Martin Chambers's old house

The garden

"I bawled my eyes out, and of course the neighbours came around and said 'What the matter with you Martin?' and all I could say was 'Mummy's not here!'

"I couldn't have been more than five or six."

There were also happier memories, of playing in the bedroom he shared with his brother, of his Mum doing people's hair, and of an early romance with a local girl called Janet:

"I can remember taking a girl out for a walk – I couldn't have been more than six – and I took her up to the river, and then we took a right and I took her into town. 

"I was only six, and we were hand in hand. The Police were looking for us, we'd been missing for hours."

It seems you can take the boy out of Hereford, but you can't take Hereford out of the boy.

last updated: 22/07/2008 at 08:12
created: 15/07/2008

You are in: Hereford and Worcester > Entertainment > Friday Session > Music map > My old house

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