25th Oct, 2021

MUSIC MATTERS by Pete Chambers: My holy grail of records is here!

A Bit of an Orchid Situation

It’s a special day as I write this and the man on the street who cares not about vinyl and record collecting may look away now.

Those of you who like a spot of crate digging and cherish their record collecting will understand where I am coming from when I say I have found my holy grail of a record and my search is over.

Yes, last Saturday, a package arrived and it contained a single 45 record that I have been wanting for the Music Museum for years and years.

It’s the Belgium picture cover of The Orchids song ‘Love Hit Me’.

I have the English, German and American release, but never this very rare copy that comes with a picture sleeve! Picture sleeves were standard in Europe in the 1960s but not in Britain.

The Orchids were three schoolgirls from Stoke Park School in Coventry who signed for Decca Records.

They failed to make the charts but Georgina Oliver, Pamela Jarman and Valerie Jones had something very special and struck a chord.

Had things been different, they could have popularised an authentic English answer to the US girl group sound (a bit like Grime has done to American Hip Hop).

Sadly that never happened, but their records have become increasingly more collectable over the years, and they have recently enjoyed something of a cult status.

On hearing my joy, former Orchid Val Jones said: “Great to see The Orchids still blooming” and Georgina Johnstone said, “Wow! Who knew? I’m flattered that you’re so excited to get this. Feeling quite ‘je ne sais quoi’ that our little old record causes such pleasure. Never knew we had a record released in Belgium.”

So my record collection is now complete, well, for now.


I’m always impressed with how CVFolk have mobilised their collective talent and have created something very special, aimed at keeping the folk genre in the limelight locally and beyond.

They are already gearing up for 2021, it’s hoped that music will feature strongly in the City of Culture programme, with folk music and dance.

The wonderful Albany Theatre in Coventry is providing access to their studio performance area on the second Sunday of each month as a regular folk stage.

Most of these events will take the form of informal and interactive performances (music and dance) from 4pm to 7pm, although one event (the November concert) will have a later start-time of 7pm.

So look out for two exciting gigs from CVFolk at Albany Theatre, there is one on October 14, The Coventry All Star Folk Show, featuring; Kristy Gallacher, Rob Halligan, Poachers Pocket and Willow and Tool Band. 4-7pm, £5 jug collection.

Then on November 11, Rosie Hood is in concert also at the Albany Theatre. Admission will be £8 and tickets are available online from https://albanytheatre.co.uk/box-office.


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