Memories of Rick Parfitt at Hayling

Rock star Rick Parfitt's death has sparked memories of his early days in Hayling Island.

Tuesday, 27th December 2016, 10:02 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:48 pm
Rick Parfitt of Status Quo performing during the 2009 Glastonbury Festival Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The Status Quo guitarist, who passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 68, spent a season performing at a holiday camp on the island before finding international fame.

The rocker lived above the Hudson bar in the early 1960s at Mill Rythe Holiday Village, when it was a Sunshine Holiday Camp. He was in a band called The Highlights with the Harrison Sisters, Jean and Gloria.

Rick had been spotted playing guitar and singing in a London pub in 1963 by an agent who offered him a contract at the Hayling camp.

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The following season, The Highlights were boooked to perform at Butlins in Minehead and it was there that Parfitt met his future Status Quo partner Francis Rossi, who was playing in a band called The Spectres.

Five years ago, Rick visited Hayling with a film crew for a movie about the life and times of Status Quo.

The Harrison Sisters joined him to reminisce about their time at the camp.

Rick’s death was marked with sadness at Hayling.

Among those paying tribute was Maryann Williams, who posted to our Facebook page: ‘I used to work with him at the Sunshine Holiday Camp in the 60s he was a Yellow Coat there.

‘On our day off we would walk from the camp down to the fair at Beachlands then walk along the beach to Coastguard Fish and Chip Shop get 6d worth of chips and walk down to Eastoke to the Beach Club.

‘We had so many laughs just harmlessly mucking about and playing pranks. Bless him - he was a nice fun-loving guy.’