Legends of Brocklehurst Chapter 14
The next morning, totally refreshed, I had a full English breakfast, and went to pick up the Scorpio. Having parked the car I was in plenty of time to meet Neil off his flight. I was holding a hand written sign which said "Chauffeur in a Rush", which Neil found amusing. We quickly headed for the short term parking area, and drove away from Heathrow. All Neil could talk about was the ill fated Mercedes. Apparently everyone in Anthem, and connected to the tour were talking about nothing else. When I showed Mr. Peart the news paper article, he laughed out loud, and said he would have to have copies made so they could be faxed to friends. For the first few days copies were faxed by all senior members of the tour to their friends, and relatives all over the world. Once again, unintentionally, I had given a Rush tour some amusement, and this one hadn't started yet.
We headed up the M1 towards Sheffield, talking, and catching up. The trip was uneventful, and we arrived at the Sheffield Moat House Hotel mid afternoon. The next day was production load in day, and the Thursday rehearsal day, so apart from taking Neil to the Sheffield Arena and back, once, I had two days off.
After having a bath, and a change of clothes I went to a nearby restaurant for a steak, and a glass or two of red wine. Again as during the HYF tour I was on a daily wage plus expenses. Breakfast was included, but all other meals I had to pay for, and couldn't afford prices charged by the hotels. On returning to the hotel I headed for the bar. I fancied a few drinks knowing I had the next day off. As I ordered a vodka, and tonic, I could see a few of the crew at the opposite side of the bar. Although I was completely at ease regarding meeting them all again, I decided to stay where I was. Then that familiar blonde head turned round, and spotted me. Alex walked over, gave me a big hug, and invited me to join them. Most of the usual suspects were there but all anyone wanted to talk about was the Mercedes. No sooner had I told my story than someone else joined the company, and I had to start all over again. Alex in particular found it hilarious, and made up various reasons why it had been set on fire. One suggestion was Mark, and I had imported a load of Colombian Marching Powder, and we had torched the car to get rid of forensic evidence. That idea was deemed the most likely, and variations of this were offered throughout the tour. Funnily enough when I returned home this was also the consensus of opinion. The truth was however as I have told it, and I am still not sure exactly what happened.
Later in the evening Pegi Cecconi came into the bar. We had got on very well during the previous tour, and I was delighted to see her again. Pegi has a wonderful sense of humour, and a great deep throated laugh which booms out when ever she is amused. She introduced me to a guy she was with. He was a well known photographer called Fin Costello who had taken pictures of all the well known bands in the 60's and also many of Rush in their early days. Pegi is a massive Coronation Street fan, and during the conversation asked me if I had ever been to the Coronation Street Studio in Manchester. She knew about the tours open to the public there,, and wondered if Neil's car could be commandeered to take her the next day. Now the car was only for us and on the HYF tour no-one, and I mean, no-one, was allowed to use it. Neil's typical reply on the couple of times a tentative request had been made to give some one a lift was.
"Feck off, you have limos, trains, and planes, the car is mine and Peter's." No one inquired further after that answer.
Understandably Pegi was loath to ask Neil direct, so full of alcohol, I said I would sort it. I rang Neil's room, and surprisingly he agreed right away, and told me to enjoy myself. I relayed his answer to Pegi who was delighted. We arranged a time to set off the next day, and then Fin asked if he could join us. It was agreed, and he said he would take some pictures of us on set. I was slightly less impressed than Pegi who was over the moon, however I didn't have to buy another drink all night. Alex kept making comments about drugs in the boot, and told Pegi to make sure she got out of the car before it was set alight. "Peter used to live in Manchester, Pegi, he has many criminal contacts there", he said with a big grin on his face.
After breakfast the next morning the three of us set off for Manchester. I drove via Snakehead Pass to show Pegi, and Fin the beautiful countryside. Arriving at the Granada Studios we bought tickets, and joined the tour. For me it wasn't very impressive, but Pegi was like a kid in a sweet factory. Fin took dozens of snaps, some of Pegi, and me, and some of just her. We had great fun posing in front of various places, and inside The Rovers Return. ( The pub in Coronation Street. ) We came back via the M62 so they could see the desolate, but strangely beautiful moors. On the way Fin asked me if I could get him a forged driving license for a friend. I said if he gave me all the details it would be no problem, and if he sent me a copy of the photos that I was on from our trip to Manchester, I wouldn't charge him. After the tour I posted the license to him, but never received my pictures. I have often wondered if his friend is still driving on that forged license ?