On a winter's day late in 1986 a rock group burst onto the scene that would shatter forever the cosy complacency of the Open University. No longer could academics grumble about the unfairness of being obliged to meet students for two weeks a year at Summer School without being rebuked by the withering tone of Wimpey Three's debut song Summer School Blues. But Wimpey Three were not just angry young men. The tireless work of a Course Team Chair was celebrated in "He's Not There"; the timeless work of Faculty Board meetings was honoured in "Yakety Yak"; and the selfless devotion of academic staff was commemorated in “Money For Nothing”.
From 1987 onwards, special events in the lives of those who worked in Design were celebrated in song. The fire which burned down one end of Design's offices hut (the notorious Wimpey 3) was commemorated in "Light That Fire". The subsequent problems in the hut's infrastructure were recorded in "Raining in my Hut", and the eventual move into the Venables building after almost 20 years in 'temporary' accommodation was greeted with "Bye, bye Hut". The group was always quick to reflect and comment on events in University life. The self-reporting aspect of workloads in the Appraisal Scheme was tackled in "Eight Days a Week", and the usual outcome of Appraisal in "(I can't get no) Promotion".
For more than 20 years, the band pushed back the boundaries of rock 'n' roll in the Technology Faculty, working and playing on the edge (but never with The Edge!).
Wimpey Three on the Big Birthday Tour, Northampton, June 1992:
Nigel Cross, Ernie Taylor and Godfrey Boyle (+hidden drummer: Andy Wood)
Bye-Bye Wimpey Three: farewell gig, Venables Club, Milton Keynes, September 2008,
with guest saxophonist Peter Lloyd
Page Last Updated: 9 January, 2010