Four schoolboy pals who formed their own band half a century ago are still in perfect harmony – and have raised more than half a million pounds for charity.
This week, the members of Fynnius Fogg are playing their 1,000th gig and are inviting the people of Bedford to help them celebrate their remarkable story.
Jamie Catlett, Bob Randall, Tony Wereszcynski and Bernard Hewittt, all now 65, bonded through their love of music when they were schoolboys at St Gregory’s.
All four went on to study at Bedford’s former Mander College, where they were quickly snapped up to perform at student gigs.
They formed Fynnius Fogg and, after leaving college, became a professional band for several years.
“Then along came wives and children and mortgages, so we thought we should be responsible and get ‘proper’ jobs,” said guitarist Tony.
By 1995 all four friends had set up their own successful companies and decided it was time to reform the band.
“The difference this time is that we wanted to perform for fun, just because we love being together and playing music together,” said Tony.
They made the decision to waive their fees and donate the cash to charity instead. But they never dreamed it would have such an impact.
“Today we’re delighted to say we’ve raised more than £660,000 for a whole variety of good causes,” said Tony.
“We’ve never asked for a fee in the past 22 years. Instead we have piles of lovely thank you letter from the organisers of charity balls, functions and festivals, so we’re more than happy.”
So far the Fynnius Fogg crew have no intention of retiring but when they do decide to hang up their instruments, Tony has a contingency plan.
“We have seven grandchildren between us and they are all musical. They’d make a perfect Fynnius Fogg 2!” he said.
You can watch Fynnius Fogg perform in aid of Macmillan cancer support at the Embankment Bandstand this Sunday between 2pm and 5pm.
They will also perform at Northampton’s Abington Park on Sunday June 18 between 2pm and 5pm.