During Robby Welbeck’s infamous “year off” from the Welbeck Group, he tried to do the the whole rock n roll thing. Drink, cars, women etc. However he just was too nice a guy to do it with any vengeance! Apart from his infamous wrecking of his Series One Modular Moog in Maida Vale Hight Street, the most he could do was put a modest dent in the front of his Alfa Romeo sports car (see picture above), and get as bit tipsy at parties.

He was the one member of the Welbeck Group that liked a drink- but even then, his excesses were far and few between. He once went to a party thrown by the Chief Roadie “Dirk” at Enfield, but got a train back to Central London- the wrong way! He ended up at Shoeburyness, one stop before Southend on Sea, totally lost, drunk, with no money (he left his wallet at the party) and cold.

Shoeburyness Station

He wandered around the town for a bit, but could find nowhere warm. He went to the local Police station, but they sent him off with a flea in his ear, saying he could “sleep on a bench on the front”.  They obviously hadn’t heard of the infamous Welbeck Group, let alone Danny’s wayward younger brother in the band, Robby Welbeck. He wandered around and found the abandoned Gunnery school there- but couldn’t get inside:

He ended up going back to Shoeburyness station where he found that there was a degree of warmth in the photo booth on the station. There he stayed until he heard a train come in at 4.30am.  This was a goods train, taking fish and milk into London, but the guard for that train took pity on young Robby. He said that his daughter was a fan of the Welbeck Group, and if Robby would give his  autograph, then he could travel back to Liverpool Street station in the guards van. Robby was a bit of a model railway freak in his younger days, so the chance to travel in one of the last operating Southern Railway Guard’s van was too good to be true!

The deal was struck, a signature was given, and Robby managed to get back to London by 6am, smelling of fish! The other band members were worried about him, but he gave his brother Dannt Welbeck a call from a phone booth, and all was well.

In fact, as a tribute to the wonderful place known as Shoeburyness, the band did a gig there a year later as part of the “Welbeck Group Back to Their Roots” tour.

It isn’t on record whether the daughter of the guard who gave Robby a lift back to london on the Fish Train was there, but he did mention the incident when introducing one of their songs “Thank You” which seemed appropriate!

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