Big Wheel

Line-up included

  • Dick Gunnell - bass
  • Rick Henshaw - drums
  • Bob Simister - lead/vocals
  • Pete Baldwin - vocals
  • Paul Turner - bass (replaced DG)


Big Wheel were a Manchester Base Band who worked in France Around 1969 to 1973 in the pictures 

I have heard lead guitarist Bob Simister from Cheadle Heath is still going strong in France with Big Wheel. 

Prior to 1969 The Band was named Big Sound (not to be confused with other bands of the same name). 

Big Sound who played in Spain around 1965 to 1969 consisted of Bob Simister Guitar Vocals, Dick Gunnell on Bass (who used to play with Dave Curtis and the Tremors from Essex), Pete Baldwin and the late great John Rose on Drums. 

Great Bass Player and personality Paul Turner took over from Dick Gunnell.

I have recently learned the Paul passed away some time ago. He was a fantastic pal and we had some great laughs together.

I later worked with Paul in Walkden Based Band Strictly for Cash and did more than one gig despite guitarist Fuzz stating " Rick Henshaw one gig only" on the SFC page!! He was correct thought on one thing ... I did then leave to become a Fighter Pilot. 

When I joined Big Wheel in 1969, it was after Big Sound had had a severe car crash which put John into hospital. 

I stood in as temp for 3 months aged just 15 at the time ( I having been resident drummer at the Yew Tree Arms Hotel Wythenshawe for the previous 3 years whilst I was still at School) ... but sadly John did not return due to a lengthy stay in hospital.

He later played again doing cruises and top venues and eventually opened, John Rose Drum Shop in Sale, Manchester. 

We later became good pals and I bought my present double Yamaha Kit from him a few years back. 

Sadly John passed away in May 2013 to that "great stage in the sky" to work with other top sadly missed musicians. 

Big Wheel continued in 1968 with myself Rick Henshaw on Drums, Showman Bob Simister on Guitar Vocals and Dick Gunnell on Bass Vocals as a trio. We were a covers show band who did some comedy. 

In later times we were joined by Bill Simister on Keyboard Vocals, Terry Howells from Coventry on Keys, a Guy called Mick from London on Guitar and Ian Starr from Manchester replaced me on drums for a while then I returned twice more during a 7 year period. 

Barry Blood from Buxton also joined us for a while and he was a great guitar vocalist and big pal. Barry played with Shane Fenton and The Fentones at one time as did my brother Steve Henshaw. 

Sadly Barry passed away some years ago ... a fantastic guy, showman and great talent.

The band became friends with Sacha Distel and Petula Clark and there are numerous pictures of Sacha standing in with the band playing Jazz. 

I have attached a few pictures but have lots more which I will put onto my Myspace / Facebook and website 
which is not live presently but is under construction. 

Rick Henshaw - 22/6/13
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  • Chelsea Club Megeve 1970
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