Hank Marvin and the link to Higher Wiscombe
Hank Marvin lived at Higher Wiscombe from 1971 to 1974. He is the leader of the famous Shadows whose no 1 hits include:
– Living Doll
– The Young Ones and several more………..
Other famous hits include:
– The theme from The Deer Hunter
The Shadows remain the UK’s most successful instrumental band and their singles have been in the UK charts for almost 800 weeks in total.
Hank Marvin was a popular figure in Southleigh, in the early seventies the village had its very own popstar. He was not at all remote towards the locals and many came to know him quite well. The late Peggy Dennet, our children’s favourite baby-sitter, used to baby sit for his children, and told us of the regular visits of Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard to Higher Wiscombe.
He was responsible for putting in the swimming pool, which must have been regarded as quite a luxury in those days, as well as modernising the house to true seventies standards. Hank Marvin used to refer to Higher Wiscombe as his “Devon Estate” and if you get taxi from one of the older drivers at Honiton Railway Station you’re best asking for “Hank Marvin’s place”, it will still get you here, plus a story or two!
One of the momentoes we have of his tenure here is the burglar alarm he had installed. We found the master box when we were doing up the old dairy and it’s a simple system by todays standards. If a door or window was opened, it broke a circuit, which then automatically called the police and played a 7” single to them. Sadly, not a rare recording of Apache or FBI, instead, Hank Marvin’s voice politely asking the Police to come as quickly as possible.
We are currently on the search for posters and photographs of Hank Marvin and the Shadows so that we can feature his time here. Particularly relevant in The Old Winery, which we are told he had plans to make into a recording studio.
We have now added an annexe to the farmhouse, as a luxury sleeps 2. This has been called “Hank’s Annexe” as it was his store area and an extra bedroom. The annexe features lots of art showing Hank Marvin and his iconic red Fender Telecaster guitar.
As we find out more information of his stay here we’ll post it up here. Thanks for reading.