RECENTLY we shared a photo of Weymouth band Violin Shoppe, who were on the verge of a major record deal at the start of the 1970s.

We managed to track down band member Phil McDonnell who, now 70 and living in London, has spent his life in the music industry. He recalls the day Violin Shoppe went to London with great clarity.

"It was a very exciting day," he said. "Not many bands from Weymouth had the chance to record a single, so it really was quite something. We recorded the tracks, then packed up and headed home. My mum handed me my sandwiches and I headed to work as an apprentice electrician like any other day."

Although he remembers Violin Shoppe being "very popular" across the south west, Phil thinks the band simply "ran its course."

"Two members left to form another band, and the rest of us carried on for a while. We called ourselves Porridge and performed some good gigs, but we didn't last long."

Yet that wasn't the end of Phil's musical career. Weeks after Porridge split up, at the age of 19, he received a call from London offering him a job with Fleetwood Mac. Phil went on to work as tour manager for more than two decades, supporting artists including Van Morrison, Steely Dan and Gin Blossoms. He is now the CEO of Horizon Entertainment Cargo Ltd.

Fifteen years ago he began organising reunion nights in Weymouth. "A lot of work I've done has been with nostalgia bands, and those that have reformed," Phil explains. "People love them. It takes them back to a time when they were young, and I wanted to bring that to the south."

As it turns out, some of the original members of Violin Shoppe will play at a reunion gig on Friday, September 25, at the Centenary Club in Weymouth.

We also heard from Andy Hutchings, 72, who worked for Jurassic Coast Theatrical Agency during the 1960s.

"Violin Shoppe really were something special," Andy says. "They were our most promising band and performed all across the region. Myself and two colleagues, Dave Spencer and Mike Lee, took them to London for the recording session; that was quite a day in my life."

Andy, from Weymouth, recalls how he was given a demo of that recording session, but has since misplaced it. The band would play regularly at the Rock Hotel on Abbotsbury Road, performing the classic sounds of the sixties and seventies.

Unfortunately, Violin Shoppe missed out on fame and later disbanded, but Andy, a former borough councillor, remembers the time spent promoting them with great fondness: "I'm really glad I was part of that scene," he says.

Alan Wolsey got in touch too, sharing memories of the local music scene in the late 1960s.

He said: "I was a roadie for another band at the time called Blow Up. I used to take their gear around and I knew the guys in Violin Shoppe, we were great friends at the time.

"A little story I have was that back in the late 1960s, it got around Weymouth that there was a group looking for roadies to take out to America. My friend Colin Stone, Phil McDonnell of Violin Shoppe and I thought we would pack our bags and go off to the US. I chickened out because I has just started courting but the other two went off to America. Turns out they were working for a little band called Fleetwood Mac!"

Alan continues: "They were with the band for quite some time, and still with them when Stevie Nicks joined. I still see Malcolm Lee of Violin Shoppe around - I used to call him Malcolm Kicklee.

"If you look on the album notes of Penguin [the seventh album by Fleetwood Mac] you can see a thank you to Colin and Phil."

Thank you to everyone who got in touch and shared their memories of the Weymouth band who almost found fame.