The group was formed at Alderman Blaxill School in the late 1970s but guitarist Bart Povah reveals it is not actually them featured in the series of photographs from the Gazette’s archives.

And he says the group are still together, continue to tour and have a new album in the pipeline.

Sharing vintage images and the history of the band Bart, who joined the band four years after it was founded in 1977, explains it was schoolmates Steve Green, known as Steve Arrogant, Steve Norris, now Duty, and Nigel Baker who put the band together.

“They were punks at schools but the idea of forming their own band came when they saw the Adverts in Colchester.”

The three schoolboys did not let a small thing like not being able to play their own instruments discourage them - Arrogant took on the vocals, Duty was on guitar and Nigel Baker on Bass.

Gazette: The band as they are nowThe band as they are now

“The band was originally going to be named X-pelled, but they switched to Special Duties when a box of around 200 badges with “Special Duties” printed on them which had been stolen from a school in Colchester came into their possession, the band deciding that they could save money on getting badges made by simply changing their name to match the stolen ones,” says Bart.

Word spread through the punk grapevine about Special Duty’s first gig.

The free event was planned to take place underneath the shopping precinct in Colchester.

Hundreds turned up to play a 15 minute version of the only song they knew, in the Marks & Spencer loading baby.

Bart explains he joined the band in 1980 and this was when their first demo was recorded, leading to a record deal with Charnel House Records.

Gazette: Vocals - Steve Arrogant in the early daysVocals - Steve Arrogant in the early days

Drummer Stuart Bray was brought on board soon after Special Duties moved to Rondelet Records who helped them record their first album in 1982 following the success of their second EP Police State which spent two months in the Indie chart.

Following a difficult period in which a fall out with a rival band caused them problems and their single Punk Rocker struggled to be distributed, the band split up 1983.

“It was received well but distribution was difficult,” explains Bart.

But 12 years later their first album, 77 in 82 was re-issued and, Bart says, got such a good response the band decided to get back together, playing at a gig at Brixton Academy in 1995.

They have remained together ever since.

Twenty three years ago they released a song to commemorate Colchester United reaching the 1997 final of the AutoWindscreens Shield at Wembley and a year later they went to New York for a gig at CBGB’s.

Since then they have continued to tour, including multiple festival appearances, shows and a US tour.

* Were you in the band erroneously identified as Special Duties in our recent photo spread ? please get in touch on 01206 508186 if it was or you have any images of events in Colchester’s past you would like to share.