AN attractive woman in a roadside burger bar was the inspiration for a canalside music project - and a song.

Former professional drummer Bob Critchley has built a recording studio on a narrowboat, moored on the canal in Banbury.

The boat is soundproofed and packed with state-of-the-art equipment, and now he wants local bands and musicians to use the boat to produce CDs.

He is also offering drum lessons and banjo tuition for would-be performers. The lessons can be given on the boat or at One Man Band music shop in White Lion Walk, Banbury. The project is called Hayley Bailey after the burger girl.

Mr Critchley said: "I stopped in a lay-by on the A41 near Aylesbury. I was immediately attracted to Hayley, who ran the mobile snack bar with her mother. That was last April, and I haven't been that way since, and I don't know if she is still there. I was so smitten that I've written and recorded a song about her, and I'm naming this project and the boat after her."

Mr Critchley developed his affection for music when he was growing up in Cheltenham.

He said: "My parents bought me a drum kit when I was 12. I've been in love with it ever since.

"When I was a teenager in Cheltenham, I went to a club above Burton's the Tailors. All the top bands went there - like Cream, with Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix."

Mr Critchley told how he met the young Hendrix. He said: "It was 1967-ish. I'd gone outside for some fresh air and was leaning against Burton's window. Jimi came out and said 'Where's the chip shop, man,' and I took him round the corner to the Continental Fish Bar. Jimi was young at the time - just starting out."

Mr Critchley moved to London when he was 18 and played the drums professionally in recording sessions and theatres.

He told how he became Bo Ritchley for one show.

He said: "It was at the Theatre Royal, London. The theatre decided to print the names of the performers on the inside of a werewolf mask. My name was where an eyehole was cut, and I lost the last letter of my first name and the first letter of my surname.

"I thought about adopting Bo Ritchley as my stage name, but never did."

Mr Critchley moved to Bodicote in 1993 to help his children get better schooling.

He said: "They were being mugged for their dinner money in London and we decided to move to somewhere more peaceful."

Mr Critchley has since separated from his wife and now lives on the narrowboat.

He said: "I've been working on it for a year. I've designed the studio myself and now I want local musicians to come and use it. They can contact me on 07792 563611."

Mr Critchley said: "I know the ins and outs of learning to play musical instruments and I can pass that knowledge on. I just want people to come and get involved in music.

He has recorded a track on which he plays all the instruments except the trombone.

He said: "My plumber, Rob Jarvis, played that. Rob is not just a plumber, he likes getting involved in music as well."

Mr Critchley used Tony Sole's Nutshell studio in Banbury to record the song Hayley Bailey, and was backed by young Bodicote group Odd Ones Out.

Vanessa Rogers, bass player with the group, said: "I've known Bob for a long time. In fact when Odd Ones Out were without a drummer, he sat in with us and helped out. We were pleased to return the favour."