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2019

John Stokes, Dave Pearson and I, Jonathan Young, would like to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

At the time of writing this, it is New Year’s Day. 2019, can you believe it. Where did 2018 go.
It is always a pleasure to write about a new venue so may we say how much we enjoyed appearing at THE RED HALL HOTEL in Ramsbottom on the 6th of December. It’s an excellent hotel just off the motorway with a great manager and friendly staff.

Our number one fan Irene from West Bromwich  had a nasty fall and is currently in hospital .We wish her a speedy recovery.

Ken & Lady DoddEvery year sadly we have to say goodbye to some of the people in our business and of those we have lost no one is more irreplaceable than the great KEN DODD who we lost back in March. As a solo act I first worked with him at THE BROADWAY CLUB in Liverpool and of course John Stokes knew him well as they worked together many times. As I have mentioned before, his wife Lady Ann was kind enough to attend the EMPIRE THEATRE Blackburn for the premier of JIMMY CRICKETS play “NO MORE FIFFING AND FAFFING” and was very encouraging in her comments.

Incidentally Jimmy has booked some more dates, starting with THE MET THEATRE Bury on the 23rd of February at 2.30 and 7.30 and THE Chorley Little THEATRE on the 19th of May. These are small theatres so contact the box office ASAP for the best seats. See posters for details.

Chorley fiffing 2019 fiffing bac 2019 Met fiffing 2019
Click a picture for larger view.

It is now the 1st of April and before we look forward let’s first of all look back and start with the 10th of March when we appeared at THE ROZAFA, Greek Restaurant on Princess Street Manchester. What a great day that was. Everyone came in after watching the Irish Parade so that was the start of The Saint Patricks Day celebrations. Thanks to Peter the owner and all his friendly staff and of course everyone who attended but a special thank you to Patsy, a terrific girl singer who did a great performance with a top selection of Irish/Country music.

St Patrick's 2019

Brick Lane 2019On the 15th of March we returned to one of our favourite venues namely BRICK LANE MUSIC HALL in London. We did a series of seven shows and everyone a sell-out. As much as we would like to take all the credit for that I’m afraid we must give it to the proprietor VINCENT HAYES MBE. Vince directs and performs in all the shows with each one having a different theme. If he had a theme song it would be “PERFECT as that’s how everything in Brick Lane has got to be.

Elanor TomlinsonThe first half belonged to Vince and his company doing their St. Patricks Show.  It was excellent from start to finish and when you are coming to the twilight of your own career it’s nice to work with young talent. Ciara Power, a lovely girl with a beautiful voice, Victoria Yellop a superb violinist with a great act. Ross Tomlinson a young man with a great voice. Needless to say they can all dance and act and with Vince linking everything with humour it was pure entertainment.
Incidentally Ross has a sister called Eleanor who came to watch the show and was kind enough to tell us how much she enjoyed our contribution. Some of you might have seen her in POLDARK among other things, a great actress.
Bonnington 2019We extend our gratitude to the excellent musicians that we had the pleasure of working with. Andy on drums, Martin and Matt on second keyboards and musical director Tom Carradine.

And now to the future. As I have said before we only advertise future shows if the venue asks us to, as some are private functions and others like Warner’s do their own publicity

Friday the 19th sees us making our yearly visit to CLEVELEYS WMC Blackpool. Tickets can be obtained from the club.

Jeff and Helen have once again put a terrific bill together for Bonnington Theatre in Arnold ,Nottingham on Friday the 20th of Septemberand we are looking forward to that.

Some of you have been kind enough to ask if I am still appearing in JIMMY CRICKETS play “No more Fiffing & Faffing” so here are the dates. After Chorley on the19th of May its Bridleton on the 18th of July and Port Sunlight on the 6th of October. We are in the process of putting more dates for 2020 so I will keep you informed.


Nidd HallIt is now nearing the end of July and I am looking back at some of the venues I think worth mentioning from our final year.
On the 6th 0f July we did our final show at Nidd Hall which brought back many memories, not just of Nidd Hall but all the fabulous Warner hotels we have had the pleasure appearing at. It was particularly memorable for Dave as it was the first venue he worked with us when he replaced Kevin Neil. As usual we were made very welcome by the entertainments manager Drew and his crew and had the pleasure of using their new state of the art sound system. There is no better way than to finish a performance than with a standing ovation and that’s what we got, from a terrific audience.

 

On the 14th of July we appeared at Launde Abbey near Leicester. It was probably the most unusual show we will ever do as we were to appear in a small tent, while the people sat all around us on garden furniture in the Abbey grounds. As luck would have it, it stayed dry so we ventured out of our tent and performed on the grass. As a backdrop to all this we were surrounded by about forty vintage Rolls Royce’s as it was the 50th anniversary of their club. A truly memorable day and many thanks to Jeff Dennis who organized the whole event and was kind enough to send us this lovely email.

Hi Jonathan

Thank you and the Band for attending the Rolls Royce Enthusiast Club [ East Midlands Section] 50th Anniversary Event.
You were all simply brilliant and in no small measure helped to make the event a hugh success.
You still possess that magic which helped to make you a success in the 60's and which brought many nostalgic memories back for our members.Your Irish humour was also much appreciated. 
Please find a photo attached showing you performing to a section of the audience. If someone sends me any others I will pass them on.
Wishing you all good health and good fortune in the future.

Jeff

Rolls Royce 1 Rolls Royce 2

 

CleveleysOn Friday the 19th we made our final appearance at Cleveleys Working Men’s near Blackpool. A great night thanks first of all to the friendly staff, the backing provided by Mark and Roy, a great comedian Nicky Newsome and everyone who attended, especially all our fans who travelled all the way from Manchester. We were sorry that compere DES DAY had to cancel through illness and we wish him a speedy recovery.

JOE LONGTHORNEOn the 3rd of August the world of show business lost one of its finest talents, the wonderful, JOE LONGTHORNE. MBE. It is very hard for us to find words to describe his incredible career that have not already been used in the many tributes paid to him. Suffice to say” we will never see his like again”. One of our last appearances at Warner’s Alviston Hall was when we were asked to replace him as he was unable to perform. The room was full of his fans who, considering they were only told at the last minute gave us a great reception. We talked to quite a few of them after the show and their main concern was his health. The last time I saw Joe was in the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, where he was doing a season with our good friend Roy Walker. After the show we chatted back stage in his dressing room which incidentally was packed. That was no surprise as Joe Longthorne had time for everyone.

BonningtonIt is now the the 24th of September and as usual I am looking back and looking forward as well. First of all looking back to last Friday and the great night we had in The Bonnington theatre in Arnold. This is a theatre we could not leave out when we planned our farewell tour. Great management, terrific staff especially Peter and Russel who did the sound and lighting and it was first class. Throughout our web site you will find nothing but praise for promoters and they don’t come any nicer than Helen and Jeff Kemp. Every show we have ever done for them has been an absolute joy and we wish them our sincere best wishes in their retirement. They have a high standard when they put on a show and this one was no exception. First of all the best musicians, the back bone of the show and this time it was Terry Bell on keyboards and Phil Jeffery on drums. Phil has probably backed us more than any other drummer and has become someone we are always pleased to see behind that kit. It was nice to get the chance to work with ETERNITY again, a really great boy girl harmony duo that has our best wishes for the future. STEVE BARCLAY. What can you say about Steve? We have been working with him on and off for over twenty years and watched him develop into a first class comedian and as such did a great job making people laugh while linking the whole show as compere.

Quote from Jeff Kemp (Promoter)
“Thanks for an outstanding performance”

bonnington 3bonnington 2Which brings me to the Bachelors with John Stokes.

We enjoyed every minute. I never saw an hour go so fast. The standing ovation was very moving. Great Audience Great Night.

 

Looking forward to Friday the 11th of October when we will be performing at The United Reform Church Social. Bess of the Barns, Manchester. Joining us on the bill will be our good friend JIMMY CRICKET and JIMMY JERMAIN (Cliff Richard). This will be a great night with all proceeds going to Saint Francis House Children’s Hospice.

The tickets are £15 and can be purchased by ringing Chris on 0161 766 5446

On a sad note, Irene our number one fan had booked to attend Bonnington but had to cancel as she had to go back into hospital. John , Dave and I send our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

 

There are two shows coming up very soon that I am happy to be involved with and they have a connection. They are both in aid of The Rochdale Mayors Charity with the proceeds going to good causes. The first one is at The Rochdale Town Hall and takes place on Remembrance Sunday the 10th of November. The details are on the poster and I am standing in as narrator for Charlie Lawson known to Corrie fans as Jim Macdonald who sadly can't make it because of TV commitments.

The next show for the same charity takes place at THE EMPIRE CLUB, which is virtually next door to the Town Hall on the 14th of November and that will be me as lead singer with THE BACHELORS with John Stokes supported by 60's tribute band CARNABY STREET. Again details are on the poster. Hope you can attend one or both of these shows as they really are for a good cause.

Wee man

 

Rochdale 2019

 

It is now the 4th of November so let’s have a look back at some memorable moments from October.

Friday the 11th.What a great night we had at The United Reform Church Social in Besses of the Barns, Manchester raising money for Francis house Children’s hospice. Chris and Jim did most of the organizing all we had to do was perform and what a pleasure that was. You don’t often have a show that contains three top of the bills but that’s what we had. First up was JIMMY JERMAIN who really is the personification if CLIFF RICHARD. To say it was an impression would not do justice to a terrific act. Every show needs humour and they don’t come any funnier than our old friend JIMMY CRICKET. As most of you know I have known Jimmy for nearly 50 years and he still makes me laugh just as he did everybody else. It was an honour for us to close the show backed by CARNABY STREET and to receive a standing ovation from a lovely audience, so thank you Chris and Jim and all your helpers and we hope you raised plenty for a truly worthy cause.

Jimmy Cricket show

SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

On the 15th that’s what it was for John Stokes because Dave and I kept him in the dark about a special presentation.

Our good friend, promoter and producer MARK ANDREWS was organizing a charity event at the CAST THEATRE in Doncaster in aid of THE WATER RATS benevolent fund and asked me if we would like to be the mystery guest stars and close the first half. What we did not tell John was that Mark would present him with an award for his services to THE WATER RATS and to celebrate his great career with THE BACHELORS plus his 25 years as THE BACHELORS with John Stokes. Following a very emotional standing ovation John was completely gobsmacked when Mark walked on stage like Eamon Andrews to do the presentation as were Dave and I when two former Tiller girls presented us with awards as well. There were so many Water Rats on the bill I won’t even try to name them maybe you can pick them out from the photograph. A very memorable day, for which we will be forever grateful to MARK ANDREWS for making it happen.

Good old 1

Good old 2

Good old 3

 

On the 16th we boarded the COLUMBUS in Tilbury Dock to begin a two week cruise to the Canary Islands and back. This would be our 5th cruise for” Cruise and Maritime” and when I say we, I mean John and Dave I was to join them in Lanzarote in the 23rd as I had some solo commitments. Although we were just booked to do our act twice on the 29th the theme was THE MUSICALS and Chris Gidney had assembled some of the finest stars that ever worked the West End. CLAIRE SWEENY, JESICA MARTIN, SUE HODGE, STEVE DEVEREUX, and ROSMARY ASHE, even the vicar the Reverend Cindy Kent was the ex-lead singer with THE SETTLERS. Does anyone remember “The Lightening Tree”? Chris Gidney organized for us all to dine together along with all the lecturers which it believe or not included MARK ANDREWS. Chris called it bonding so by the end of the cruise we all parted as friends. I should add that it was nice to meet up again with that great impressionist CHRIS GEE . Always a pleasure Chris.

Columbus

Oh yes, our two shows were a huge success, another two standing ovations, (I know it’s getting boring). Don’t take my word as here is a direct quote from the Reverend Cindy Kent.

“The show you guys did was really fabulous, so professional and captivating so thank you for that.”

 

empire clubFrom Lanzarote to Rochdale and it is now the 14th of November and the venue is THE EMPIRE CLUB. As already mentioned this show was in aid of The Rochdale Mayors Charity. This show was organized by my good friend Dave Richardson who sadly could not attend due to his wife’s illness. However it turned out to be a great night and a lot of money was raised which we know will go to good causes.

People often ask us what makes a great show. Well first of all you need a proper venue, which we had. It was a long time since we worked a night club and they don’t come much better than this one, great staff, terrific sound system, great atmosphere which adds up to great management. Then you need a great comedian to get everyone in a good mood and when people say “there’s not much to laugh at these days” We say yes there is he is called MIKE LANCASTER a very funny guy. It is always a bonus when you can find a group that can not only back us but also do a brilliant act on their own so that is why we always book CARNABY STREET.

The show was attended by the Mayor and Lady Mayor who personally thanked everyone for their services. That brings us to the end of 2019. What a year see you all in 2020.