Memories of VE Day 1995
Sent in on VE Day
The 75th Anniversary of VE Day is making me feel old - because I can
clearly remember the 50th!
My friend Harry Townsend of the New Jubilee Jazz Band was up from
Cornwall and we had a blow at the Sunday night session at the
Jodrell Arms, Whaley Bridge on the 7th May 1995. By some miracle I
found some photos yesterday, I knew they were lurking somewhere.
Sorry to say I can't remember the name of the band at the moment!
It was led by Phil Taylor from Glossop on Cornet and Flugel. We
took the opportunity to do a few "three tenors" numbers with
myself, Harry and regular Trombone player Pete Haslam. Harry had
only brought his mouthpiece with him so he played my Trombone,
I played Phil's Valve Trombone with my own mouthpiece.
Also in the photos are Gordon Stafford on Clarinet, Nigel Cretney on
Drums and Mike Dexter on Bass. At the back I think it was Phil's
son Joe on Piano.
chance that I found these yesterday, I'd been looking in the wrong
place! I knew I had more photos of Gordon Stafford somewhere. I
thought they were all recent shots from the Smugglers so this was a
nice surprise for me, I'd forgotten that Gordon played at the
Jodrell. I have more memories of him from the Cheshire Cheese in
Buxton. Another long-running jazz night on a Wednesday, remembered
by so many from the north-west. I think that ended in 1995!
The session at the Jodrell Arms was good experience for me. It
lasted about 18 months then the usual thing, a change of landlord
put an end to it. The band invited sitters-in from the start. At
first I asked to play tunes I knew, then I'd choose some off their
playlist and eventually I'd just get up when I was asked and play
whatever was coming next!
I also met a lot of people from the Manchester jazz scene. There was
Reg Kenworthy and Ed Fish, Bill Oldham (who died ten years ago this
March), Paul Medina, Sammy Reynolds on reeds, and many more. If my
wife was busy I'd get the train from Buxton and she'd come and meet
me later and drive me home. She was quite late a few times but never
let me down! The pub is actually one of the station buildings with
access off the platforms to the first floor. It was effectively the
"station hotel" which was confusing because "The Railway" pub was at
the bottom of the approach road and was also a well-known music pub.
Another sitter-in was Julian Gregory, a violin player with the BBC
Philharmonic Orchestra in Manchester. Julian now has his own Gypsy
Jazz band, apart from the "day job".
Phil Taylor was a school head and had a couple of bands who were
mostly teachers - the Staffroom Stompers and the Backroom Buskers. I
played with one of these for a while on Sunday nights at the Baker's
Vaults in Stockport. I still haven't remembered the name of the band
at the Jodrell.
More happy memories!