Wigan Grammar Schools104 Comments
Photo: Melany Rose
Item #: 6613
Seated L to R Norm Melling, Billy Brown.
Standing L to R. Jas Holding, Joe Fairhurst, Curly Dowdall, Noel Smith and Geoff (Elmer) Hardman. Poor old Cliff was behind the camera and Jas bodged his attempts at photography.
Who,s Melany Rose ? it don,t matter but I took a pic like this. A fine body of men here.
Nice one lads.
they dont look a day over ninety
Wow! The diamond geezers my old man waffled on about. Look at him – the one and only notorious Jesse James Holding. Just like I imagined looking cool with his sun tan and semi shades, like he’s just making a fleeting visit from the Costa del Crime before the Old Bill catch up with him. Gentleman Joe Fairhurst and Dangerous Dowdall , the odds fixer. Mad Melling and Noel the musician who’s famous dad played the drums at the great King of Clubs in it’s hay day. Fantastic. And the magnificent Arthur Daley of Wigan, Elmer Hardman. I passed his garage the other day in Chorley Rd Horwich but the great man was nowhere to be seen. It’s just great to see them after all the stories and anecdotes I heard. They were just myths and legends to me. Pity the whole gang isn’t here. The terrible twins, Crafty Cliff and Desparate Deano. Jesse the racketeers enforcer “Bloody” Bill Ashurst, Psycho Wick, Pyker Pykey, Pretty Boy Riley and the rest. This pic has made my day.
Good pic. Don't know what Crafty Cliff does for a living but maybe he has a future as a photographer. Rock on lads.
James I'm glad you dropped the teddy boy image and have adopted a more respectable countenance. Of course I'm still hoping you will one day find your way back to church and the good book. It will be good for your soul. Nice picture.
knowsley, it did turn out ok and I,m no photographer I just pressed.
Sorry I couldn't make it on the night bernard love. You do look very handsome.
Thats not Bernard Dowdall its a cloned android you can see the aerial on top of his head.
Used to work with Bernard at Wigan Housing,didn't know he was a cross country runner ,senna pods couldn't shift him out the office (lol).Played with Noel in the clubs many times, as far as I'm concerned he was one of the best keyboard players in Wigan,and so laid back he made Perry Como look hyperactive.....nice to see some other owd buggers.
Hi Les. I must take issue over Bernard. He's the unasuming type who hides his light under a bushel. He is a man of many talents. As a young boy he heroically stood outside in all weathers to collect aid for kids not as fortunate as himself. Later in life he was a well known racontuer and racing pundit especially in the hostelries of Wigan. More lately he has been active within the entertainment industry. At school he was no mean poet and rumour has it that the great Mike Harding once took more than a passing interest in his work. He now comments regularly on various websites. I would say - watch this space. Last but not least he has always been regarded highy amongst his friends. One day he will probably be nominated for a honour. If Whelan can get the keys of the town for taking Orrel down then why not our Curly. So everyone raise a glass to Bernard.Viva El Dowdall.
Who's Les Wilding Curly?
Good turn out but I should think there is a few don't know about this.We should do better next time.
Melany, I appologise sincerely I now know who you are and thanks so much for postin this picture.and by the way
You doin anything tomorrow night ? We owe you. thanks again.
Hello Mr Glass. I feel an explanation is in order,I know Bernard from when we worked together at Wigan Housing and Noel from the time I was a superstar (in my dreams) in the local clubs in various groups,trios and duos,(I started at the top and worked my way down)I didn't realise there were two Bernards lol seriously he is a good lad,and I am sober.I must ask forgiveness from you all because I went to the great Thomas Linacre ('59-'64)but the TL and GS merged in '64 so technically I could be called an old boy from both schools,gerrouttathat....
Hey Lesa Wilding, itsa good job you appologisa to Curly. Maybe I would have put a contract on you. So you area Linacre Lout hey. Maybe I see another family and ask Gent and Painter to take care of you. Whosa thisa “Lol” hey?
woowah, woohoo, Bernard is now a father a real father one of them church ones, congrats Berny
Hi Jesse...lol just means laugh out loud.....
I'll beleive you Les (Loz) - thousands wouldn't. Remember kick one of us and we all limp!I'll ask Jesse to suspend the contract.
Thanks Tom,I'll sleep better in someones bed tonight knowing the contract could be lifted.On a serious note,I remember Bernard moving to Beech Hill and wondered if he is still there.If any of you see him please remember me to him,but cross country runner,the mind boggles lol.......
Good news Loz, Bernard is still in Beech Hill and is only to happy for you to call round in person and humbly appologise. Further good news Gent and Painter have retired from the Linacre Family. Bad news is the contract has devolved to Nobby Nailer. Sleep tight Loz.
Tom..Oh bugger,will try and visit Bernard and crawl on hands and knees.Is the contract governed by health and safety ,otherwise I'm not playing.....
Well may you mock Loz but if you cross the Crew we have long memories even Bernard knows his duty when called. He wasn't known as Dangerous Dowdall for nothing.
Now then Les you old bugger ! long time no see.How you keeping ? As you can see as well as still working at the housing,Training racehorses in Newbury I am now pursuing a film career.I was a Vatican priest last week (see picture in album) in a BBC series called Apparitions with Martin Shaw,Cherie Lunghi and her out of Benidorm..and Rita,Sue And Bob remember??
Ps you've still got a booking at Scholes Labour Club..One of Swiftys.
It was a Great night at Brocket We will do it again with more next time.
Les sorry to hear your down and out and sleeping rough. But thanfully there is help at hand. Remember me Malcom X sat in with most of the local bands in the 6os Beat Boys, Long and Short, Trolls. Listen Les I was down and out. Been to London. Session musician. I wasn't bad on the old plank was I. But the old story. The needle and the damage done. Church picked me up. Got me a job as a janitor. Got a bed in a hostel. Better than inside hey. Now I'm on my feet, rehibilitated. Look Les - I know its hard lad. Someone must be letting you use a PC. Just put the name of a pub on the site or someones email address and I'll get a message to you. One way or another.
Malcolm X.........???????????? give us a clue.
Bernard,according to all the posts on here I think I was working with Clark Kent.When you are collecting your acting oscar I hope you remember all the tips I gave you (like never pee in the wind etc).Your expertise in the racing circles is very well known, I should know I,m on the poverty line thanks to your tips.......Tell Ernie I cacelled Scholes by telephone, fax,telegram and carrier pidgeon.I was under doctors orders 'cause I had a phantom pregnancy and then the police locked me up 'cause I didn't know who was the mother.I had another heart attack in 2005 then surgery but thankfully its not spoiled the looks. Are you still living off Springfield Rd?.Hope you are ok and still at Wigan.Hope to see you soon,take care...ps,is Noel still playing with his organ..pps If I have offended any of your pals I apologise..(don't tell 'em where I live).
Well Loz I must admit you have a pretty sharp sense of humour. I'll whisper in Jesse's shell like and maybe if Jas is moved by your wit more than Curly is moved by your senapods he might make you an honoury member of the crewe. No promises.
Knowlsey, I would appreciate it very much if you could put a word in Jesses ear(and a fiver in his pocket).To be made a temporary member of the "crew" would be an hono,onour,hanou,fantastic.To be able to talk to real people ( I don't get out much) like Curly, has already brought on a panic attack......Curly, your friends are great ( am fillin'up) see you soon.......
Malc, did you once play in the Bluesville in Scholes ?
Cliff you got me right on. I was pretty well known amongst the local bands so Im surprised Les doesnt remember me, was he really in a band. Anway thats his problem. Take care Cliff.
Curly..this mucker of yours..Loz. He seems such a nice guy. Very humble and self effacing. Is he the same Les Wilding, guitar teacher, who wrote the book "Play With Yourself In A Day”.
Malc,sorry I don't remember you,I think you were just a bit before I started ('68)but I do remember the bands you mentioned in fact I played with Bob Mckinley (Long & the short singer) in '70 for a short while.Peeping tom ,I'm afraid the book you mentioned was written by a mate of mine Finger Mafender , I was the one responsible (being an ex bass player)for the serial in Bass Players Weekly, "How to be a better plucker in the corner"and also "Plucking to new heights".I must admit though supastar Curly makes my own little escapades in the music worlg pale into insignificance,because at one time it was a pleasure for him to know me but now the boot is firmly on the other foot and I will bow down to the master...(was that ok for you Curly,just leave the money in the usual place)...
Well Loz that clears up things a bit. Pity you are a bass player. I am looking for lead and rhythm. I am putting together a new band to appeal to the 60s ladies having identified a gap in the market. They are to be called the Swinging Zimmers (still open to offers on the name). Noel is pencilled in on keyboards, Sam Bass on bass, Tommy Rourk on drums. I will be asking Cliff to assume lead vocals whilst Curly will asked to play occasional maracas, washboard (skiffle content)and tambourine. I have been advised that Curly is a "babe magnet". That together with his fame as a TV actor can only add appeal to the ladies.
Malc, I remember you most with The Beat Boys in Transport club and I,m not just sayin this but you was good an intense player you never looked up and as you say you use the plank well, do you still play some?
Les..call in the office they would love to see you again,although not many of us left.
Ps..I was in a HOVIS commercial on Tuesday..5.00am start in Liverpool.They are re-making the old HOVIS commercials,this time the lad is going through the ages from 1800's right up to 40's wartime, 50's Coronation street party..Mods and rockers 60's World Cup etc..I was a rioting miner in 1984 with riot police and horses..I'm at the front shouting"Coal not Dole!!"Brilliant script!! Wayne Rooney is in one but dont know which yet.It beats work anyway.
Cliff was trying to give this bozo Les a helping hand. Dont really like talking about myself. Yep I played in the Tranny and all the rest. Paradise Vegas King all of em. Jammed with all bands Beats Night Train Hurgs Illusions Kind .. you name em. Not many play blues now .. old clubs gone...nabody listens to music now....never see youngsters playing the blues..sad. But thats life. Could do with a good spot where you can just go and play. But thats not todays way. Pity. My own life to get on with. See ya.
Bernard. I have noticed with interest your rise to fame. You may recall that in the past I have urged James to return to the fold and re-visit St Catherines church. I recall at school you were a good catholic boy. St Mary's if I'm not mistaken. At the moment you are receiving adulation from old and new friends alike. I would urge you to realise that it is old friends who count. The ones who have stood by you through thick and thin. Don't get dazzled by the limelight. I would urge you to keep your feet on the ground and return to your roots. I think if you were to revisit St Mary's church and to thank the Lord and the church for nuturing your character, and helping you achieve your goals, it would be good for your soul.
Malc,please tell me why I'm a bozo,I resemble that remark......
Loz. I agree with you. Malcolm’s comment was inappropriate. You’re not a bozo - you're more of a wazock.
Ok malc, I hear ya, I think Les was getting a bit wayward,
I got my kids into music youngest is in a band plays base anyway good luck in whatever you do,get to teachin guitar you know your good enough, catchya, good luck.
Thank you Tom,recognition at last.......
Now now then Tom behave, no need for that, Les gave us an insight to our thespian star in his lazy days at work, tell us more Les
Great to see the photo posted. As regards the comments below it, I can only say it's good to see the Wigan humour is alive and well and living in Scholes, Beech Hill, et al...
This is an excellent photograph. Very clear. I take it that it was shot at the Brocket. Pity the Sir Clifford the photographer isn't on the pic. He is on the one below but that photo isn't so clear. The lads are all looking in the pink. Billy takes a good photo. I bet it makes all the old crew nostalgic for a pint at the Brocket. Good on you lads.
so where was you pikey? whats ur excuse?
Curly your good friend Loz Wilding said that senapods didn't loosen you up. Why dont you try Ortisan cubes. They are a natural remedy and you can buy them at Tescos. Next time your tubes are blocked, at bedtime, after doing your manly duties and kissing the missus good night, before sleeping have a nice cup of tea and chew a cube. Next morning you will be as right as rain.
yea pykey,where were you?would have been really good to see you and others,praps next time,yes you right it was brocket can only think it were the tears in your eyes,that clouds your vision regarding second pic
Wots hapened to Loz Wilding then?
The likes of "Jesse" James Holding, Crafty Cliff Higham and Dangerous Dowdall used to frighten me at school. Its strange to see them now looking like pleasant old geezers. Imagine, if what I read here is true, that Dangerous is on TV, I will say to my grandkids, "Look I went to school with that chap". "Old dangerous Dowdall there was a teddy boy and used to frighten me". My grandkids will say "Whats a teddy boy grandad?.
Sorry I've not been partaking in the witty banter on this page for a while, it's simply because I've been a bit poorly,(it's the old ticker you know) but getting better all the time.Will try to get across to Wigan soon Curly and see some of the old work gang.......
Any witty banter is appreciated Mr Wilding especially from one who is so adept at its use.
They are showing the Hovis commercial on Friday before and in between Coronation St.I'm in the Miners strike bit on the front row next to the chap with flat cap..its the longest advert ever made for tv in the u.k.(a small preview is on Youtube titled "Hovis advert featurette")
Cliff H. raised the issue of the id of the Phantom Name Nabber i.e. "Who is Jay Bell Pentops". My hubby a former member of this crew of jolly buccaneers has suggested I use my skills to uncover "perp". He is a former member of HM Constabulary and I was attached having being trained in writing analysis. This analysis assumes that the "perp" writes on this site under their own name or otherwise.I will give you the results in due course.
Joan go home
Methinks old Crafty protests too much!
********* THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM NAME NABBER *********
Just to bring you up to date with my analysis. Based simply on phraseology and use of words etc. several suspects emerge: these names are not in order of weight of evidence because there is other evidence to consider: James Holding, Trencher, Cheta Brown, Bernard Dowdall and Cliff Higham. I will explain the rest of the evidence later and name the likely suspect before revealing the “probable” perp.
Yeah well the perp aint me but I dont need a copper to tell me who is the perp and if you lot don't know then you must be numpties. No change there then!
Hey Chet dont call me a numpty and the Perp isnt me either but I think I know who it is .. but I may be wrong. His name is on the list though.
**** THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM NAME NABBER cont. ****
The last episode, published above, dealt with the analysis of writing style and content and produced a list of prime suspects identified. I will deal in this episode with other evidence. Trencher can be eliminated as writing style evidence is tenuous. Jim Holding has used at least one and possibly more nom de plumes e.g. Jymkahnna. Bernard admits to being the original JB Pentops. Cliff H. frequently uses nom de plumes e.g. Bloo, Bloomoon etc. Cheta is rather different in that he has shown by previous comments that he has an axe to grind with the “jolly crew”. The next and final episode will deal with crucial evidence and the probable identity of the Perp.
ficticious nomme de plumes areas follows peeping tom, malcolm, sqeek
pykey, Ian Hind, Joan and Cheeta are all of the same person and he is in
the above picture 'GOD SAVE THE QUEEN'
Oh! forgot and Miss Maskell
Grumpy old Crafty Cliff got his panties in a twist agin'
Leave lad alone.. he's hust gettin owd like rest of us.
Nearly there Cliff ,Is Joan going to unmask the Phantom??
ps who is Curls ..have we got another one?
Late news Cliff.. October 30th Filming Sherlock Holmes directed by Guy Ritchie starring Robert Downey Jnr.Wonder if Madonna's in it. god knows what I'll be in that hope its in a Gin Palace!
Curly. Are you the "Ghost of Joe Boz"? :o)
On perusing (not bad for a Linacre Lad)this thread I find I have been impersonated (not a pretty sight in your underpants)and have reputedly made a scurrilous(oh this Linacre educashun)remark about a certain Mr Cliff Higham.I would never make such a remark regarding this kind, handsome, suave, debonair, manabout town (leave the money in the same place as Curly does)who I have never even met.To see my name being bandied about with such gay abandon has cut me to the quick (in fact my quick has never been cutted this badly).This person has no right to use my name like this (unless he is young, good looking and FILTHY RICH,then maybe we could have a chat sometime.)and I offer my profound apogolise. If I could get hold of this phantom I would start a new career as Superman (phantom,get hold,phantom gettit, oh never mind,please yourselves).......
Curley,,,whilst you are well in with the TV Mogols,,how about putting forward a suggest to make a series about a bunch of 60yr misfits and there adventures????you can call it "The End Of the Spring Waters" or summat like that,,using Haigh Hall Plantions and wigan park as a backdrop,,,,,good idea or wot,,,,
Any prizes for suggesting who should star in it Jas? Anyway I think old Jay Bell will play his cards close to his chest - he wont want rif like us cramping his style.
beltin idea Jas, Norm the biker, Elmer the dodgy car salesman, Joe the computer whizz, Noel the musician, Jas, you the travel explorer and of course Curly tryin to make it big
on the siver screen and Billy the Godfather oh! and not forgettin me the duckin an diving spiv. You never know.
I must say that I Sqeek am Sqeek. I am still convinced that one Sunday morning James will walk through the doors of St Catherine’s church. Forgive me for that day if I feel like the good shepherd as the lost sheep returns to the fold. Clifford I forgive for your lack of recognition of me but I must remain humble. I detect a frustration in your writings. I am sure if you returned to the fold, especially in your golden years, that you will find that inner peace I feel you so desperately seek. What a wonderful thing it will be to see Clifford and James enter the church together, to see their shiny happy faces as the realisation of devine deliverance embraces their spirits.
sqeek! stop squawkin and quit drinkin your rambling again.
Hiya Ian. Fancy meeting you on this site hey - slummin' it again? Fame at last (1962) photo. You'd never recognise me now - horse paly and disease - changed by degrees - and not for the better I'll tell you. Hope you fared better than me. Can't stop bumping into the Hinds. I was working with your Peter up to last Easter. Saw Susan last week in Newtown ASDA. If you don't mind me saying so - still looks a treat. Anyhow maybe we should get together sometime with some of the other old dodge pots. Dirk.
Ooher! Cliff! Your a braver man than me Gunga Dinn. Mocking a religeous man. After all there may be something in it ,, better edge your bets ,, lest you you don't plan on going upstairs when you fall yer perch.
I was just passing through saw, grammar school thought I,de take a look my dad went there I think it was around the time of your class, I cant find him but I would like to say that picture you have on here is so real it must have been taken by a pro or a good camera, I will keep lookin for a photo of him he must be in here somewhere, he was born in 1948. thanks
squeek,,,come clean,,reveal thine self,last time i was in St Catherines Church they had closed the upstairs ,,as unsafe??have you got any pics ot the old school,apart from the ones on the school site,,,??
I want to make it abundantly and crystal clear that I am in no way related or otherwise know or have anything what so ever to do with Bernard Dowdall.
James its kev "sqeek" aspinall,,Jon.
bernard dowdall..were you kmown as TOP GROTCH at school. I recall a kid who had big green grotches and was always betting other kids he could gratch farher.
Top Grotch? Curly? - Nah! Not Curlys style. More like Dixie Dean or Cliff Higham. Curly was a mouse at school he didn't challenge folk.
All I can say - if that is Bernard Dowdall on the photo behind Bill Brown - it looks like the guy that I meaan.
He used to grotch in the cloisters and put a milk bottle where the big green grotch landed then he would bet the other kids to grotch past the bottle.
T. Kelly think your mistaken. Dont think "Top Grotch" was Curlys style. He was a gentle soul at school. Now Dixie - there's another kettle of fish. Could stretch a point to Cliff Higham but he looks nowt like Curly. Jas Holding had Curly hair but I couldnt see him grotching in the cloisters.
OO tnat gorgeous Jim Holding he can he can press my bell anytime.
I like little sexy Bernard better Betty but I dont mind which Jim can fix it for me too.
How do a couple of ugly b_ggers like jas & curly get these women running after them - I think these owd birds need specsavers.
jon,,,thanks,,for he info,,,,certainly do remember kevin aspinall,,in fact he gets a mention on the st catherines school pics,,,,remember his grandmas chippy on corner of leader street i think it was..top of birkett st,,,best chippy around...sqeek,,have you any foto,s of the old st catherines,,,,,
joe fairhurst,,,ref past e-mails,about nevilles christian name ,,think at he time i told it was william,,,,see recent e-mails ,,from "bill neville",,,
bill ,,no need to be like that,,language,,tut tut
Just jesting Jas boy. I'm sure and Curly can give Brad Pitt a run for his money. I'm just jelous.
Hi Guys. Are you all fit for the Brocket Thursday 18th December. See you there.
I do apologise most sincerely if I gave the impression that I have in any way cast aspersions in the direction of Bernard Dowdall. His reputation as an actor seems to grow and this together with his altruism has undoubtedly brought credit to the Dowdall name.
Well said Tarquin.
Are you Eddie Dowdall of St Marys?
Ladies & Gentlemen be upstanding for Clifford Higham and his wee buddy Bernard Duddy. Yes friends Clifford and Bernard are 21 again today. They share the same birthday.
Congratulations come from friends: Fred Mason, Bill Brown, Elma Hardman, Noel Smith, Tom Hager, Dave Ridout, Derek Worthington, Joe Hill, Joe Fairhurst, David Pyke and Norman Melling. For anyone who wishes to buy Cliff and Curly a drink please meat them in the Brocket Hotel tomorrow eveing 20th June in the Brocket Hotel.
Clifford and Bernard were born on the same day at the same time in the same hospital. Co-incidentally their families shared the same milkman Clifford Bernard Jones. 80 year old Clifford remembers visiting the hospital on that day and describing the two young fellows as cheeky and chirpy and looking so alike they culd have been brothers. So lets raise a glass to these two wonderful personalities. You wont see their likes again.
Thats Peter Bernard Dowdall with the fawn jacket. The famous Wigan actor. I live near him.
Rene! how many times do I have to tell you, "dont say anything in Wigan World when your drunk!!"
So sorry Bernard, she has 'learning difficulties' since she was born, she lives in Scholes, Boyswell House, she means well, poor girl but we love her. kind regards.
Harold Jolley where do I know you from?
I dont know this Jolly bloke Bernie luv honest. Hes taking the mick.
take no notice of jolley rene my darling - we all love you.
Hi! you owd codgers, we had 99 comments already, hope your all well and thrown ur pumps away.
Here,s to our next meet, better make it soon before one of us goes missing in action.
100 comments now... lets go for the next ton.
rock on chaps.
Hows it going boys,,,,chatting with some of the boys,,,April 23rd is being talked about as a possible re-union meet,,,,,what does anyone think,,,,give us a clue,,,will leave same on CC pic on page 1,,,
Is the chap at the back James Holding who used to live in Darlington Street East?
Yeah Olga - chap with the bins - that's Jazz baby!
Cliff's funeral service is at St mary's church in Standishgate on Tuesday 2nd July at 2 pm.