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Whatever happened to...

Started by: Bryan Talbot (3) 

I attended Wigan Grammar School between 1963 and 1969. Over the last couple of decades I've often wondered what became of 3 school chums and done fruitless searches on the internet. One was Jeffrey J Rowlands. He used to play the piano and organ in morning assemby and events at the Parish Church. So Talented. I always thought that he'd go on to become a famous musician or composer. Another was Ian McGivern, whoI seem to remember wanted to become a botanist. I last saw him after we bumped into each other the year after I left in the centre of Ambleside. The third was Mark Wood. His dad was Bernard Wood, who had the insurance company on Market Square. He left aged 16 to join the army. Last time I saw him was in the Ritz while watching Carry on Screaming, of all things. Does anyone know what happened to any of them? Of course, there are others, like "Ip" Maycock and Jeff Ashurst, but it was these three that I was particularly interested in. He was never a mate, but I always wondered what happened to John Hilton too, 'cos he was such an outrageous character.

Started: 7th Jan 2023 at 17:25

Posted by: JR (528)

Hello Bryan.; I trust it is the same Bryan I knew in the early 70s before you moved away.
Before I introduce myself, I have to say sorry that I can’t help with your former acquaintances. I wasn’t at the Grammar but knew a few people there and I’m perhaps a year younger than you. The only person I know that did really well was Dominic Liptrot who is owner of Lost Art; classical work in furniture, metalwork and buildings, etc. I worked with him on projects in Mesnes Park during the HLF funding project. I also knew Mike Hill, Raymond Greenalgh and Walt Tolly who may have been the same year perhaps. The 3 were good friends but I’ve lost touch – sadly Walt died a while ago – I think it was drug addiction; very sad as I always remember his smile and had no idea he had become an addict. Raymond got into photography and I think he was doing OK. Mike moved away somewhere!
I’m John (we knew each other) but back in the days of the Market Hotel, Tech Club and FAG at Newtown you would have known me as Dylan (my nickname) – I was close friends with Custer (Tony Meadows) and Tash/Toshak (Chris Ashcroft). I haven’t seen Toshak for about 15 years and last saw Custer about 3 years ago… his wife died and I’m told his health hasn’t been well since then. You had a sort of Indian/Oriental goods little stall at the music venues.
Bryan; I have followed your career with great interest- in fact my son Rory went to one of your conventions and got a signed copy of one of you magazines (I think a Luther Arkwright). It is nice to know that your persistence to promote your art and wonderful (often historical) storylines has proved very favourable. I have a few of your works including ‘Alice in Sunderland’ which is an absolute classic. Anyone unfamiliar with your work should really peruse it as it combines wonderful illustration with a very entertaining narrative – often gleaned from historical events or general life concerns.
I guess you knew people like Chester, Jim Brady, John Markey, Kenny Neil, Petal, Stan Mapson, Kenny Young, and of course Colin Cooke landlord of the market who always called everyone ‘sir’… etc. some now departed.
Bryan – during covid lockdown (I was unfortunately imprisoned at home due to health vulnerability) I wrote 4 books; my offering of a tongue-in-cheek sci-fi related garden design manual (Percy Thrower Forgives The Dalek) gives a reference to you in my early chapter – ‘setting the scene’. These days I mainly work as a consultant for historic parks and gardens – with some graphic work and some landscape design occasionally; still trying to find opportunity to continue writing.
Please keep in touch Bryan if you care to – admin will let you have my email. It would be great to reconnect.

Replied: 8th Jan 2023 at 19:16

Posted by: broady (inactive)

Bryan,
Presumably the John Hilton would be the son of former Wigan player / Director Jack Hilton. I was at WGS following the merger with TLS. Mr. Leyland ( FAL) was our Art Master. A lovely guy. My younger brother started there in 1964.

JR, I knew Stan Mapson very well. He along with his younger brother Ken ( Curly) worked on a farm in Abram. Mid 60’s.

Replied: 9th Jan 2023 at 23:34

Posted by: JR (528)

Thanks Broady,
Stan is a great guy; known him for years.
I guess I might know many from the Grammar but maybe didn't know they were grammar boys. I acknloledge that quite a few had favourable careers.
If I can thin of anyone of my age (I think I'm a year younger than you Bryan... I will be intouch again.

Replied: 10th Jan 2023 at 17:58

Posted by: Bryan Talbot (3) 

Hi JR,

Many thanks for your reply. I remember almost all the people you mention. You may also remember my girlfriend Mary form the Market and FAG. We just had our 50th wedding anniverasy last year. In her first graphic novel, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, there are a couple of scenes in the market and cameos of John Markey and Chester, who we're still in touch with. Heard about Walt. Very sad. You can always email me through my website: https://www.bryan-talbot.com

Replied: 11th Jan 2023 at 16:51

Posted by: Bryan Talbot (3) 

Hi Broady,

Yes, that's the John Hilton. Do you know what became of him?

I have fond memories of FAL, my art teacher for 6 years.

Bryan

Replied: 11th Jan 2023 at 16:54

Posted by: david farnworth (71)

I last saw John Hilton at Papa Luigis restaurant in Euxton around 2015 he was either the owner of the manager

Replied: 14th Nov 2023 at 01:28
Last edited by david farnworth: 14th Nov 2023 at 01:30:23

Posted by: roylew (4054)

I remember my late wife saying she used to seeJohn Hilton as friends before she met me…would be around 1968

Replied: 15th Nov 2023 at 22:26

Posted by: linma (2922)

Roy was your wife, like me a Guide leader from Euxton? I was in Eccleston. If so Roy she was a lovely lady.

Replied: 3rd Dec 2023 at 07:07

Posted by: roylew (4054)

No I’m afraid not…she had a hairdressers shop top of Scot Lane late 60’s…she was lovely though

Replied: 4th Dec 2023 at 19:27

Posted by: JR (528)

Bryan Talbot's mam also had a hairdressers in Scot Lane!

Replied: 7th Dec 2023 at 20:28

 

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