Nora Lord
Played Trombone - 1951 to 1953

Nora Lord was born in Lytham-St.Anne's in 1934 and spent her childhood in Blackpool. She had piano lessons from 7 years old, and at 13 joined the Norman Memorial Youth Silver Band learning Trombone from Maurice Fowler who was a former colleague and friend of "Digger" Benson.

Nora joined Ivy Benson in February 1951at the same time as Dorothy England . They were the 'kids in the band' and digged together and have been lifelong friends ever since. Nora toured with Ivy playing at British and American Army and Air Force Bases in the Middle East and Europe and especially Germany when Ivy became very popular with the German audiences.

There were Autumn and Spring tours of the British Isles with 'one night stands' for dances, weeks of Variety Shows, and Sunday Concerts.

The summers of 1951 and 1952 were spent at Butlins. Nora was playing the summer season of 1953 with Ivy at the '400' Ballroom in Torquay when she met Frank Dixon, Trombonist with the Stanley Black Orchestra playing at the Spa Ballroom.

 





They were married the following year in Torquay when both were playing the same venues. Nora left Ivy at the end of the season, but returned the following year for a short while to the Villa Marina until Ivy found a replacement.In 1956 Nora and Frank moved to Blackpool when Frank became Lead Trombone with the B.B.C. Northern Dance Orchestra. Daughter Lesley was born in 1957 and daughter Laura in 1964. They then moved to Bury where son John was born in 1966.

Although a full-time Mum, Nora missed playing Big Band music so she formed a rehearsal band. This was intended initially to give youngsters the opportunity for experience. Soon, established semi-pro's joined and the Nora Dixon Big Band began playing at Bury Palais and many other local venues. Nora was delighted to welcome on board Dot England, trombone, Sylvia England, trumpet, and Sylvia's husband Don Hampson on drums.

At this time, she began ' Rythm and Rhyme' classes for four to seven year olds, and taught brass in local schools.

There was also work with other bands in the Manchester area and she played at the Palace Theatre with Ken Dodd who called her his 'Auntie Nellie' on the trombone. Nora played a Pantomime, running for ninety six shows, at the Opera House with Mary Hopkins playing Cinderella, Lonnie Donegan, Arthur Askey, and Peter Butterworth were in the cast also.

Nora became a keen member of Bury Concert Band where her young daughter Laura played trumpet, and son John played Flute.

There was a happy re-union with Ivy in 1976 when Nora played with Ivy's Band on the Little and Large T.V. show,and also on the Album which Ivy recorded at Strawberry Studios in Stockport.

Nora retired from playing in 1977 and began a new career.

She did three years training in psychiatric nursing then worked in a Forensic Secure Unit, and followed this with a post of Sister in charge of a large rehabilitation Ward. She then was a deputy officer in a residential home for mentally handicapped adults,

In 1984 Nora married Harold Coward. She continued to work in a large day Hospital for Patients with Mental Health problems and retired in 1988. Her great love will always be Music, especially the sound of the trombone.