Archive News - 2003

This update - December 2003

The Seasons Greetings to all; here's hoping you all have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year! It hardly seems possible that this website has only been established for 9 months, of which only 3 months have been "online". We have made many contacts, been able to re-connect certain parties who had lost touch, discovered some great stories and reminiscences, and have also had several very flattering comments about the site from highly respected webmasters of other Jazz based sites - if you're reading this, Ron Simmonds of "www.jazzprofessional.com" and Murray Pfeffer of "http://nfo.net" - thanks for your support.

As the new year approaches, let me also thank those ex members (and others) who very kindly responded to our (continuing) requests for information, photos and memories; without you it would be difficult to expand the site with new and interesting items - I know there's lots more out there; if you can get pen to paper - or I should say fingers to keyboards, we would love to hear from you.
Thanks this month to Sheila Tracy, for a very interesting selection of press cuttings - check them out in the Press Cuttings section.


It is with regret that I have to report the passing of Lena Kidd, Tenor Sax player with the band from 1945 until the mid 50's. She joined Ivy at 21 years of age, after attending an audition in Glasgow. Lena was laid to rest at Leven, Fife, Scotland - her home town , on Friday 28 November 2003, next to her husband, Raymond Willis who passed away in 1978.

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This update - 11 November 2003

I am particularly pleased we have been able to help with the request from the update below, from Gordon Clarke; my latest article in the "Press Cuttings" section - Ivy's 1954 Middle East tour, included a reference to Ella Godwin, and I was pleased to pass on this information. It's quite facinating to hear how bits of information can revive memories, bring people together or provide another piece of the jigsaw of a wider picture - keep the info coming in.

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This update - 22 October 2003

Message from Gordon Clarke who would like to find Ella Godwin; he remembers while he was in the Canal Zone of Egypt in 1953/54. Ivy and her ladies visited Fayid where they stayed at the Grand Hotel. He's almost certain Ella was on that tour and that she was in the Brass section. Gordon was in the Military Police as a Police Dog Handler and kept an eye on the hotel where the girls were based.

Ella came from Upton, near South Elmsall, Gordons home village in West Yorkshire; she attended Hemsworth Grammar School and may have played with the Frickley Colliery Brass Band. Any information please email me and I will pass it on.

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This update - 16 October 2003

Does anyone know the whereabouts of Mary McSherry? Pat Burnett ("Sapphire") would like to get in touch. I only have Glasgow, Scotland as her location - please pass any information to me via email or our messages box, and I will forward details.

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Further to queries re: Sally and the Alley Cats; the record was called "Is it Something that I said" and flip side"You forgot to remember". It was apparently aired on Radio Caroline and reached 12 on their charts.
Thanks again to "Sapphire" for this update.

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Nice to recieve another appreciative message -

Thanks to Stephen Miller for the email below - glad you found the site interesting .....

"Interesting web site! just wanted to let you know that your work gathering this information is
appreciated -- by at least a few of us who love the music of this era.

I'd never heard of Ivy Benson, and enjoyed exploring her work through your site".

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This update - 2 October 2003

Another nice responce from David Allenby, friend of the family of Irene Mitchell (now Rogers) who was with the band from 1949 to 1955, playing Sax and Clarinet......

"Congratulations on an excellent site.

I live in the north east of England and have met several ex-members of Ivy's band over the years.
I have filled a brief proforma for Irene Rodgers (nee Mitchell) who lives in North Yorkshire - with her permission, of course.

Irene's dad was Danny Mitchell who led the band at the Pier Ballroom in Redcar and she played saxophone in the band. Lots of touring bands visited the Pier and she met and married John Rodgers, a brilliant sax and clarinet player who was one of the outstanding players at the time. John was a founder member of the famed Club Eleven in London in the early 50s.

Irene remembers fondly a tour with the band which went directly from the Chelsea Arts Ball to Malta and then to Port Said and the Canal Zone to entertain the troops.

Both were still playing into the 80s but are now retired and live in rural bliss on their farm on the North York moors.

Irene and John aren't into computers but I have promised to keep them informed of any developments"

Many thanks, David, for your contribution.

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Since going "on line" a month ago, there has been quite a lot of activity; two of the leading websites for Jazz Fans - Ron Simmonds "Jazz Professional" and Murray Pfeffers "Big Band Plus" sites have give us a great lift with very positive comments and allowing us to link with their renowned sites - to see their sites, click on the "Links" section found under "Contents"; both sites have links and I'm sure you will find a lot of interesting musical information there. Late breaking news - Murray has now put us on his "Legendary Artists" website - check out http://nfo.net/lnx/lart.html

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I was delighted to make contact with yet another ex member of the Band - Pat Burnett (Sapphire)- now Hauser (Tenor Sax early 60's), who has been resident in Germany for many years. She replied through both email and the "Comments & Messages" facilities with news and names of several ex members who will be included in the "Where are you now" section - any news on entries under this section would be appreciated.

She also mentioned that a group of ex members formed up as "Sally and the Ally Cats" and had a record out with Parlaphone around 1964; does anyone have further details - photos and press cuttings are in very short supply - please, if you have anything that relates to those band days, I would really appreciate a copy or the loan of the items.

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Talking of press cuttings, I have a small selection of interesting newspaper items, kindly supplied by Marge Holt (Piano 1966) resident in Montana. Check the "Contents" section - they will have their own sub section - "Press Cuttings"

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