Archive News - 2004


This Update - 5 December 2004

Christmas is rapidly creeping up on us and a new year on the horizon. I am pleased to report a great year for the website, and, as you will see, the range and volume now online is absolutely terrific. I am getting an increasing number of enquiries from relatives of ex members, wishing to make contact; it is very satisfying to be able to help in making these links. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you can help with any information and memorabilia - use the "Contact Us" form.

I have just added an album with photographs from Greta Marshall (now Willis) who played Piano from 1950 to 1952 showing one of the tours to the Canal Zone in 1951.

Thank you so much for all the help and interest so many of you have given me - may I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year, and look forward to another eventful year for the Ivy Benson website in 2005.

This Update - 5 November 2004

I have had a couple of most enjoyable visits with Sylvia England and her husband, Don Hampson recently; Sylvia England and her sister Dorothy both played with the band - Sylvia played Trumpet from 1947 to 1951, and Dorothy played Trombone from 1950 to 1956. I have been able to have access to several scrapbooks belonging to Sylvia, and have created 4 new Albums for the website; also added a number of Press Clippings and some "Tales"; I hope you like them!

I must also thank one of my most prolific and knowledgable contacts, "Jazz" Barclay (Trombone 1965 to 1982) for her continued help - providing me with captions for photos, and names and details about ex members from those years - as I have said before, the content of this site really is down to the help you have given me. Thanks to one and all !!

It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of Jean Peterson last August, vocalist with the band from 1948 until 1951. Jean was married to Peter Meadows and was living in Norwich, UK. Our condolences go out to him and their relatives. This sad news and a selection of photographs were sent to me by her nephew, Bruce Bedwell living in Brisbane, Australia, and I have posted Album 19 in memory of this popular singer.

This Update - 5 October 2004

Welcome to the latest news and information; I have had a particularly pleasing month with a lot of activity - you will find four new "Press Cuttings" gathered from the music magazine of the 70's, Crescendo International; a biography and photo from Ann Challice (Tenor Sax and much more 1959 to 1983); photographs and a Biography sent in by Julia Crutchlow - now Findon (Trumpet 1979 to 1983) - See "Biographies" and "Photogallery - Album14", and an excellent range of memorabilia from Gillian Dennis -now Bickley (Saxophone 1958 to 1965), now available in "Album 15". Another selection of material has been sent to me by Alisia Smith who's Aunt was Vi Ebbs (Double Bass C1946 to C1952); this is located in "Album 16" I have also had a very interesting telephone chat with Sylvia England - now Hampson (Trumpet 1947 to 1951) who has a wealth of knowledge about the band, and has some memorabilia which I am hoping to borrow.

This Update - 4 September 2004

Just a note to let you know I have put online a selection of photos taken from the TV program "This is your Life"; which featured Ivy, and was aired in December 1976. To view them, please go to "Photogallery" and click on "Album No:13". Apologises for the quality, but I think they are worth using as an item of interest in this section of the website - and many thanks to Claudia Colmer for the loan of the tape.

This Update - 26 August 2004

I am pleased to welcome Susann Cox (Alto Sax/Clarinet - 1977 to 1978) to the website - thanks for your details, Susann; hope you find the site interesting.

A couple more photos from Sheila Tracy, taken in the Isle of Man 1956 showing Sheila, Paula Pyke, Robey Buckley, June Pressley - check out "Album No:12" in the "Photogallery" section.

This Update - 19 August 2004

I am delighted to say I have recently had a lovely telephone conversation with Claudia Colmer (Double Bass - 1954 to 1962) who is located in Cornwall - still very busy playing and teaching. Also recieved an email from Pam Brett (Trombone - 1960's) who is currently in the process of relocating from Las Vagas to Florida with her husband, Wallace; Pam also used to play Keyboards with Ivy's Beat Group "The Alley Cats" (see Album 3 in the "Photogallery"). When they have settled in I shall be back in touch with them - hope everything goes OK Pam!

I have recieved a very informative and entertaining email from Gillian Fleming (Alto Sax - 1972 to 1975) who I hope will be sending me some photos etc. Thanks for the email Gill.

This Update - 14 August 2004

Yet more ex band members have contacted me - Pam Martin ( Bass 1968 -1977) and I am hoping to have some further information in due course. Thanks for contacting me, Pam. Also Gillian Dennis (Saxophone 1958-1965) has phoned me and has a lot of memorabilia which I hope to borrow to add to the website - keep checking!

Just recieved this email (below) from Susanne Tilley:

"This (website) was very interesting and stirred a lot of memories, how fast the years fly! I remember the Ivy Benson Band from 1952/53 when I was a Red Coat at Butlins Holiday Camp, Pwhelli, North Wales, I was friendly with one of the vocalists, a short slim blonde. whose name I think was Annette, not too sure on that after all these years. Have often thought about her and those days of our youth and wondered where they all are. Sheila Tracy I listen to on Saga 106.5fm.
I was one of the 3 horse riding Red Coats who did ballroom duties in the evening; boundless energy in those days at 20/21years of age.
Happy, happy days! If the above vocalist is still with us and remembers me and our day at Nevin Beach, I would love to hear from her."

I have Susannes telephone number; if anyone knows Annette, the vocalist in 1952 - please contact me and I will pass details on. Thanks for the email, Susanne; hope you enjoy searching around the website.

This Update - 4 August 2004

Just back from my summer holidays, and looking forwards to hearing from you again; please don't forget, this site needs your input to continue gathering all types of memorabilia about Ivy and her girls. I have a number of new leads which I hope will develop with some stories, photos and other items - over the last 3 months I have been delighted with the input from our website visitors.

I have an enquiry regarding the England sisters - Sylvia ( Trumpet 1949 - 1951) and Dorothy (Trombone 1949 - 1950) - from someone who knew them and remembers them very well; if anyone knows of their location I will try to make a contact.

I have also heard that Claudia Colmer (Double Bass) may be in touch - I look forward to that!

This Update - July 2004

Just recieved a letter and some photographs from Lesley Arden (Vocals 1969 to 1974); I have put these into Album No:11. Also a very amusing mini biography of the welcome Ivy gave when Lesley joined the band! Thanks for these items, Lesley.

Also Julia Crutchlow -now Findon (Trumpet 1979 to 1982) has contacted me with additional names - Bernice Cartwright -deceased (Bass), Simone Tashman (Alto), and Sharon Blackman (Vocals), all in the late 70's. More details and hopefully photos to follow.

This Update - June 2004

I have recieved a wonderful selection of photographs and press cuttings from Jean Fox (Alto Sax / Baritone - 1965 to 1970); thanks are due to her daughter, Michelle, who has been the "go between" and delivered these items to me; to view them go to "Photogallery" and "Album No 9 and 10" - some captions to follow. Also included are her mini biography, 5 Press cuttings and some interesting Tour Itinaries - in "Fact File" - "Overseas Tours" and click the link towards the end of the page to see the "Tours Index". Hope you find them interesting; thanks very much Jean!

I have been very lucky in finding a unique photograph of Ivy and the 22 members of the Band, taken in London in 1951. The photographer was Harry Hammond, a photographer born in London in 1920, apprenticed to a Fleet Street photographer at the age of 14, who went on to specialise in big names in the entertainment industry. Besides the one of Ivy and her girls, he also photographed Ted Heath, Johnny Dankworth, The Beatles and several more. These photographs are copyright by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, from whom I have managed to obtain reproduction rights for the Ivy Benson picture. Unfortunately, no records were kept providing details of exactly who is on the photograph; anyone out there who can help me on this information? The photograph is to be found in the "Photogallery" section, "Album No 8" - hope you find it interesting.

This Update - May 2004

Had a very interesting message from Brooke Lane regarding his Grandmother, Edith Whitley (nee Bouchier) who played in the band from 1942 to 1946 (Sax and Cello) - I have put this story into the "Biographies" section I have also recieved further detailled information from another grandchild, Rosemary Bowyer which I have added - thanks very much to both - check it out; its quite facinating! Also I have had a response form from Gillian Fleming (Alto and Clarinet - 1972 to 1975); thanks Gillian - hope to hear more from you soon.

We're now well into Spring, here in the UK, but it's very cold and damp - lets hope we get a Summer as sunny as last year; I have received great information this morning from a warmer location, Florida; a new "reader" - Jean Smith (Saxophone 1958 to 1960) has asked for any info on her colleagues, including Nina Dellamura (Tenor Sax), June Leslie (Vocals) and Claudia Colmer (Bass). Any info please contact me through our "Contact Us" facility.

Also Sandra Grant is looking for information on her great aunt Kathleen Barry who played Sax and Cello - I'm hoping to recieve a little more detail but if you know anything about Kathleen please contact me.

I believe that the problems we have recently suffered in using the reply forms on the website have now been resolved; there may still be some intermittent short term hold-ups in contacting us as our Service Provider and Web Host are both trying to improve their anti-spam facilities; please keep trying - eventually this will result in a better and safer service - if you have any news or information please try the "Contact Us" facility, located in the "Contents" section of the Homepage, or in the Navigation Bar along the top of most pages - I look forward to hearing from you!

Many thanks to Roxanne Kidd, niece of the late Lena Kidd (Tenor Sax - 1945 to 1953) who has been in touch and has sent in some great photos of Lena and a very informative Biography; she tells me there are more to come! Really looking forward to that, Roxy!

This update - Spring 2004

With the New Year festivities over, I have been busy refreshing the style and layout of the site. After only 6 months of being on-line, a bit of tidying up had become necessary to keep the site interesting and simpler to maintain. If you find any faulty links or "bugs" please let me know as soon as possible and I will correct them. I hope you like the results.

I would like to thank all of the following who have contacted me recently - Chris Emmerson (Trumpet) 1969 -1981, Jean Fox (Alto) 1965-1970 ( thanks to her daughter Michelle), and Olive Bray (Trombone) 1952-1953 (thanks to her daughter Patricia) - I'm hoping to have some items of memorabilia from them in due course. Jasmine Barclay (Trombone) 1965-1982, and Crissy Lee (Drums) 1960-1966 & 1970-1973 have both sent me a teriffic collection of photographs for the site which can be viewed in the "Photogallery" section; Roxanne Kidd, niece of the late Lena Kidd (Tenor Sax - 1945 to 1953) has been in touch and will be supplying me with more photos. Finally Ernest Dobson, the son of the late Harold Dobson, who was an Ivy Benson fan from when her saw the band play on his RAF base in Germany 1945. Ernest has sent some interesting photos -see them in "Photogallery" - "Album 4"; there are also several new "Tales" and "Press Cuttings". Many thanks to all concerned.

Here's a very interesting photograph which recently came to my attention; I have no idea where or when this was taken, and believe that it includes Ivy and Josephine Bradley, who was, I understand, another ladies Orchestra leader. Can anyone help on these details, particularly who's in the photo! I look forward to hearing from you.

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L to R: Laura Lynne - Trombone; Jean Peterson - Vocals; June O'Hara - strumming guitar; Gracie Cole - Trumpet; Pat O'Hara - seated with guitar and Ivy with clarinet.

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