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"News" from previous years can be accessed by using the Links below. Just click on the year you wish to view. To return to the current "News" page click on the 'BACK' Arrow at the top left of your screen. To return to the sites "Homepage", click on the link at the bottom of any "News" page.





2007 - 2008 See below. To be updated.


Welcome to

Ivy Benson and her All Girls Band -

News Page - 2009

Latest News items are at the top of the page;
scroll down to view earlier items.

For previous years "News", please click on the appropiate link in the panel to the Left

Brian Ravenhill
Your Webmaster

All contributions are welcome; use
our "Contact us" and "Email" links
located in the "Contents" section
of the Homepage, or in the
Navigation bar at
the top of the screen.
Always pleased to hear from you.

Don't forget to use the"Search" facility to assist you in finding information. This is located at the bottom right hand corner of the "Homepage" If your search fails, check the spelling or try just a first name.

Happy Birthday, Patsy

Happy 80th Birthday to
Patsy O'Hara, here with her husband, Hal Wayne.
Patsy played Trombone with the Benson Band
1947 to 1949


Obituary - Iris Trayner - Played Saxophone and Clarinet in the mid 1950's

This message was sent from Robert Maune who's Mother was a Cousin of Iris-

"Hi, with reference to your query on Iris Trayner - Questions & Answers Ref 012- I am afraid to report that she was buried earlier this week (December 18th). She was my mother's cousin and they were close. She died of brain cancer, I believe without much warning".

This part of the message was sent from Greta (Marshall)Willis - Played Piano in 1950's and sent an enquiry via the "Question & Answer" section of the website -

"I am wondering if anyone knows the whereabouts of Iris Trayner? For some reason she was known as "Mac", probably to differentiate her from the other Iris in the band, Iris Long, guitar (also known as "Fagin"). Mac was a photographer's model,a beautiful girl who played clarinet for 6 weeks at the Tabaris nightclub in Dusseldorf in 1951 or 1952. She said she wanted to find out what playing in a girls' band was like! I heard many years ago that she was a psychiatrist in Scotland, but the story was not confirmed".

This update - Christmas 2008 - The Seasons Greetings to all our visitors -

I am, once again thanking you all - readers and all Ivy's "Girls", for the wonderful and entertaining help that you have all given me during the last year - as I have previously said, without you the site would not exist. I feel that I have got to know so many of you - and you have managed to make contact with your photos and tales, going back to Ivy's early days.

I shall continue to try and keep the website building up with ever more history of those Dance Band Days.

I cannot belive we are entering the Seventh year - thank you all so much for the interest and entertainment you have provided -

Irene, my wife, and I send you and yours our best wishes for 2009 - keep up the good work!!!!!


Yet another email recalling those Danceband days; many thanks, Colin, for this information; looks like you had a great time. Please pass on details of the site to any interested parties.

..."Hi There,

I've had a look at your site quite a few times, it is a fantastic site, I was a musician at Pontin's Seacroft when the Ivy Benson Band were at Caister Holiday Center, and I attended quite a few party's with them, the reason being is that Lynne Weymes was a good friend of mine as we went to the same music college and I knew her boyfriend well at the time, who was also a musician, this would be in 1976, well as the years went by we stayed in touch and I'm still in contact with Lynne to this day, (I'm now living in Hong Kong, and leading a full time Dixieland Band here at the oldest Jazz Pub in Asia called Ned Kelly's Last Stand, it's been going none stop for 36 years.) but getting back to Ivy's Band, as I said, I did attend quite a few events with them, and a few of the girls always used to make a bit of a fuss around me, and at the time I was quite shy, I've attached some autographed items from those far off happy days...
The autographs from 1975 (I did see the band in Chesterfield around that time!!) the book is called Bandleaders by Julien Vedey which was printed in 1950.

Keep up the great work.
Colin Aitchison
Ned Kelly's Last Stand
Hong Kong

Hi Colin, Thanks so much for your interest, and for the information; this is my first email from Hong Kong. Keep playing the music!!!
If you have the opportunity of speaking with Lynne Weymes, you might let her know of the website; I would love to make contact and gather a few more interesting anecdotes !!!!

This update - 9 June 2008

Just received this email from Ralph Rigby - glad we've been able to stir your memories, Ralph...

"........ I had served with Desert Air Force and in 1947was headed from CMF to Germany via Austria.
I was posted to Air H.Q. Bad Eilsen. We had great entertainment whilst serving there.Especially when our garrison
theatre suddenly presented this fantastic "all girls band".

Ivy Benson had arrived there. My RAF pal billeted with me had previous theatrical experience, can't remember his name
now but he knew Ivy Benson personally .With his connections we attended every one of Ivy's performances. And a reserved box seat to boot!!

It's only last year I talked about this to another veteran and he remembered her too.It suddenly occurred
to me browse the internet and found your website.....

Such nostalgia".

Thanks, Ralph; keep checking the website; we're still getting new, information and other memorabilia of those days.

This update - 27 May 2008

I am very sorry to report the passing of Laura Lynne in Manchaug, U.S.A.
Laura played Trombone with the Band from 1945 to 1955. This sad message was passed to me via Lauras sister,
June, who lives in Sussex, UK. Lauras funeral is on Friday 30th May.

Our condolences go out to David, her husband, and members of her family.

To read more of the "Laura Lynne" Story, please click here.

This update - 1 May 2008

I have decided to put a new feature on-line - a "Question and Answer" feature. I have recently been getting a lot of Emails etc with specific queries about the Band and it's members. I am not able to answer all the questions that I am asked but I am sure there will be someone who can help. Visitors will now be able to let other readers of the site see what queries I get, and more importantly, see if they have further information or answers to the questions.

The access to this feature is via the "Homepage". At the bottom of the "Contents" section you will see the link "Questions & Answers". A click on this link will take you to the relevant edited emails. If you can help by answering any of the queries, please use the "Email" link or the "Contact Us" links, both on the Homepage.

Hope you can help! This site relies on your memories!

This update - 18 February 2008

Received this email from someone named David Moseley who remembers back 40 years.....

"...............I am interested in getting in contact with Geraldine Fee. I was in the USAF in 1964-1967 at Hahn Air Force Base, Germany,
and met this wonderful young lady that I still remember.

If she has an email address, street or post office box where she might receive correspondence from an old friend, that you could pass to me,
I would be in your debt.

It has been over 40 years since I have seen her. I have a favorite picture that I took of her those many years ago.

I would be pleased beyond measure if you could help me contact her.

Many Thanks,

If Geraldine reads this and wishes to contact David, please let me know and I will pass details on.

This update - 15 January 2008

Well, Seasonal festivities are over once more and a new year already underway - May I once again thank all our visitors and contributors for their continued help; The volume of fresh news and information has been much less than in the first 2 - 3 years of getting this website up and running but I think it is self explanitory that after an initial period this is bound to happen. Even so there are always emails coming in trying to locate certain names etc, and I hope I have been of use in these searches.

One very sad news item received over the Christmas period - Winifred Waldron (Piano/Violin 1946/7) passed away on December 23 2007; I never had a full biography of her, but there is a very good photo of her and her sisters, Monica and Bernice - type in her surname into the "Search" facility on the Homepage (bottom right) to locate it. Our condolences go out to her family.

Please don't forget I am still here, in my office, in the North of England; I am always pleased to get news by email, "snailmail" or phone. I am still facinated how this website has been received literally all over the world. If you have changed your email or Postal address, please let me know so I can update my data base. Use the Link on the Homepage, bottom left corner.

This update - 12 October 2007

Recently received this email from David Hendry - can anyone help? Please send any inforomation to me and I will pass it on................

"....Does anyone remember Catherine Duncanson (my mother) who played with the band (probably in the early 50's). I think that she had previously played in Gracie Cole's band. My mum was Scottish and may have been known as Kate. I think she may also have been nicknamed Jock. Also I remember her speaking fondly of a friend called Dot. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

David Hendry......."

I am very sorry to report the passing of Barbara Ellenor on the 26th September 2007; this sad news was received by email from Terry Atkinson, who was a cousin of Barbara's.

She was born on December 01 1939 in Coventry, England. Moved to Spennymoor County Durham. and played trombone with Ivy from 1955 to 1957. She was resident in the USA for the greater part of her life. Her last address was Monrovia, Maryland.

She was laid to rest in Arlington cemetary Washington DC .

In addition to the Obituary above there is a very full and interesting history of Barbara's life, both with the Band and later; my thanks go to Terry for sending me this information which I am sure will be of interest to Barbara's colleagues from the the dance band days.

Please go to the section "Tell the Tales" and click on "Barbara Ellenor - 1939 to 2007" to read this information
or click on this link.

This update - 24 August 2007

I have just found that three Albums (Nos: 55, 56, & 57) recently placed online in the Photo Gallery, have been difficult to access; my apologises - I think they are working OK now. Please let me know if you find faults anywhere on the Website and I will get them corrected asap - your help is alway welcome.

Also many thanks to Nora Lord ( Trombone 1951 to 1953) for some photos ( see Album 58 ); I believe she may be sending a few more a little later. She has also provided a great biography - check it out in the "Biography" section. Thanks, Nora - look forward to hearing from you again.

This update - 31 July 2007

Just received this email from Dennis Sykes

....."Great web site!
Bit of nostalgia that Sylvia England might rememember. She played in a Slow Melody contest in Marsden near Huddersfield in the early fourties. My father was the Judge as he was the Band Master of Marsden Band at that time. As a very talented player she was judged as the best and my father placed her No.1. However the controversy arose when the father of No 2 complained that a trumpet was hardly a brass band instrument especially when its played by a female, and therefor should be disqualified. My father was highly irritated and said, The best is the best no matter what, and this young lady is welcome to join our band anytime she wishes. I guess she joined Ivy Benson instead. Incidentally, as a saxophone player I played with Don Hampson and the Ambassadors in Huddersfield for some time in the fourties. Best wishes to both of them, they probably remember me!!!
Keep up the good work!

Thanks Dennis - the memories keep coming in; hope our visitors enjoy them!

This update - 3 June 2007

I have recieved this message from Gill Fleming (now Burgoyne - 1972 to 1975, Alto Sax) -

"I shall be celebration of my birthday ( 50!!th). It`s to be held on Saturday 7th July at the Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh Suffolk from 7pm onwards. There will be a load of musicians young and old performing, so I am expecting any musician from the past to bring their instrument with them for a blow!! We hope to have a real night of laughter and memories. Anyone who can come needs to contact me on my email gillburgoyne@tiscali.co.uk or at home on 01728 688615 ".

Hope it all goes well on the night; get some photos and I will put them online!

This update - 3 May 2007
This email recieved today.......

"Really enjoy your website. I was stationed in Stuttgart from 1973 -1976. Can't tell you how many times my wife & I would go to the Koeningshof to listen to Ivy & the Girls. Richard Ennis, Boise, Idaho".

Thanks, Richard; always like to hear from visitors; very pleased to keep the memories alive.

This update - 23 April 2007

Just had this email from Ann, daughter of Elsie Ford (See "A Life of Music")....

"I just wanted to tell you how nice it is to see some of my mothers book on the Ivy Benson website. She has had a lot of pleasure from contacting old friends and I'm sure other people have enjoyed reading the stories. I'm glad that Jane (Smith from the publishers " Personal Heritage Productions) was helpful. Well done to you though for making the website so user friendly.


I am so pleased Elsie has made contact with friends and colleagues from the earlier days of Ivy's Band.

This update - 12 April 2007

I have recently heard from Geraldine Fee ( 1963 to 1967 - Fiddle, Bass & Bass Guitar ) who has sent me some photos from that period ( See Photogallery - Album 55 ) and a Biography. Great to hear from you and many thanks for your contributions.

In addition Anne Marsden (Trombone - 1973 to 1975-6) has sent me some photos, Biography details and a great Press Cutting - " The 1973 Band in Hamburg"; check out the photos in Photogallery - Album 56. Many thanks to all who continue to help in making this history of the Band and it's members.

This update - 25 March 2007

Just recieved an email from Nora Lord (Trombone 1951 to 1955).......

"I have just spent a wonderful few hours of nostalgia reading the contents of Ivy' s website. So many happy memories of the years I spent playing in her Band have been recalled. I feel so privileged to have been a member of that unique musical "sisterhood" - The Ivy Benson All Girls Band. Fortunately , the memory of my teenage years is still fairly good so I can remember incidents especially when prompted by photo's. I have several photos and memories I would be happy to share, and I could write a short Biography if you wish . Sincerely Nora Lord".

Thanks Nora. I am always pleased to find more information, photos and other memorabilia about the girls and the band; I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Also recieved a "Tale" from Lea Corwin from 1964 - check it out in the "Tales" section under "Ivy's Talent Shows"; hope you enjoy it!

This update - 3 February 2007

Many thanks must go to Norman Dannatt, who was involved with ENSA at the end of the War. He has sent me several emails, which I have amalgamated, and some photographs which I have assembled in "Photogallery" - Album 54. The stories are in "Tell the Tales" under the title "Playing with ENSA" - Hope you enjoy them.

I am very sorry to report the passing of Doris Knight, a vocalist with Ivy's band towards the end of the War. She died of a stroke which occurred on her 89th. birthday, 25 January, from which she never recovered . She had been living in Cairns, Queensland, Northern Australia for about 20 years and previously was resident in the States.

Many thanks to her friend and neighbour, Dorothy Anderson for this sad news. She had found this website and was able to read Doris some of the Tales. She also found a photo of Doris online, showing the band and Girls doing a desert Tour, apparently much to Doris's amusement.
Our condolences go to her family.

This update - 26 January 2007 - and a very Happy New Year to you all.

Welcome to the website for yet another year - and still the interest comes in. My apologies for the delayed start to 2007, but I have a good excuse - Just before Christmas I discovered that Elsie Ford, who played Double Bass with Ivy from 1939 to 1946 was in good health, living in Bath at the age of 91. To top that she had just published a book called "A Life of Music" and a significant part of this unique book featured the period she was with Ivy.

After contacting Elsies daughter, Ann, and Jane Smith from the publishers of the book "Personal Heriage Publications", they both gave me permission to proceed with a project to put the relevant parts on our website. This proved to be quite a major project but today I can announce it's now online. If you go to the "Contents" section on the "Homepage" you can click on the title - "A Life of Music". This will link you to a contents page - click on a Chapter heading to read.

On each page, at the very bottom are "Navigation Arrows" to move around the various sections; I think it is pretty self explanitory but if you have any problems with this section, please send me an email. I am at present checking all the Links, and will correct any faults as dicovered. Please bear with me.

I have also recieved details from Julie Clarke ( Tenor Sax and Clarinet 1979 to 1980 ); welcome to the site, Julie - I hope you enjoy the information regarding those Dance Band Days; raise a smile, jog the memory, maybe remake those old friendships. Hope to hear more details soon.

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