Local Characters

Off-topic discussions, musings and chat
volvojack
Posts: 1410
Joined: Tue 26 Jan, 2016 11:57 am

Re:

Post by volvojack »

farbank wrote:
Mon 20 Aug, 2007 8:00 pm
Hi Stevief,The flower seller on Lands Lane was called Kenny Dobson. And he also stood outside St. James Hospital for many years. He lived for along time on St.Wilfrids Grove. And moved there in the 'Bank ' clearances in 1937. [They actually started clearing the Bank in 1935.But the St.Wilfrids scheme wasn,t completed until 37.].First hand knowledge. I was part of it all with my own family. We lived in Hugo St.

I knew Kenny Dobson he sold flowers in Briggate outside Boots Chemists and as a coincidence his father used to sell flowers outside Boots when they were on the corner of King Edward St. and Briggate. Kenny only sold flowers outside the Hospital if he had any stock (ie rain etc) He used to drink in the Fisherman's Hut on East Street.

volvojack
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Joined: Tue 26 Jan, 2016 11:57 am

Re:

Post by volvojack »

LS13 wrote:
Sat 20 Oct, 2007 5:10 pm
Hi i would like to know as much as possible about Harry Bendon. He was my Grandad and i never got to meet him due to my dad (his son peter) divorced my mother and i never saw him again after that. The only information i have of him is that he died in july 1994 aged 73 in Bradford, if anyone knows what links he had there, it would be helpful, my cousins in Leeds had the privlidge of knowing him. See my post above. I know my dad worked with him cleaning windows in Leeds in late 1940's/early 1950's. I believe he worked fro Frank Stubleys cleaning company. Also, he was a club 'turn' in those days. Maybe try posting on the 'pubs' section, see if any old timers remember him?

Harry Bendon had a brother Archie and they worked as a double act on the club circuit. They were both fine singers only Harry was also a comedian ( he could be quite rude on stage) at that time. He worked as a window cleaner for Frank Stubley who seemed to have the window cleaning contract for most of the town shops in the 60s They only used short ladders for the jobs and all though the story of Harry putting his ladder against Tram / Bus windows and chatting was just something that was bandied about. He played the Accordian very well and always went to Aintree for the Grand National meeting where he would earn plenty. sadly most of it went on drink. My brother ran a small Variety Agency and used to put Harry in at various venues as a support act to some name acts. When Harry was on the downward path i recall my brother asking me to give him a lift to Quarry Hill Flats where we found Harry's flat and knocked on the door "Come in Mucker" and when we did there was Harry sitting in a deck chair, feet up on the fireplace and eating potatoes out of a large pan. his wife was long gone and had taken the furniture with her ( that was Harry's version) There was a settee in the room with a fellow sleeping and snoring "That's Scotch Bobby old lad had nowhere to kip"said Harry. He also drank at lunchtimes in the Golden Cock and the Brougham Arms (later to be The Duck and Drake" with all the Barrow boy's. Sadly in later years he became more and more of a down and out sitting on the Corn Exchange steps. Someone stole his Accordian and although we had a collection in the Beech pub Tong Road for another one that also soon disappeared.

He was one of the funniest people i have met.
As a boy soprano he topped the bill at the Glasgow Empire There is more about Harry and a Photo of him somewhere on Secret Leeds.

volvojack
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Joined: Tue 26 Jan, 2016 11:57 am

Re: Local Characters

Post by volvojack »

In the 1940s there was a man nick named "Silly Allen" i don't think anyone knew any thing about him or where he lived for some reason he carried a stick and always ran backwards at some pace along South Farm Road and Wyke Beck Valley road on the Gipton Estate. They were the longest streets on the estate which at that time was devoid of traffic, just as well. Woe betide any cyclists or dogs that came near him as he ran because he would lash out with his stick. i don't think anyone ever saw him on the streets running in a normal way. times he would disappear into one of the brick built air raid shelters that were situated on the corners of some streets. There he would do things that i did not know about and later i was glad i never ventured inside.
There was only one car on the estate an American" Hudson "Terraplane". The only other"Wheels" at that time was Tommy Higose coal cart pulled by a poor old nag, A man on a tricycle which when he stopped and pulled a lever the box on the front turned into a knife and scissors sharpener he was from Maturies in town.he would pedal to get this contraption going and many housewives queued up for this service.
Luckily when the odd times the Air raid siren when off all of us would hurry off to my Grand mothers air raid shelter which was brick built like the one's on the street corners. If a bomb had landed on it i don't think it would have offered much protection. it was also damp and smelly, we used to sit with the light from a small safety lamp. The shelter we had at home was an Anderson metal one which for some reason the council had put at the bottom of our garden which was on a slope and so was always full of water. I will post some more about those days later.

volvojack
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Joined: Tue 26 Jan, 2016 11:57 am

Re: Local Characters

Post by volvojack »

In the 1960 s there was a chap who lived near the Motor Auctions at John O' Gaunts who was a Club act and worked mainly around the Leeds district social and W.M. Clubs, he had quite a strong tenor voice but ended his act with singing marching songs "I'll join the Legion thats what i'll do" At the same time he used a metal beer tray to bang on his bald head until it was completely out of shape, ( the tray not his head )
I heard that he had dropped on the floor of the stage at one of his venues. What a way to get a living
I guess these days of sponsorship he would he would have a deal with "Paracetamol"
I realise that he was not from Leeds but such a character in this area.

Another old lad who was only known as "Blossom" he used to go around the City Center pubs selling Razor blades "Blue Bird" i don't know anyone who ever shaved with one as they were very thick and more suited for felling trees. he also sold handkerchiefs that were like the material used by sailors to hoist at sea.
We all used to give him a couple of bob and let him keep the stuff.

jma
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Joined: Fri 05 Aug, 2016 3:38 pm

Re: Local Characters

Post by jma »

.... he used a metal beer tray to bang on his bald head until it was completely out of shape ....
It's hard to imagine two different people with the same gimmick, so I presume it was the same chap I remember singing The Deadwood Stage.

Not as glamorous as Doris Day but a "Whip crack away" loud enough to be heard in a noisy bar.

TABBYCAT
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon 02 Apr, 2007 6:55 pm

Re: Local Characters

Post by TABBYCAT »

jma wrote:
Sat 22 Aug, 2020 9:18 pm
.... he used a metal beer tray to bang on his bald head until it was completely out of shape ....
It's hard to imagine two different people with the same gimmick, so I presume it was the same chap I remember singing The Deadwood Stage.

Not as glamorous as Doris Day but a "Whip crack away" loud enough to be heard in a noisy bar.
Now that rings a bell. I seem to recall the song Mule train was also part of his act, hitting himself whilst singing clippity clop clippity clop.
He was called Bob Blackman.

Youtube link here..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNLLT00AFU4

Plenty more info here..

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bob+b ... 00&bih=612

jma
Posts: 294
Joined: Fri 05 Aug, 2016 3:38 pm

Re: Local Characters

Post by jma »

This could be my failing memory. Deadwood Stage and Mule Train are not a million miles apart, but I'm sure I only saw my man once at a live performance in Leeds, probably in Meanwood. Having said it's hard to imagine two different people doing it, once something's been on telly, there are likely to be imitators.

I don't remember seeing him on the box or I'd have been saying "Hey, I've seen him in Leeds" but it's a long time ago. Did the bloke in the youtube clip come from Leeds?

Another thing is that I got married in 1967 and we had no telly till something like 1973. I only occasionally saw it in somebody else's house in those days.

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blackprince
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Joined: Tue 04 Sep, 2007 2:10 pm

Re: Local Characters

Post by blackprince »

volvojack wrote:
Sat 22 Aug, 2020 5:09 pm
........
Luckily when the odd times the Air raid siren when off all of us would hurry off to my Grand mothers air raid shelter which was brick built like the one's on the street corners. If a bomb had landed on it i don't think it would have offered much protection. it was also damp and smelly, we used to sit with the light from a small safety lamp. The shelter we had at home was an Anderson metal one which for some reason the council had put at the bottom of our garden which was on a slope and so was always full of water. I will post some more about those days later.
I know this is a bit off topic but I don't want to start a new thread . In a recent TV factual program about the war I heard an incredible factoid that no sooner was the war over than the government decreed that people should either pay for their Anderson shelters or dismantle them for the council to collect. I can imagine that went down well with a few characters in Leeds and elsewhere. My uncle kept his ( doubt if he paid) and it was still in service as a garden shed in the 60's.
It used to be said that the statue of the Black Prince had been placed in City Square , near the station, pointing South to tell all the southerners who've just got off the train to b****r off back down south!

volvojack
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Joined: Tue 26 Jan, 2016 11:57 am

Re: Local Characters

Post by volvojack »

I got demobbed from the RAF. early in 1953 and the two "in" places were the Haddon Hall in Burley and the White Horse on York road. If you did not get in the Concert Rooms (Music rooms) by just after 7pm. you could not get a seat At the 'Oss there was a waiter who used to serve the five of us 'cos he always got a tip each time he served us. the only thing was he took the "Tanner" out of the money without permission and also he used to keep sixpences in his ear and would dispense one from there if the round came to a certain figure. i am not sure how many he kept in there, also if you protested at him taking a tip without asking he would clip the nearest lad behind his head, collect the empty glasses and be off. the only good thing was in a crowded room you had only to show out to him and he was there. forgot to mention that this waiter Mick was the trainer of the Market Boys Club and there were some hard case boxers there.

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tilly
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Re: Local Characters

Post by tilly »

When i was a snotty nosed kid back in the day a man used to be outside the Trinity Church on Boar Lane who used a bogey to get around.He had no use in his legs so got about on this skate board thing he used two wooden blocks to propel himself.
No matter were i end my days im an Hunslet lad with Hunslet ways.

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