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Bugle's picture in 1999 led to a follow-up photo 15 years later

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: August 30, 2014

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IN 1999 I wrote a letter to The Bulge that was published about a photograph in the June 17 edition on page 9 about the J E Cox class of 1956. I think that class was 3A. I am one year younger and I was in Mrs Jones' class 2B.

However, I knew many people including Vera Moore, Valerie Jones and Malcolm Massey who all lived near me when I lived in Walsall Road, opposite the Navigation pub, now gone.

In the picture third row four across is Ron Dixon, which reminds me of the first time I saw a pop group.

Malcolm Massey, who is sadly no longer with us, persuaded my Mom to let me go to the children's room of the Golden Lion pub, also now gone, near Stone Cross to see a skiffle group. This was about 1960 when I was 12 or 13. In the group were Ron Dixon, Alan Ford my cousin and Joe Ellis. The group was called the Vampires. They were only 14 or 15, another member played the washboard, and they may have had a "tea chest bass." They sounded great. Ron went on to play bass in the Olympics, the Vogues and the Light Fantastic where he used to perform his horror act. In one of the bands they performed on Opportunity Knocks. He is still performing with an act called "Nightmare".

After that story was published back in 1999 I was approached by Jeff Elesmore in the pub 15 years later. He said: "You never mentioned me, I was also in the band, I have a photo in the loft to prove it." Jeff is older so I did not know him.

Several weeks ago he brought the photo into the pub, pictured below. He said there was some later changes in the line-up. He left when he started courting. Pictured are Joe Ellis (left) who was later a member of Birmingham band Locomotive in 1966/67, Jeff Elsmore (centre) and Ron Dixon (right). Regards.

Ken Ford.


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