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Hough End 2018Here we go again, the start of another year, 2018 can you believe its 18 years since the millennium! Is it me or is time going faster when I need it to go slower?

People often ask “What’s it like being in the Bachelors?” Well in many ways it’s like being in any other job. By that I mean as we get older we either retire or work less. In our case as much as we still enjoy performing, the travelling, the late nights or getting home in the early hours have become less attractive - apart from that family time, as you can imagine, has become more precious.

All I am really saying is we will still be performing, just not as much.

If you live in the Manchester area you might like to know we will be appearing at Saint Patrick's in Rochdale with our old pal DUSTY YOUNG on Saturday the 10th of March. Also at last we have sorted out a date for our return to The Manchester Police Club. This is a great venue and joining us on the bill will be VENN TRACEY and CARNABY STREET. The show is promoted by our pal Nathan Birk and takes place on the 11th of May.

For those of you in the Nottingham area I had a call from Jell Kemp from The David Whitfield Society. He has sorted out a date for us to return to The Bonington Theatre in Arnold which will be the 5th of October at 7.30pm. More details to follow.

Apart from that we will still be cruising, popping up at Warner’s and various theatres all of which do their own advertising.

cd-picThis is our latest album and most of what we want to say is written on the cover. However, we would just like to add a thank you to all the great musicians who played on these tracks, especially Lol Harris who not only played keyboards but produced a lot of these recordings at Lollipop Studios Manchester. Sadly, some, like Kevin are no longer with us, but their talent always will be. Lastly I would like to thank my talented granddaughter Megan Clarke for designing the cover.

If anyone would like to purchase a copy just contact our secretary Margaret McCormick. The price is £10 including postage. or write to 1 Repton Avenue, New Moston, Manchester, M403PN

cd2Cd 1

Are you planning your summer holidays? Why not make it Blackpool and come and see us when we make our yearly visit to Cleveleys Working Men’s.
The date will be the 20th of July and we are already looking forward to working with Mark, Roy and our good friend compere DES DAY. More details to follow.

Bonnington flier

“Hi Jonathan , thank you so much for the brilliant concert at St. Patrick’s on March 10th .

This was a fund raising concert to raise money to support children and families on pilgrimage to Lourdes this summer . We raised £916 on the night .

We have had excellent feedback and would have no hesitation in booking the Bachelors again.”

March 10 concert
“John Stokes Bachelors” with Kathleen and Alan, organizers of the event.

Vince Hill is a singer whose voice I have admired for quite a while and it was nice when John, Kevin and I got to work with him at The Grand theatre, Wolverhampton and The Opera House in Manchester a few years back.

So, when Jimmy Cricket told me he was appearing as a guest in what was to be Vince’s farewell show at The Cast Theatre Doncaster and would I like to come along, I was delighted. Little did I know that the show was produced by our good friend Mark Andrews who you will remember booked us on a theatre tour recently.  Mark was compering the show with a very bad cold so he asked me if I would like to sing a few songs and I was more than happy to oblige. A lot of talented people took part in the show and some just came along to support Vince on his last show, making it a great day with a touch of sadness.

On behalf of John and Dave I dedicated “I Believe” to Vince Hill, Kevin Neil (as it was his 8th anniversary) and the great Ken Dodd. I would also like to add that when Mark sang “Happiness“ needless to say it brought the house down.

Vince Hill and friends

Frank Williams

Belgrade 2018


Andy Eastwood writes: "22 June: Our next variety matinee at the Belgrade, Coventry...

Popular local entertainer and presenter Bob Brolly was due to headline the show, but having suffered a stroke last week, he won't be well enough to appear. After much consideration and discussion, we have decided to go on with the show...

We hope to bring Bob back to the Belgrade as soon as possible!

Tickets still available here: (book online to save £1 per seat)"

We have worked this theatre many times and it's always a pleasure to come back . But it is always sad when you are standing in for a fellow pro who is ill. The last time we had to do this was for Joe Longthorne at Warners. Joe made a great recovery and so will Bob.

Hi everyone I’ve just been told off for not keeping the site up to date by June Dale one of our biggest fans who has made it her duty to keep me on my toes.

First of all I would like to thank all the people who attended our show at the Hough End Centre in Manchester on the 11th of May. A great venue and extremely well run by and his staff. The promoter Nathen Birks always puts on a good show and books the best which is why the show was compered by one of Manchester’s top comedians VENN TRACY. Add to that sixties tribute band CARNABY STREET and you have a recipe for a great night. Which it was.

We have already said how sorry we were to hear about Bob Brolly’s illness and wish him a speedy recovery. I thought it a great idea that promoters Andy Eastwood and Brian Walker dedicated the whole show to Bob and we have borrowed some of Andy’s photographs that captured the afternoon. If it’s any consolation Bob you got the biggest applause of the day.

brolly 1

brolly 2

rolly 3

Apart from Andy and May Marion the special guest was JIMMY CRICKET. As you know Jimmy and I have been friends for many years, still it came as a surprise when he told me he had written a play called FIFFIN & FAFFIN, a tribute to all the comedy double acts he has worked with over the years and would I like to play the part of straight man Joe Fiffin. In the past I have only acted in TV and films, the last one being “The Van Boys” nearly twenty years ago. I got so busy with THE BACHELORS I simply didn’t have the time. I would like to thank John and Dave for their encouragement in me taking on this role.

Fiffin & Faffin

With Jimmy CarloWe have just returned from a 12 day cruise to Iceland.This is the second cruise we have done for this company and we had a great time working with comedy magician JIMMY CARLO, plus a terrific Cruise Director ANNALESA, her assisant LAUREN and a fabulous entertainment team.The passingers were from all over. British, Australian's, Irish and Americans and we got a standing ovation on both shows. It really was a pleasure cruise.

Jimmy commented : “Had a great time working on a cruise last twelve with these guys. THE BACHELORS with John Stokes. We had a ball together and they still sound fantastic."

Thank you everyone who attended our show at Cleveleys Working Mens and making the show the huge success that it was.
It takes more than a top of the bill to make a show,you need a great girl singer,which we had in HELEN JAYNE. Maybe next time we will be special guest on her show.
The show was linked together by our old pal DES DAY with everyone backed by one of the best backing duos in the North West, Mark Speight and Roy Gaskell.

John Stokes was happy to renew a old friendship with Denise and Linda Nolan who were in the audience.They had worked together in the past so a bit of reminising was done. The room was full and the atmosphere was terrific, looking forwarded to returning next year.

CleveleysWith Linda Nolan

Kevin xxOn Wednesday the 25th of July Kevin Neil would have been 87 years old. Apart from missing him I really miss his birthday parties, always held in his back garden in Polefield Road Blackley.
In a way he spent his birthday like any other day, playing his guitar. He loved jamming with his pals and I had the honour of being one of them along with Pete and Keith Elliot, Pat Ohare, Roy Walker, John Stokes and his cousin John Stalker who incidently played drums.
Add to that a lot of family and friends and the result was a great day despite the fact that it nearly always rained. I know all our thoughts are with his wife Clair and family as we say Happy Birthday Kevin and in the words of Bob Hope "Thanks for the memories".

Hi Everyone

I would just like to thank all THE BACHELORS with John Stokes fans that travelled from all over the North and the Midlands of England to Blackburn to support me in my first ever stage acting role in Jimmy Cricket’s play NO MORE FIFFING & FAFFING. I’m sorry I did not get to thank you all personally after the show but you will always have my deepest gratitude. Thank you Jimmy, for having more faith in me than I had in myself, also Colin Meredith, a proper actor, who was the essence of encouragement and Clive Allan our MD who played a cameo role. It was nice to see Ken Dodd’s Wife in the audience; Lady Ann. Ken was a great friend to Jimmy so I know he appreciated her presence. Needless to say John and Dave like me wish Jimmy all the success with his play.

From left to right:
Jonathan, Jimmy, Colin and Nathan Birk.

While I have been learning my lines they have been on holiday so now it’s back to work.

Jeff Kemp informs me there are a few tickets left for our show at the Bonnington theatre, Arnold, Nott’s on Friday the 5th of October. Poster on this page.

It is now Halloween just two months away from the end of another year. I just want to bring you up to date by answering some of the questions you have asked Margaret.

Some people want to know if I will be appearing in any more performances of Jimmy Cricket's play “No more Fiffing & Faffing”. Well I am meeting with Jimmy and Colin next week to discuss just that, so I will keep you informed.

Another question is do we still do cruises. Well yes we do. In fact we have just completed a two week cruise and look forward to doing a few more next year. On the last one we got to work with some really nice people namely ANDY LEACH a terrific comedy magician and CHRISTOPHER GEE, a remarkable impressionist who also did a terrific lecture on Morecambe and Wise. We performed the same show twice on our first night getting a standing ovation, which lead David, the cruise director to tell the audience to come early for our second as people had skipped dinner to watch the first show twice. As compliments go, that one is hard to beat.

Before we went on our cruise we did our usual yearly show for Jeff and Helen of JK promotions. What more can I say about this lovely couple and their love of show business. If Variety is dying they are the doctors keeping it alive. Another great night at The Bonnington Theatre in Arnold and like all their shows the standard never drops. VARIETY AT ITS BEST.

If anyone lives locally, we have a show coming up near Bury in Lancashire. If you contact Margaret she will provide the details.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support, especially all the lovely people John, Dave and I met on the cruise.