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Profile:

Brian 'Dipper' Duddy

 

Drummer Brian 'Dipper' Duddy passed through the Departure Lounge in 2015 after a period of illness. He has been fondly remembered by those who knew him and we have received a collection of photographs and memories from various people that we share here.

Jim Susans writes: 'Sorry to read my old pal Dipper Duddy is in the departure lounge, we first met when we both worked at Watercraft Boatyard, East Molesey on the Thames in the 1950s. We used to practice in his parents' house in Island Farm Road. I then joined him on banjo in the Canal Street Jazz Band - the picture below was taken in 1958. I got married and moved to the south coast but we kept in touch and I last saw him at Amersham and Didcot jazz clubs with Vintage Jazz. I am still playing bass and sousaphone around South Oxfordshire. My condolences to his family, and kind regards to all ex-Canal Street Jazz Band musicians and friends.'

 

Canal Street Jazz band

Photograph © Jim Susans

From left to right:  Mick Hill. Jim Susans. Robin Davis. Dipper Duddy. Ron Drakeford.  Pete Webb

 

Alex Johnson wrote to say: ' I am the partner of one Sarah Duddy, the daughter of Brian 'Dipper' Duddy a jazz drummer from the Surrey area (West Molesey) ... Sarah actually has very few pictures of her Dad playing and some that were once thought to be in lofts and drawers have sadly not turned up after the move from his long standing home in West Molesey .. Sarah would dearly love to have some images of him doing what he was born to do...' (Alex wrote a poem for Dipper's 70th birthday that has been published online - click here).

 

Dipper Duddy

Photograph © Dave Stradwick

Dipper with Vintage Jazz:
Back row: Harry Brampton (clarinet and alto sax), John Shelley (trombone and vocals) Banjo?
Front row Dipper Duddy (drums), Dave Stradwick (trumpet and vocals), Terry Knight (double bass), Jack Russell (dog)

 

We were able to put Alex in touch with Ron Drakeford who wrote about Dipper on the Kingston Jazz page of this website - click here Ron in turn contacted Dave and Lesley Stradwick who were able to provide other photographs dating from about 1997 of the Vintage Jazz band then Sussex Jazz Kings and through to about 2010...The 'Stradders Various'.

 

Photograph © Dave Stradwick

 

Bass player Ron Drakeford remembers Dipper in his blog on Kingston Jazz saying: 'I was press ganged into the Canal Street Jazz Band by one Brian “Dipper” Duddy ... Brian went on to play with the likes of the Mac Duncan band and led the Georgia Jazzband which has been active on the scene throughout his life. Brian was replaced in the Canal Street band when National Service called, initially by Dave Preece and then by Lloyd “Bumsey” Taylor (Lloyd sadly died in Australia a few years back and was still playing there with the Unity Hall Jazzband - a local favourite of vocalist Carol Ralph.)

 

Ron sent this picture of the Canal Street Band:

 

Canal Street Jazzmen

Photograph © Ron Drakeford

 

Here is a recording of Dipper playing drums on Ace In The Hole by the West London Rhythm Kings with special guest vocal by Skiffle King Chas McDevitt. This session was recorded at the Amersham Jazz Club, Middlesex in September 2000.

John Keen is on trumpet with John Howlett (trombone), John Laws (clarinet), John Rodber (string bass), Tim Wake (banjo) and 'Dipper' Duddy (drums).


 

 

A year later, here is Dipper playing Until The Real Thing Comes Along with Geoff Cole's Hot Five in 2001.

Geoff Cole (trombone) · Tony Pyke (reeds) · Hugh Crozier (piano) · Graham Wiseman (bass) · Dipper Duddy (drums)

 

 

 

 

Vintage Jazz used to play at Farnborough Jazz Club until 2012 when Dipper's illness prevented him from playing. The Club wrote: 'Friday, 16th March 2012, our audience learnt the sad news of our lovely Brian ‘Dipper’ Duddy is to retire early from drumming due to illness. Dipper has always brought fun to ‘Vintage Jazz’, inheriting the ‘boos’ from Dave Stradwick, a trait started by our ‘mafia’ table and resounded by the whole audience (and echoed by other clubs now), to show appreciation! Dipper would hold up his sticks with a certain gesture! Dipper’s situation will now end an era of a great band – the ‘dancers’ band – ‘Vintage Jazz’. They have been our house band, appearing every other week since 1991.'

We should like to add to this page and so if you have any memories or information about Dipper, particularly from his earlier years, please contact us.

 

You might also be interested in these other pages on this website:

Kingston Jazz
Bill Brunskill
Mick Clift
Bill Greenow
Jack Free


© Sandy Brown Jazz 2015

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