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The Thames City Jazz Band Remembered


This page was intiated by correspondence from the daughters of Harry Baldock and Jerry Withers who both played with the Thames City Jazz Band and other bands in the 1950s to the 1970s. If any readers would like to add to these memories, please contact us.


Tash Smith wrote to ask whether anyone could help with information about Harry Baldock: '‘My father, Harry Baldock, recently passed. He played trumpet and bass mainly, though could also play banjo and guitar. He was a former member of various bands including Cambridge City Jassband (late 1970s/early 80s) and Thames City Jazz Band (late 1950s/early 60s). He also toured with Monty Sunshine Band, Max Collie's Rhythm Aces and Champion Jack Dupree in the late '70s'. I have several photos, both of bands he played in and of bands that perhaps were on the same bill. I'm looking for more information on them, as currently they are just nameless faces'.

Jane Buller has written to say: ‘My Dad, Jerry Withers played with the Thames City Jazz Band on banjo back in the 1960s and I remember him talking about Harry. Dad is not shown in the photograph that is at the bottom of the article (below) - the only one I recognise is Dad’s long time friend Les Handscombe (trombone player) - still playing I believe (Tailgate Jazz band?). Dad is now 87 and sadly has dementia so remembers very little of his "band days" but I will ask him if he remembers any other names from the photo. I would be interested to see whether there are any other photos which include my Dad .....


Thames City Jazz Band
Photograph courtesy of Tash Smith

Thames City Jazz Band


..... Here are two photos from Thames City days - the awful curtains are in our living room at Lewisham! Ken Smart is on drums (he died young), Les Handscombe is the trombonist and Dad is on banjo. I spoke to my sister last night - we were recounting some of the names of bands that Dad played in - Thames City, Imperial, Empty House Jug, Colin Symons, and with Sid Pye and Brian Green. He played regular sessions in various pubs which may be long since gone and Dad went from playing the banjo to the double bass'.




Jerry Withers and Ken Smart





Jerry Withers and Ken Smart
Photograph courtesy of Jane Buller






[As Jane has some other pictures and a recording, I should like to set up a page on this website about the people mentioned in this correspondence. If any readers have memories of the musicians or the bands, please contact me and I can include them. Ed]




Les Handscome Jerry Withers and Ken Smart









Les Handscombe, Jerry Withers and Ken Smart
Photograph courtesy of Jane Buller













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