THE BACHELOR BOYS

 

Thanks to former Rink band member, Terry Metcalfe, for this press cutting which was in the Evening Gazette, Middlesbrough, on Saturday, March 7th, 1964.  It shows John Bowlt on drums and rhythm guitarist, Mike Gutteridge at the back with a very young Alan Ludley (front left) and Peter "Tubby" Ayton (front right) in a band called The Bachelor Boys. To see a larger version of this cutting, click on the picture.

The Bachelor Boys taken in 1964 by Mather's of Middlesbrough. This photograph was sent to us by a lady called Angela Ross who was going through some old photos of her grandparents and discovered this gem. It was taken at the Astoria Ballroom, in Middlesbrough, and shows, left to right, Alan Ludley on guitar and vocals, John Bowlt on drums, Mike Gutteridge at the back on lead guitar with Peter 'Tubby' Ayton on bass at the front.

This photograph, although not in as good condition as the one above, is also at The Astoria Ballroom in Middlesbrough and was sent to us by John Bowlt. The line-up on this one is John Bowlt, Peter Ayton, Mike Gutteridge and Alan Ludley. Peter Ayton says: "Also in the picture is my bass speaker cabinet built by Mick Gutteridge's dad, with quite a few of the parts from Stockton Corporation (as it was known) bus depot!"

Mike Gutteridge photograph by Colin Burns.

Mike Gutteridge, who travels the country playing American acoustic folk music these days, reminisces about The Bachelor Boys:

"I was a founder member of the Bachelor Boys. Alan Ludley and myself were in the same class at Middlesbrough Art College. We were introduced to Peter Ayton by another class member and so the Bachelor Boys were formed. I was the lead guitarist with Alan Ludley on guitar and Peter on bass. We advertised in the Gazette for a drummer and we were subsequently joined by John Bowlt. After about a year, Bill Randall came on to our course at Art College and we invited him to be our singer. We changed the name to The Denmen as our manager was opening a club in Middlesbrough called the Den. John Bowlt left after about a year and we were joined by Dave Ritchie. He eventually left us to become the drummer with Wee Willie Harris. I left the group when they were offered a contract in Germany. I felt it was time to knuckle down to my studies."

You can see two videos of Mike Gutteridge on You Tube. He can be viewed playing his own composition "Buddy Holly Plays The Globe" and, in Elterwater in the Lake District, singing "Goodnight Irene". Please feel free to leave comments.

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John Bowlt, who later went on to be a member of The North Country Four, can be heard presenting "Atlantic Country" on Radio North Sea International each Friday at 1.00pm and "The Country Show" on North Cotswold Community Radio on Saturdays at 12.00pm.

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In memory of Alan Ludley - always remembered and never forgotten.

 

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