Cleveland Fox Band

The 6 piece band formed in the late 60’s and originated in the Bolton/ Atherton area.

Cleveland Fox reunion - June 2012

Steve Hargreaves vocals
Maurice Newton lead
Michael Kirk drums
Ray Openshaw  drums (replaced Michael Kirk)
John Brennan bass
Tony Clarke bass (replaced John Brennan)
Peter Walanofski ‘Wally’ tenor sax
Bob Lestonofski      tenor sax

The band originated in the mid sixties as ‘The Fur Trade Co.’ with the Wigan based LE Agency. They had limited success with membership of the band changing over the years until the name change. They then signed up with the BDH agency in Manchester.

They played throughout the North West at such places as Bolton Palais, Wigan Casino, Uncle Toms Cabin, and even further afield at legendary places such as The Cavern (Liverpool), Up The Junction (Crewe), Cosmos (Carlisle), Clockwork Orange (Chester).

They supported major acts such as; Johnny Johnson and The Bandwagon, Mary Wells, The Platters, Thunderclap Newman, Geno Washington.

One of the most memorable events occurred New Years Eve/ Day, 1970. On the way home from the gig in a snow storm the van ran out of petrol before we could reach the motorway service station (this was in the days before 24 hour petrol stations).

We all spent a freezing cold night sleeping in the van on the access road - Junc. 18, M6. 

Cleveland Fox disbanded in the early 70’s with some members continuing pro. with other bands.    

Maurice Newton

Those were the days and the band could only be described as one of the hardest working soul bands at that time.

We all had jobs which were nine till five but then we would gather as one travelling the motorways at all hours doing the one thing we enjoyed, playing soul music to attentive crowds. We all enjoyed one anothers company and it would be fabulous to meet up with the guys again.

Tony Clark who was the bass player still maintains that the band was the best one he had played in. One thing that Maurice Newton who was a terrific guitarist didn't say was that he had to eat cream crackers after a gig and spent more time on homeward trips crying out for his beloved cream cracker.

One thing he missed about the new years day sleepover was that we attempted to get a lift to Crewe for petrol but the bloke who gave us a lift was drunk and he ran out of petrol as well.  Still drumming and enjoying it.

Ray Openshaw



From the Cavern Wall

Above - Back Row - Michael Kirk - Drums, John Brennan - Bass, Bob Lestonovski - Tenor Sax,
Steve Hargreaves - Vocalist.
Front Row - Maurice Newton - Lead Guitar, Pete Walanofski (Wally) - Tenor Sax.

Pictured outside Dolywern Hall, Chirk, North Wales


Add a Comment to this page

Please note: All comments are moderated and will not appear straight away. Please do not re-send.
Sorry ... but personal messages not related to the purpose of Manchesterbeat may not be added to the site

Comments (1)

Topic: Cleveland Fox
Paul webmaster says...
Just added a couple of tickets for the band - great to see them dated!
29th March 2016 9:10am

Copyright ©
All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of any content is strictly prohibited.

Please read our Disclaimer/Copyright Notice