The Strand Showband
aka The Strand, The Strands, The Strandsmen

Images courtesy Geoff Parkinson

Line-up included  
Billy Hamilton aka Yorke Hammill vocals,valve trombone, percussion
Geofge Hamilton Valve trombone, vocals, percussion.
Edmund Hutton lead guitar,vocals
Steve Green ?? guitar
Ray Millar bass
Roy Bingham drums
George Hamilton trombone
Burt Robinson vocals, trombone, flute, percussion
Jim Bingham trumpet
Maxton G Beesley drums, replaced RB



One of the most popular and successful showbands to come out of Ireland were the Strand Showband. In the mid-60s/70s, they were the first showband to work in nightclubs in England, as opposed to ballrooms. Managed originally by George Downing (Liverpool) who introduced them to Maurice King (London) who also managed the Walker Brothers, Dusty Springfield, Rocking Berries etc. They were based in and around Manchester, but worked all over the UK and Europe, and recorded with Philips Records. They topped the bill in all the top venues in Manchester, and were amazing crowd-pullers.

Line-up was Billy Hamilton, lead singer, sax, valve trombone, percussion. Burt Robinson, vocals, trombone, flute, percussion. Jim Bingham, trumpet, percussion. George Hamilton, Valve trombone, vocals, percussion. Ray Miller, bass guitar, vocals. Edmund Hutton, lead guitar, vocals. Maxton G Beesley: Drummer, impressionist (Manchester born!) Does anyone remember seeing them?

Burt Robinson

Saw them many times, mainly Offerton Palace, great entertainers!!

Dave Garnett

I remember seeing The Strand Showband a few times at THe Club Royale in Preston.  Great sounding band and fabulous live show. 

Alan Letts

Used to see The Strand Showband at "The Wishing Well" in Swinton lots of really good memories they were a good crowd puller. Had many a Good Friday night in "The Well"

Margaret Parkes

George Hamilton is my Dad and Billy Hamilton is my uncle! It is lovely to hear that people still remember them it makes me proud!

Joanne Wallace

My uncle is Edmund Hutton. The band lived with my family back in the 60's and the address on the picture, Derbyshire Road in Sale is where they lived whilst in the Uk. My mum, Elizabeth Cragg (nee Hutton) looked after them and my dad, Tony Cragg managed them for a while. Great memories!

Alison Cragg

The name Steve Green keeps appearing on this info, as a guitarist for The Strand Showband. He was never a member of the band while it was popular.
I don't think that I ever met him.
Sadly Edmund Hutton who was our guitarist has recently passed away.

Ray Millar

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Allan Greenwood
Thanks for your response, John. Any chance of getting in touch with Dave? I understand if it's not possible, but - we're having a band re-union sometime this year!
5th February 2016 3:50am
Dave Clough
Hi Allan,
Yes I did indeed attempt to decribe the doings of The Apex Jazz Band after my brother informed me that somebody had included a mention in Manchesterbeat. Certainly the Apex was worth writing about because it was at times outstanding given the relatively tender ages of its members. I have lived in Amsterdam since 1972 so I don't get to visit Rochdale all that much but still it was good to hear that The Apex Jazz Band still plays from time to time.
David Clough
5th February 2016 5:10am
Dave Clough
Hi Allan,
It would be nice to meet and catch up about APEX. March 16th and 17th I will be in Rochdale. Any chance to meet for a drink? You can reply to my brother John.
David Clough
7th March 2016 6:16am
Allan Greenwood
Hi Dave- nice to hear from you. Greg, (our drummer),is in the middle of trying to agree a date for a re-union of the Apex Jazz band some time this summer. It'd be good to meet up with you - why not give me ring (01535 644704)?
8th March 2016 6:26am
Brian Fletcher
I attended Rochdale Grammar School and remember Belshazzar's Jazzers very well. They got together whilst I was a pupil there and they were very, very good (a fact that is recognised, although I was never a jazz fan). I was playing lead guitar in a group called the Fly-B-Nites at the time, who later changed their name to Waterboard.
Thx for the (instantly recalled) memories. Happy days.
Brian Fletcher
8th December 2014 10:55pm
Allan Greenwood
Hi Brian - memories fade - so I can't remember everyone's name - what class were you in? The FlyB Nites name rings a bell - who was in that band with you?
21st December 2014 5:13am
Brian Fletcher
Hi Allan
Thx for your reply. I was in the year below you at school. As I remember, you were the one with the cheeky face and rosy red cheeks. I can't remember the name of our form master. As you rightly say, memories fade; but hopefully don't die. Re the Flybies, we have a page on here. If you go to it, I'm the one on the left, leaning on the car. The other members at that time were Robin Inston, guitar (with his back to me on the pic) his brother John, bass, at the front, wearing sunglasses because he thought he was so cool that no matter where he was, the sun was always shining on him. Bringing up the rear, leaning on the other side of the car, is Martin Fidler, drums, who went on to join the police. I don't know if you an get in touch via email - maybe you can request the powers that be? - and we could "catch up" a bit. Thanks again. See ya.
Take care,
25th December 2014 1:44am
Allan Greenwood
Thanks for you reply, Brian - yes..I do remember the you went on to make a record with Decca?? - (envy, envy)...some of those cuttings on the website page bring back memories of the Rochdale Observer and its typeface, etc. So also played the club in the basement of Rochdale town hall? The rosy cheeks and chubby face were not mine (I was svelte, smooth and cool) - that was our trombone player - Dave Chaffer (Hope he doesn't read this!) - wasn't it a privilege to live through that golden period of music - especially in the North of England - I'd also like to contact you directly, but don't how - I wonder if Paul at Manchester Beat can advise me?
27th December 2014 10:03pm
Brian Fletcher
Hi Allan
I assume you couldn't get my email from the boss, so hang the consequences. Unsure
7th January 2015 12:54am
Brian Fletcher
Hi Allan
Just wondering if you got my mails... I got yours and sent you a couple of replies. Hope to hear from you again soon.
17th January 2015 1:14am
Brenda Jones
I am just listening to Brian Matthews "Sound of the sixties" and he has played the Walker Brothers "The sun ain't goin to shine any more" brought back floods of memories. I was a regular at the "Wishing Well" every Friday and Sunday. Such wonderful memories. Would love to know what happened to all the band.
17th August 2014 9:12pm
Allan Greenwood
Hi Brenda - nice to hear that remember the band (Apex jazz band) - can you fill in any memories? Where did you hear us play. Some of us are still in touch and still playing (nearly 50 years on!!) Who do you remember?
Cheers Allan
21st December 2014 5:16am
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