Tony and The Senators

(as pictured left to right)
Bert Ashton lead guitar
Frank Clare drums
Jack Duckworth aka Tony Garratt lead vocal and rhythm guitar
John Clare bass

The group played aroud the pubs and clubs in Manchester, Rochdale and Middleton - pictured right in a pub in Salford 1963.

"They later became the resident group at The Carina Club,which was closed down when the gambling laws changed. Played in the Piccadily Club on a regular basis.

Have special memories of Jimmy Reno's shop where I bought my first guitar (a Rosseti Airstream) .... happy times."

Jack Anthony Duckworth (Tony Garratt)


The photos were taken in Brookdale Park, Newton Heath. 


Left to right John Clare (bass) bass,
in the middle is Gordon Lickfold
who played in the group on a temporary basis
and on the right is Bert Ashton lead guitar.

Gigs remembered

  • Levenshulme Sporting Club Manchester
  • Domino Club
  • Devonshire Sporting Club
  • St Bernadette’s Princess Parkway
  • Princess Theatre Club, Chorlton
  • The Yew Tree cabaret Club, Wythenshawe Manchester
  • C.I.S. Shudill Manchester
  • Top 20 Club, Hollinwood
  • College Theatre club Manchester
  • Failsworth Labour club
  • Failsworh Cycling club (now called Kehoes and or Baldy Bobs) 
  • Strangeways Prison, Manchester


Its a hard life in a group but someone has to do it.

In 1963 Tony & The Senators spent a Sunday afternoon in Strangeways Jail, they were invited to play at a prisoners concert. Mostly men, though there were a few women prisoners there at the time, a curtain divided the men from the women so they couldn’t see each other. The gig took place in the prison Chapel.          

C.I.S. Shudill Manchester - bands were booked to do 2hr gigs during the staff dinner breaks, dinner breaks were staggered over a two-hour period in those days

The Top 20 Club, Hollinwood Tony & the Senators were the first band to play at the club on the official opening night. I think the band that followed called, The Graduates finished off the evenings gig.


After they split up, Bert Ashton tied to reform the group, acting as manager.

Bert kindly lent me his Grech guitar and I played rhthm along side Gorden Lickfold, (one of the best guitarists I have ever played with, sadly Gordon is no longer with us).

The other guitarist was Harry Ingle another great talent who still plays. Tthe drummer was a lad called Barry, but the singer I can't remember.

I i can remember the first gig we had together at St Bernadettes on Princes Parkway. We wore these red suits with black velvet collars. I started the night by ripping the knee of my pants getting out of the van, great start.

We didnt do very well on stage, in fact we were awful but that was part of it, I remember us all going in the Woodman pub - our local. We were all down in the dumps, the locals asked us to perform so we did. Iif only we had played that good at our previous gig.

I remember Bert and Gordon as two of the nicest blokes I have come across, they were great day and good fun.

Ron Pitt


Recently met Bert who comes over to Spain and frequents the bar where I play nightly. What a gent; still loves his music,chats about guitars and playing and told me about this site.

Nice to chat to somebody who was doing this stuff when you had to able to put it together without all the technical help we have these days, I don't actually remember the scene during the sixties, but being around the Manchester scene in the seventies, all the memories from your site come flooding back, what a pleasure.


Can anyone remember Roy Downey who acted as manager for Tony and the Senators, The Driscolls. And  The Wild Things? He also did something with suits for bands in the 60s.

Carole Sellers

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Comments (1)

Topic: Tony and The Senators
Bert Ashton says...
It all started in 1961, a advert appeared in the Failsworth Free Gazette, Wanted lead guitarist for group being formed. I applied, was accepted and we started to rehearse and call ourselves Tony and the Senators. As well as playing guitar I was ... Read More
29th April 2014 8:13pm

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