Remembering The Roy Bridger Sextet

The Roy Bridger Sextet
The Roy Bridger Sextet
Eastoke beach today in much the same condition as when the Edith first hit the beach. Picture: Ray Stanton

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The Roy Bridger Sextet played gigs all over the area for more than three decades and now Roy would like to find out what happened to the rest of the band.

Apart from Roy, they were Ken Burroughs, George Daws, Lucky Jordan, Dick Ducksbury and Ted Grainger, all pictured right.

Roy, of Anson Grove, Portchester, who is now 81, recalls some of the venues at which they played: Portsmouth Labour Club; British Legion in Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton; Rock Gardens Pavilion, Southsea; Hilsea Lido Pavilion; Co-op Club in Fratton Road; All Saints Church hall, Landport; Butlins Holiday Camp, Hayling Island, and Rowlands Castle Village Hall.

Roy and his band played for dances, parties, wedding receptions and other events in the city and surrounding areas from the 1940s through to the 1970s.

Their manager was Bill Stillwell who, as well as booking most of the gigs, would transport the music stands in a small trailer towed by his bicycle.

Roy says: ‘Jimmy Newton who played trumpet for Benny Freedman’s band at the Embassy Ballroom and the Savoy Ballroom, Southsea, was a good friend. He was also an amateur photographer and took the portrait photos of the band. He also took the photos at my wedding to Margaret in 1959.’

Roy has lost touch with members of the band but would be pleased to hear from them or anyone else who has memories of those days.

Please get in touch if you can help.

Geoff Edwards, of Allcot Road, Copnor, got in touch after seeing the aerial picture (below right).

He recognised the paddle steamer at the end of South Parade Pier as either Lorna Doone II or Solent Queen II, both of which joined Southampton’s Red Funnel fleet in 1949.

Geoff says: ‘Formerly Queen of Kent and Queen of Thanet, both served in the First World War as paddle minesweepers named HMS Atherstone and HMS Melton respectively.’

Both were built in 1916. They had short careers on the south coast and were sold for scrap in the early 1950s.

Why don’t you share your memories with us? If you have your own story or pictures from days gone by that you would like featured on this page

please e-mail Chris Owen at or write to him at The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth,PO2 9SX