Burt Butlers                                                                    

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                                     These  tracks  and  photo's  are  archive  Jazz   in  the  Kent  and   Sussex
                                     venues, in  the  early  60's and to this present time,  some  of  the  pubs  no       
                              longer   exist ,  and  many  of  the  musicians   are  sadly  no  longer  with  us, so 
                             come  and  enjoy  the  traditional   jazz  that  we  played, heard  and  grew  up  with

                                                                                                                                                     Burtie  Butler 
                         Grapes to the Louis Armstrong story        Henry Bullock's 100th Birthday                 Vocalion Jazz Band



                  The story of The Louis Armstrong, Maison Dieu Road, Dover, Kent   1962 - present time             

                                          The Louis Armstrong, Maison Dieu Rd, Dover,Kent                        The Pub Sign


Bod's truck in the 1958 Dover Carnival - muso's on board:     photo from the Steve Osborn collection

                                                    "Shun" Talbot (tpt),    Ted Theobald (clt),    Bod Bowles (tmb),    Steve Osborn (pno),
                                                 Jim Newell (gtr),   Barry Sheppard (tuba),   Bevan Sheppard (bs),    and Pete Mousedale (dms).


                        Outside Henley's Forecourt, Folkestone, Kent June 1977                           Inside the Louis Armstrong before the relocation and renovations
                          Bod Bowles tmb, Arthur Collinson bnj, Colin Hodges bass,                       and the famous white enamelled jug that Bod filled up with Lager
                             Bill Barnacle crt, Jim Beechey drms and Ian Turner clarinet                   for the band and also put his whole hand in it and lubricated his
                                                                                                                                      trombone slide !!!! - I can see him doing it now - Burtie
                                                                                                                                      Bill Barnacle cornet, Peter Milton trmb and Colin Hodges bass


                                        The Bod Bowles Jazz Band, The Grapes and finally the Louis Armstrong, Dover, Kent.
                                         This is the story taken from the 
u  s  t  a  z  z   magazine issue no 116 Dec 2007, I personally 
                                         have such fond memories of what is a great jazz pub, run by Bod and Jackie Bowles. Back
                                         in the late 60's or early 70's (can't really remember), I used to pick up Dave Link (tpt) and down
                                         to the Grapes, as it was then, we alternated fortnightly -  Dave for Bill Barnacle (crnt) and myself    
                                         for Pete Mercer (bnj). It was a great atmosphere, in the public bar you could not get another
                                         punter in there it was so popular - great memories - anyway, here are the memories from
                                         Trefor Williams and Jackie  Bowles:

Burtie Butler  

                                                       L/R Les Hanscombe, Roger Howlett, Barry Weston,                                                                             Typical pub crowd
                                  Chris Marchant, Jackie, Charlie Connor, Andrew Houstan and Ian Turner 

                                       Still Jazzin' after all these years!
                                       by Trevor Williams:

                                       Over the years I've been very lucky to have been kept busy touring all over the place ( handy
                                       because it is difficult to hit a moving target ). Over the last 18 years I've been living in Kent
                                       and when I get some time off at home, I try to support, together with my wife Kate, the local
                                       jazz scene as a punter and as a performer. There are some fine bands and musicians in Kent.
                                                 Whenever the subject of jazz in Kent is mentioned, inevitably the name of the 'Louis
                                       Armstrong' in Dover crops up. Its been a centre for traditional jazz since 1964, and hosts Bod
                                       and Jackie Bowles have always been held close to the hearts of the Kent jazzers. It's a pub
                                       full of character and 'olde worlde' charm, with the walls plastered with jazz posters dating
                                       way back.
                                                        Sadly Bod passed away in 2000, but Jackie has continued to present jazz regularly
                                       to help keep the jazz scene alive and kicking. It would be greatly diminished without the good
                                       old Louis. Long may it's walls rock with good jazz!

                                                                                     Jackie and Bod - all spruced up !

                                                                            and sadly Jackie passed away:

                                                                                7th November 1939 - 15th March 2019


                                                                              Here are some of Jackie's memories ...........

                                         Bod and I move into the Grapes as tenants of Charrington's on the 14th September.

                                         Bryn Lewis, a bandsman with the Staffordshire Regiment stationed in Dover, persuades us
                                         to start a jazz-night on a Wednesday. Musicians from the regimental band kick-start the
                                         evenings. The quality of the music was superb, although some of the band struggled with
                                         improvising, after having read music all their musical lives.

                                         Interest spreads to the Marines in Deal, and the likes of Ian Shawcross, Jeff Miller and  John
                                         Yates start playing in the Grapes. Barry Cole, Ian Jury and Les Feast join the Wednesday
                                         night jam, along with Dave Corsby and Barry Judge.
                                         Bod decides to re-form his jazz band which would then play every Sunday night in the
                                         public bar of the pub. Originally it included Pete Stevens on drums and Pete Mercer on banjo,
                                         with their respective wives, Judy and Jean, helping me behind a very busy bar. 


                                                                                                                                                         Signed by Bod to me - note his  sense of humour

                                                                                   Volume two of the Bod Bowles Jazz Band
                                   band personnel:
                          Bod Bowles tmb/ldr, Bill Barnacle tpt, Ian Turner clt/sax, Pete Mercer bnj, Dave Fairfoul bass and Pete Stevens drms
                                                                                with special guest artiste Bruce Roberts clarinet

                                  click on to the titles below for the atmosphere at the Louis and the flavour of Bods Band - great stuff

                                   Curse of an Aching Heart                      Maryland                      Jazz Band Ball                           Shine
                        vocal Bill Barnacl                                                                                          bass solo Dave Fairfoul                  banjo solo Pete Mercer

                                         The brewery agrees that the name of the pub can be changed to the Louis Armstrong in
                                         honour of Louis who had just died. A new sign was commissioned, the pub redecorated
                                         with posters on the walls, and a grand re-opening night was organised, Chris Barber very
                                         kindly agreed to unveil the new sign, to the music of Bod's band, together with Pat Halcox,
                                         John Crocker, Johnny McCullam and many more.
                                                     Derry from the Three Horseshoes at Lower Hardres lent us a classic old Paris bus
                                         for the night. The bus, with its open-backed platform, jazz band, Pernod tasting and punters
                                         went twice around the town, whilst Chris Barber and most of his band, George Webb, and
                                         Bod's band played in the pub. Much to my horror, later that night, I learned that the bus, with
                                         my daughters Jan (8) and Sarah (6), on board with all the drunken Pernod tasters, had broken
                                        down on Castle Hill, and everyone had to push start the vehicle. By the end of the evening
                                        there were over twenty musicians playing at once,


                                                                                               Old mate of Pat - Bod Bowles, a staunch Barber fan and landlord of the Louis Armstrong Dover Kent
                                               Spider 'Wellard' and John Shelley                            Bod and old friend of Pat Hallcox - singing 'Just a little While to Stay' at the
                                                                                                                                                       First and Last, Herne, Kent.   3rd November 1985 with the 'Invicta Jazz Band'
                                                                                                                                                                                    click on picture to hear or click here

                                                                                                      you can hear what a great sense of humour Bod has in the chat up at the start of the number



                                        not forgetting the legendary 'Spider' Wellard, for many years one of the great characters and solid
                                        supporters of the Kent jazz  scene. He was part of the furniture at the Louis until his passing on a few years ago.

                                                                                       Picture of the 'Spider Cake'

                                       To digress slightly, here is Spider with Roy King's New Orleans Jazzmen, playing at a well known
                                       yearly jazz garden party, put on by Roger and Wrennie Wisbey to raise money for  local
                                       charities.  This was on the Sunday 19th August 1990.

                          Spider singing his favourite Honky Tonk Town                                      Spider singing Rosetta another of his favourites

                         Spider singing Honky Tonk Town                     Spider on the drums Tingaling                             Spider singing Rosetta
                          band members on videos are:  Roy King tpt,  Bill Barnacle crt, Tony Cardwell tmb, Dave Stone spr/clt,  Bernie Johnson bass,
                                                                       Robin Beames drms,    Alan Bundy bnj  and   Lyn Falvey vocals
                                                                                  so click on the picture or tune title to watch video

                                                                                           back to the Louis Armstrong story
                                        Having removed the door to accommodate the crowd, my abiding memory of the night
                                       (at around 4am) was seeing a very drunk Bod, Barny Gleitzman and George Webb trying to
                                       line-up the rising butts to replace the door!
                                       Unfortunately, the evening ended with a very unpleasant altercation with the local Inspector
                                       of Police, having found nothing wrong after rushing the pub, he returned the following day
                                       to check every licence. A week later a phone call from the Police Station informed us that we
                                       were operating without a music licence - a licence which at the time was unheard of to us,
                                       solicitors and local councillors. This put an end to live jazz for a possible three months, when
                                       the next magistrates sitting was scheduled. However, following concerted support from the
                                       local musicians who threatened to boycott the Police Social Club, together with a withdrawal
                                       of the Chief of Police's honorary membership of the Officers' Mess, a special sitting was
                                       convened and a music licence issued within the week for a cost of 50p a year! (By 2005, this
                                       had risen to 330.)
                                                Bod's band went through several changes in the years leading up to 1980 when, through
                                       lack of teeth and failing health, we saw the end of his band. Drums were played by Pete Stevens,
                                       Jim Beechy and Paul 'the Pounder'. Dave Fairfoul featured for many years on double bass.
                                       John Talbot. When Steve moved away from Dover, Ian took over on clarinet, Bill Barnacle joined
                                       on cornet, and Mike Marsh (1973-6) was on drums. Arthur Collinson replaced Pete Mercer on banjo and
                                       Bruce Roberts took over on clarinet, with the inimitable Colin Hodges on double bass.
                                                    The highlight each year was the annual Boxing Day (out of hours!) party. The big draw was
                                       Pat Halcox, who spent most Christmases in Lydden. (Pat, generously, still supports the jazz
                                       scene at the pub with a yearly appearance at the Louis around Christmas time). Inevitable,
                                       the long day of music and ale often ended in tears, with, on one memorable occasion, a well-
                                       known trombonist and Bod being ordered out of the pub.


                                      Bod and I were forced into buying the premises from the brewery. This brought about a big 
                                      change in our lives. The two-bar pub was completely gutted to turn it into an open-plan area,
                                      and bring about a very different atmosphere.
                                              With the break-up of the Bod Bowles Jazz Band, the Sunday nights concept changed, each
                                     night featuring a different local band, Bill Barnacle's band was one of the first local bands to
                                     play. The official Grand Opening was another night to remember. A very good friend and

                                     amusing personality, Monty Sunshine, agreed to play for the evening, with his band. As a result
                                     of knowing Monty, we were introduced to Alan Gresty, Ken Barton and the unforgettable Beryl
                                     Bryden, all of whom have played in the pub.

                                     To celebrate 25 years at the pub, Chris Barber very kindly agreed to host the evening with his
                                     band. We had a marquee erected in the garden, with straw bales as seating (a total fire hazard
                                     by today's standards!), and outdoors amplification, which sadly would be disallowed these days.
                                     How much we have moved on!!

                                     30 years at the pub saw another marquee and another fun night with Phil Mason's band. We
                                     found a very genuine friend in Martin Bennett, who stayed the night with his family, and has 
                                     remained a loyal supporter of the pub ever since. As a result of contact with Phil Mason we had
                                     the good fortune to meet Trefor Williams, a superb musician and more than a loyal friend, who
                                     to this day is still playing on Sunday nights at the Louis. On the night in question (1992), Trefor
                                     had a near miss in having his double-bass damaged, when two over-zealous pranksters decided
                                     to climb to the top of the marquee and slide down the canvas roof, missing the neck of his
                                     instrument by inches! Needless to say they were ejected from the venue with my forefingers
                                     firmly buried in their backs! - never to return. It was on with the music and the hog roast.
                                                         During the intervening years from then to now, I have been delighted to welcome many a
                                     band from Holland, the young and enthusiastic Hot Revival Stompers, the equally young and
                                     talented Oriental Jazz Band, not to mention the multi-instrumentalist band Limehouse, under the
                                     charming leadership of Robert Duis. We have also had the pleasure to hear the Belgian Dixie
                                     Kings and the Uralski from Russia, Joe Harriot, a talented but difficult man, and Chris Tyle from  New Orleans.



         musicians in the band: 
                                       Barry Weston tmb, Don York tmb, Geoff Foster clt, Pete Rose clt, Dave Corsby clt, George Reid sax, Pete Stacy sax, Pete Lay snare,
                    Trefor Williams bass drm, Pat Halcox tpt, Dave Link tpt, Chris Marney bnj, Burt Butler bnj, John Finch sousa, Roger Link sousa and George Webb walking.


                                                                           Above pictures from the Dave Sherriff collection

                                                          Radio Kent broadcast Bods funeral on the John Warnett morning program
                                                         with recollections of Bod from George Webb and Laurie Chescoe and Jackie

                                                                                           click here to listen to the Broadcast

                                           In October, Bod sadly died, having suffered ill health for some time, I organised with the help of
                                           so many musician friends, a truly memorable jazz funeral, a black horse-drawn hearse, 20 - 30
                                           jazz players, and literally hundreds of friends and supporters walking from the pub to St. Paul's
                                           church, with jazz playing outside and inside the church. We returned to the pub, manfully being
                                           run by friends in the trade, to listen to Pat Halcox, George Webb and so many others paying their
                                           own tribute to Bod. A day we as a family remember with very fond memories, and one I know Bod
                                           would have loved. I'm sure he was listening.

              Charlie Connor and Pat Halcox

                                                         In recent years I have had the privilege of meeting the legendary Charlie Connor, who has
                                          given many good nights of jazz in the Louis, with Roger Howlett (banjo), Clive Fletcher (bass),
                                          and Robin Beames on drums, Bod and I had the amazing coincidence of bumping into Roger and
                                          Pat Howlett in New Orleans French Market, with eight other British musos - another beery day!

                                             Band view of Jackie behind the bar                                 Denny Ilett and Charlie Connor ( in his French disguise but did not fool Denny )

                                          Jazz still goes on in the Louis after 44 years, thanks to numerous loyal musicians and the support
                                          of many long-term customers, and I thank them all. Please keep coming!!

Tuesday 16th December - what a great evening. Pat Halcox on his yearly visit on Christmas week to
                                         the Louis - what a line-up - Pat's old mate Charlie Connor on reeds, local legend of the Gambit band Barry Weston
                                         on trombone and another legend from the Gambit band Chris Marney on banjo, and not forgetting our all-time
                                         favourite on the double bass, ex Max Collie and now with the Phil Mason All Stars Trefor 'fingers' Williams, and driving
                                         the lads along in the engine room,as Bill Barnacle would say, Chris Marchant on drums.

                                                                                    Pat Halcox and friends Louis Armstrong 16th Dec 2008
                                                         playing Sheik of Araby with Charlie Connor on vocal click here or picture

                       Pat Halcox tpt., Charlie Connor reeds, Barry Weston tmb., Chris Marney bnj., Trefor Williams bass and Chris Marchant drms.

group photo with the hostess with the mostess

                                                                                      The regulars on the 16th Dec 08 a great turn-out

                                          I'm sure a lot of jazzers will have amusing stories and anecdotes of fun times at the Louis, write
                                          in with your memories - I'm sure they will be gratefully received and included in future issues of
                                          'Just Jazz'
                                          God bless you Jackie

                                                                                                 Four years on to 2012

                                                      Jackie's 50 years celebration at the Louis Armstrong Sunday 16th September 2012

                       The regular crowd and musos that celebrated Jackie's                        Family and friends         photo by Dave Sherriff
                       50yrs at the 'Louis Armstrong'                                                                     click here or on pic for Jackie's speech


                     Clive Fletcher, Dave Robinson, John Finch, Colin Martin,           Clive Fletcher, John Kennard, Steve Barnacle
                                       Bill Barnacle and Pete Rose                                                and Pete Rose playing their signature tune
                                         playing Creole Love Call                                                                              Swing Gitane

                                                              Well done Jackie - you have done a great job in keeping jazz alive
                                                                                                                                                               Burtie   xx

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                                             Henry Bullock O.B.E.      100th Birthday Party
                                19th July 2009


           I have known Henry for over 30 years and have became a great friend of his and we
                                     have played at his 80th and 95th parties.  He has never ceased to amaze me,
                                     and the rest of the band members, I might add, especially when he let slip that he
                                     once sat at the end of a piano with no less than Fats Waller at the keys in
                                     the "Bag of Nails", Kingley Street,  London.

                                             Henry seated with his first great-granddaughter Florence Rose and family group

Here are a couple of videos at the party  

                                                  Jazz Pilgrims playing:
                                           Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter                                        Henry The Eighth I Am
                                                                                                        click on pictures to watch

                            band members:
                            Tom Brady tpt, Roy Mason reeds, Pete Rose reeds, Sean Maple tmb, Mike Porter-Ward bass, Barry Knight drms and Burtie Butler bnj.

                                           Sadly Henry passed away at the grand old age of 104 in November 2013


                                                                        Henry Bullock O.B.E.       1909 - 2013

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                                                                      Vocalion Jazz Band at the 'Limes Hotel' Faversham 2018

                                           Band members; Pete Curtis clt  Dennis Jenkins tpt, Gerry Birch sou, Sam Weller tmb

                                                                                                   Ken Saunderson bnj  Pete Morgan drms.