Bill Kirby


John Kirby got in touch recently via the Unique Joe Morley website with some interesting information about his father who often accompanied Joe (click here for more information). John also mentioned that his grandfather Bill (pictured above) played banjo 

This photograph was taken sometime between 1900 and 1910. John remembers:

"Will was a part timer who played at local music halls and other gigs. He specialised in set piece banjo solos and was also an accomplished mandolin player.. As a boy I enjoyed listening to him practice his banjo. My favourite was 'Donkey Laugh' "

John also sent the photograph below, It was taken around 1910-14 at Waterlow Industrial Dwellings in  East London. The players names, I was told, are: Standing, Bertie Kirby, Bill Kirby. Seated, Messrs Avis, Warner, Thompson, Warner and Harry Reynolds.

John comments "I also attach a photo of my grandfather in a minstrel group (standing on the right). His other son( a guitarist named Bert) told me that this group would play in the courtyard of the block of flats where they lived. This was real home entertainment. Neighbours from the flats would assemble in the courtyard, bringing food and drink and enjoy the show. I believe this type of show was very popular at the time. Today some 'modifications' would certainly be needed!"

Thank you for sharing this with us, John

Click here for more information about John's father Will on the Joe Morley websire


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