Ducie Arms, Manchester To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=149019
27 messages

Ducie Arms, Manchester

13 Jan 13 - 05:50 AM (#3465340)
Subject: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Raggytash

I've learnt Howard Bonds' song Danny's Fiddle and realised I know next to nothing about Danny except he worked on building sites and was a superb fiddle player who kept his fiddle in the Ducie Arms. I was really too young to frequent the pub and only heard him once or twice although he has a reputation across Manchester as a great fiddle player. Can anyone fill in any details about Danny, his fiddle and the Ducie Arms at the time.


13 Jan 13 - 06:24 AM (#3465352)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

I knew Danny Shovlin, to give him his full name, extremely well. This being from the days when I lived in Manchester in the early 1980s. He was resident fiddler at the Ducie, as far as I remember, on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday lunch times.

One of nature's gentlemen, he hailed from Killybegs, Donegal and migrated to Manchester (I think around 1940), where he did indeed work on building sites in the Manchester area. I presume most of his early days would have been spent on the shovel, although by the time I knew him, he'd become a digger driver.

I don't know where or when Danny learned the fiddle, although I presume it would have been back in Donegal. I can only observe that he played with a fierce drive of the bow, and a very strong rhythm, with practically nothing in the way of decoration.

He was musically literate, and most of his tunes came from tune books, although which ones I've no idea. I remember him saying to me once "O'Neill's tunes are no good". By which I think he meant he didn't find the settings very interesting.

I did once witness an object lesson in Danny's musical literacy. Somebody once asked him if he knew a reel called The Templehouse. Danny said, "I know it, but I haven't played it in years". From somewhere or other, a copy of the tune was produced. Danny's eyesight wasn't so good, so he perched it right across the other side of the table. Then like Rolf in the muppets, played the whole thing right the way through while squinting like mad at the notes!

I presume he must be dead by now. If so, I can only hope that he's gone where all the good folks go, for he surely was one of the nicest and most warm hearted people I ever met.

BTW., I was too poor and broke to afford a recording machine in those days. But did anyone have the good sense to record him?


13 Jan 13 - 06:29 AM (#3465355)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: Dave the Gnome

I went to 2 x Ducie Arms in Manchester - 1 near Piccadilly Station that ran a singaround/playaround for many a year and one at the back of the University that had a legendary Irish session. The landlord of the latter used to let people sleep on their seats overnight and charge about a pound for huge bacon butties and mugs of tea in the morning.

Which one was this?

Cheers

DtG


13 Jan 13 - 06:37 AM (#3465359)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

It was the one at the back of the university. The nearest thing I've ever seen in this country to a genuine Irish pub, and no, I don't mean the kind of place that has leprechauns and shamrocks and sewing machines hanging from the ceiling. I don't remember any bacon butties though.


13 Jan 13 - 06:41 AM (#3465362)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: Stanron

Danny Shovlin played in the Ducie behind the University. I first heard him in the late 80s I think. It was a terrifically well attended Sunday afternoon session. Quite wild if memory serves. This was before the great divide when the more sensitive players moved themselves away from the rest. When I started attending sessions as a player in the late 90s Danny ploughed a more lonely furrow.


13 Jan 13 - 06:42 AM (#3465363)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Jack Sprocket

Danny was most disconcerting to play with, as besides playing tunes with a highly variable number of repeats of the parts, he had a way of skipping bars apparently at random. This of course threw the rest of the session out of synch, at which he would glower fiercely at any neighbouring fiddlers as they struggled to get back in time. We lesser breeds of instrumentalists were immune from his wrath however. This foible didn't stop his sessions (he was very possessive of them too) from being packed to bursting.


13 Jan 13 - 11:20 AM (#3465472)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,JJ

DtG: I think you may mean the Jolly Angler round the back of Piccadilly.

JJ


13 Jan 13 - 11:55 AM (#3465482)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: Les in Chorlton

The Ducie was also the home of anther group of folkies - The Song Carriers. The SC were a group people who generaly sang English traditional songs. The had previously been at The Millstone on Thomas Street and included the late Terry Whelan, Dave Bishop, Kate Rygate and Mary Humphries.

Dave and Kate were founders of our current Singaround at The Beech M21 9EG and you may have heard Ms MH far and wide.

We are currently on holiday at The Dulcimer M21 0AE and all are welcome


13 Jan 13 - 12:22 PM (#3465497)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: Stanron

Ah the Jolly Angler, another pub that brings back great memories, is on Ducie street. Singarounds on Sundays and Mondays and sessions Thursdays and Saturdays and the best pint of Hydes in town.


13 Jan 13 - 03:42 PM (#3465586)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: Dave the Gnome

Ahhhh - JJ, you are quite right! The old grey cells have suffered to much at the hands of the type of landlord at the Ducie :-) The Jolly Angler was, of course, on Ducie street which is all I have to say in my defense, m'lud.

:D tG


13 Jan 13 - 06:22 PM (#3465675)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST

mike m

Just to update you Stanron The Jolly Angler is still going on Sunday night as a folk/acoustic night (i try to keep it so). Monday night is no longer a singaround , and i dont think that the Thurday sessions happens anymore. But yes the best pint of Hydes in town

mike


13 Jan 13 - 06:36 PM (#3465684)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: Stanron

Ah well, I've missed it tonight. Maybe next time.


26 Jan 13 - 04:35 AM (#3471565)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Raggytash

Thanks to those good people who have put information on this thread. I am surprised however at the limited number of people who remember Danny. He was seemingly well known when I lived in Manchester pre 1980.


29 Jan 13 - 10:41 AM (#3472967)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST

Still surprised


24 Sep 14 - 05:58 AM (#3663249)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Simon

Hi,

I always remember my dear old Dad raving on about this guy called, Danny, who was a brilliant fiddle player and mentor to my dad during the period that he was learning to play.

I've been checking through some old photos and believe that I may have a picture of Danny although I never met himself because I was too young.

Is it possible to post the picture here to see if anyone can verify whether it's Danny or not?

All the best,

Simon


24 Sep 14 - 06:35 AM (#3663260)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: Stanron

Hi Simon

You will have to find a host site to place your photo, something like photobucket, and post a link here to that other site.

Cheers.


24 Sep 14 - 07:12 AM (#3663265)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,ex jolly angler attender

Hi Mike
Is Sunday night still going as a folk/acoustic night. Would be great to re-visit.John


24 Sep 14 - 10:58 AM (#3663322)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Simon

Hi Stanron,

Thanks for the info.

Ok, here goes...

Is this Danny?

http://gyazo.com/199c40786714196fe250353b6ac45db1

Cheers,

Simon


24 Sep 14 - 11:35 AM (#3663332)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

I'd say that's almost certainly Danny. Also that is the room of the Ducie Arms, where we used to congregate. Anybody any idea when it was taken, or who the fiddler with the beard is?

Come to think of it, does anybody recognise any of the other faces in the photograph?


24 Sep 14 - 12:58 PM (#3663357)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Simon

It will have been my dad that took the photograph and I believe this would have been circa 1976/8.

I'm so happy to have learned that it's the room where you all used to congregate because I'd never visited the Ducie and didn't know what the interior looked like.

There's one more picture in our collection that I can scan and upload over the next couple of days.


24 Sep 14 - 02:38 PM (#3663376)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Raggytash

Can anyone put a link on please. Ta


24 Sep 14 - 03:06 PM (#3663383)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: Stanron

Try this

Danny

A bit younger than I remember him in the 90s I suppose.


25 Sep 14 - 06:45 AM (#3663539)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Simon

This is the second picture, probably taken on the same evening.

My dad is the fiddle player on the left.

Apologies for the text below; I'm not sure how to make a link.

http://gyazo.com/a4b12c2cb143fa81917e08ec703be018


25 Sep 14 - 08:11 AM (#3663561)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: Stanron

Here's a blue clicky

Pic 2


26 Sep 14 - 03:44 AM (#3663761)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: Les in Chorlton

Great photo Simon. Can't help with names but could the guy playing the tenor banjo and the young woman with the fiddle be bother and sister?


26 Sep 14 - 04:52 AM (#3663771)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST

"bother and sister" Well that's one way of putting it.

I can't identify any of the people in either of the photographs although they were obviously taken several years before I discovered the Ducie. That was not until about 1981 when I first moved to Manchester.


26 Sep 14 - 06:57 AM (#3663798)
Subject: RE: Ducie Arms, Manchester
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

Sorry folks. The one above was me. Forgot to fill in the From box.