Dragoons (Oldham)

Line-up included

  • Les Kershaw - drums
  • Billy Lees - guitar
  • Peter Priest - guitar
  • Trevor Fogarty aka Terry Ford - guitar
  • Ken Jones - piano
  • Norman Pennington - drums
  • Joe Kilroy - guitar
  • Larry Goddard (piano)

I have at last managed to find a photograph of the Dragoons, courtesy of Alan Jones, younger brother of Ken.

The photo was taken at Christmas 1960 at the Royal Oak pub Rhodes Bank, Oldham. The lineup from left to right,

Norman Pennington, Drums.
Billy Lees, Rhythm Guitar.
Joe Kilroy, Lead Guitar.
Ken Jones, Piano.

I am sorry to report that Joe Kilroy recently passed away.

Bert Ashton - 24/3/09

Original line up was Les Kershaw on drums, Billy Lees on guitar, Peter Priest on guitar and Trevor Fogarty (Terry Ford, same guy on guitar ) around 1960.

They split and a new line up emerged of Ken Jones on piano, Billy Lees on bass, Norman Pennington on drums and me on lead guitar. This line up lasted a long time until Ken Jones left and we became a trio with me and Billy doing vocals. (I remember Keith Cooper doing a leopard skin routine as a guest). No comment.

Later Billy and I joined up with Mick Swift and Tony Manton and became the Tony Manton Set. I then left and worked the clubs with Terry Ford as "The Terry Ford Duo " He died in a car accident. I had joined a band called Frank Yonco and the Texas Drifters by then and did a couple of years with them backing american country singers on tour.

Geoff Walker never played with The Dragoons to the best of my knowledge but did play with Ian Fisher and Ken Jones as the Ken Jones Trio.

Ken Jones had a brother called Allan who was a talented pianist/vocalist who often helped out. 

No photos available. Ex-wife disposed of them. 

Joe Kilroy

I used the lads in 1963 as my backing as Dee and the D's.

Keith Cooper

Keith Cooper, if I remember right, had his own group in the year 1963, namely Dee & the D's. I was the bass player. The routine that Joe Kilroy mention's "I go ape" (a number recorded by Neil Sedaka) we did many times at our gigs and it always went down well.

I left the group to join The Four Just Men who were Ian Fisher (lead guitar), Johnny Kirkam (drums), Trever Fogerty (lead singer) and my self (bass). Does any one remember?

Terry Liversidge

I remember Billy Lees, Mick Swift and Joe Kilroy. We played at the Oldham Hotel for quite a while, then we went to the Royal Oak.

They were great musos and we packed the places where we worked. Llots of good memories.. happy days.

I just heard that Billy has died. He will be sadly missed (see below).

I'm now living in Spain and still do a few gigs here but when I return to the UK I am always working as Jasper Jones, now doing comedy vocals but I really miss the group scene.

Well done to everyone involed in creating manchesterbeat.

Tony Manton

I was reading the history about The Dragoons and at the end of the page I noticed that someone said Billy Lees had passed away ! ! So after reading this infomation, I telephoned him and told him I'm very sorry to have to be the one to tell you this ." You are dead " 

I can tell everyone concerned, that Billy is still alive and kicking. I should now I'm married to his daughter Linda.

p.s. He is as still as tough as ever when it come's to getting the beer in!

Geoff Woods  - 28/1/12

Last time I saw Ken Jones (about 1983/84) just outside St Ives, Cornwall in a little hamlet called Cripplesease, putting the ladders back on the roofrack of his van! Presume he was still doing the painting and decorating job.

Charles Widdall - 30/10/13

It was fascinating to discover your website and mention of the Dragoons, a group I was pianist in during 1960 after we took on the groups name when the original left the ‘Royal Oak’ public house. I tried to upload a photo of our line up but I do not have permission. Can anything be done about this? 

Larry Goddard (pianist) - 28/3/2020
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