Harry Bendon. Comedian and Singer.

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Harry Bendon. Comedian and Singer.

Postby j.c.d. » Fri 31 Jul, 2015 3:42 pm

For those who have never heard of, or never saw him Harry Bendon was a larger than life character who roamed Leeds city centre in the 1950s to the 70s where he sadly died as a derelict / alcoholic. Harry was probably the most well known character in Leeds since Woodbine Lizzie. As a boy born in Glasgow he toured the Scottish Music Halls, topping the bills even at the infamous Glasgow Empire known as "Boy McLean", he had a fine tenor voice. his family moved to Leeds and Harry and his Brother Archie, who also had a fine voice worked the social and working mens clubs around West Yorkshire for many years. He was also a comedian, probably a little too risqué for those times which at times got him suspended from working the same clubs. His also worked for Frank Stubley's Window Cleaning Co. who had the contracts for most of the shops windows around the city centre so he was a familiar sight carrying a short ladder in the Market area. woe betide anyone who encroached onto the window cleaning business in Leeds centre as Harry and his mates would soon see them off. Window cleaning seemed to be a morning occupation as he and various other Market lads and cleaners would be in the Golden Cock where there was music playing every lunchtime. He would regale the customer there with songs and also down Kirkgate at the Brougham's Arms (now the Duck and Drake). those days many of the pubs had a piano and microphone so there was no shortage of entertainment every lunchtime. Harry also worked various racecourses, especially Aintree for the Grand National and carried his Accordian with him busking to the crowds. his downfall was his drinking and he had a very generous nature so he and his money were soon parted. in the 70s he was to be seen sitting on the Corn Exchange steps with other drunks and his health was deteriorating. his accordion was stolen and I recall Stan Dodd's, the ex Leeds Rugby player (landlord of the Beech Tong Road) having a whip around to buy him another, sadly that also disappeared.
I was not living in Leeds when he passed away so do not know the details but he certainly was a character in his day.

If you see this Uncle Mick could you kindly put on the most excellent picture of H. B. Ta..
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uncle mick
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Re: Harry Bendon. Comedian and Singer.

Postby uncle mick » Fri 31 Jul, 2015 5:47 pm

There you go
Harry Bendon.jpg
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Re: Harry Bendon. Comedian and Singer.

Postby Geordie-exile » Tue 04 Aug, 2015 7:41 pm

There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots.

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