The Wildcats
Eddie & The Dukes
The Dukes

The Wildcats

Left to right, John Holden (subsequently played with Marshall Scott), Eddie Duxbury ( who joined 'The Dukes' as lead singer). Jimmy (Cat) Graham ( still active but a drum teacher), Ron Bird ( have lost contact), and Jim Allison on the extreme right at just 20 years of age.

The picture was taken by a professional photographer in June 1960 when they played at Workington Opera House, with several named stars including geordie comedian Bobby Thompson and Frankie Lyman & The Teenagers. Following their appearance at the Opera House, they were offered work in Hamburg by a national agent, but sadly had to decline as  John, Ron and Jim were serving apprenticeships at Chapel Bank, Workington.


The Dukes outside The Cavern club In Liverpool in 1963

Colin Wilson, John Tinnion, Colin Wright and Brian Milnes

The Workington group Eddie and the Dukes, later the Dukes, played all over Cumbria from 1962-1966.

They originally started in 1960 as the Wildcats, playing in the Bush and Curwen Arms pubs in Workington. The Wildcats main claim to fame was appearing at the Workington Opera House with geordie comedy star Bobby Thompson.

The line-up of the Wildcats then was: John Holden, lead guitar, Jim Allison, rhythm guitar, Ron Bird, bass, Jimmy 'Cat' Graham, drums, and Eddie Duxbury, vocals.

The line-up of the Wildcats evolved to Colin Wright drums, Ron Bird bass, Vince White rhythm guitar, John Tinnion lead guitar, Vince Mullholland piano and Eddie Duxbury vocals.

In 1962 Colin Wilson and Brian Milnes joined John Tinnion, Eddie Duxbury and Colin Wright and the band became Eddie and the Dukes.

Eventually Eddie left and the band carried on as a foursome as The Dukes.

The Dukes played all over Cumbria and once in Liverpool at the famous Cavern club from which the Beatles launched their career (Photo above).

The Dukes were the first group to play in the new Tow Bar Inn at Nethertown in the early sixties. John Tinnion was the first guitarist in Workington to own a Gibson guitar, a semi-acoustic ES330, having previously played a Fenton Weill solid, which was an unusual guitar in those days.

Colin Wright left due to illness and Donald Ellis took over on drums. John Tinnion left in late 1965 due to shift work.

Sadly, the two Colins are no longer with us. Jimmy Graham is still teaching drums and Brian Milnes has his own business.

Since he retired John has taken up the guitar again, playing along to Shadows backing tracks with his sage green Fender Strat!

Many thanks to John Tinnion and Jim Allison for providing the information and photos for this page.