The Beat Street Runners (Hadfield) 


Geoff Hobson, Graham Thompson (wearing trade mark top hat), Pete McGarrity (still in school uniform), John Brook

Line up included 

  • John Brooke - guitar and vocals
  • Graham Thompson - drums
  • Geoff Hobson - bass and backing vocals.
  • Pete McGarrity - guitar and backing vocals
  • Mike Eastham - guitar
  • Geoff Kershaw - vocals and gob iron
  • Phil Bradley - drums 

The Beat Street Runners were from Hadfield now known as "Royston Vasy" Glossop mid 60s and used to rehearse in the upstairs room at the now famous Palatine Hotel Hadfield. Their gigs were mostly around Glossop but remember them playing regularly at The Queens in Ashton & The Talbot in Stalybridge.

Geoff Kershaw - 6/6/11

My brother John Brooke played rhythym guitar Phil Bradley was the drummer

Ian Brooke - 28/7/11

Came across your site by accident, whilst searching for music shops in Manchester. Had a look through the list of bands and, was amazed to see the name of the first band I was in. The Beat Street Runners.

I saw them play at a "dance night" at the Jones Street youth club in Hadfield. I liked the raw, bluesy sound, they had and was impressed with the double stop guitar work of the guitarist (John Brooke). The drummer with them was Phil Bradley, but I cant remember the names of the other members.

After the gig a friend, Graham Thompson and I got talking to the band. Don't remember the details, but for some reason the drummer was leaving and the band was on the verge of breaking up.

Graham, who was a few years older than me, played drums and I was a fledgling guitarist, as yet unbloodied on a stage. John asked if we were interested in joining the band, and whilst trying to appear nonchalant, we both jumped at the chance.

At the ripe old age of 14, I was in my first band.

We rehearsed in the Church hall at Brookfield.

John had a Vox ac 30 which was a step up from my Watkins Dominator. He played a Hofner Verrithin, which again was a step up from my Antoria, they got better in the 70s but the early ones, well, there were areas of the neck that you avoided like the plague. Was in seventh heaven when I replaced it with a Strat.

I think Geoff had a Futurama piggy back bass amp and a Vox Bass

Graham out did us all with a Sonor drum kit, not the cheap one.

Mikes were Reslo ribbons. Again John outdid me, I had the square one, he had the round topped directional. Think I still have mine in a box somewhere. Ditched it for a Shure as soon as I could.

I seem to remember the P.A. was a home made thing, courtesy of Graham's dad, who was a bit of a whizz with electrics. 30 watt amp and home made cabs.

The first gig we did together was at The Carters Club in Glossop. I remember it because it was my first "real" stage experience, and I was absolutely terrified. In fact I think I spent most of the night with my back to the audience. It got easier after that.

We played all the original bands old venues around Glossop, Hyde, Stalybridge and Ashton. Plus a few new ones. One that I have good memories of was Saddleworth Cricket Club. A regular booking for us.

Like so many bands at that time, transport was a problem. We would take any van we could get, we once borrowed one from an undertaker. We were happy to find he had removed the coffins before we collected it.

One night at a gig, a guy called Chuck, came over to talk to us. He had a van (yes it was a Bedford) and wanted to "rodie" for us. Transport problems solved, we started to feel like a "real band", well a lot were getting to gigs by bus.

It turned out that Chuck ( the only name I ever knew him by) was one hell of a blues harp player. ( that's a gob iron not the string one) He fitted perfectly with our raw bluesy sound. He didn't play on all the numbers, but became a kind of unofficial 5th member.

The band wasn't together for any great length of time, don't remember the reason for the break up (age does that). But I have some great memories.

Have not seen any of the band members for many years. I often wonder what happened to them.

Pete Mcgarrity - 2/10/11

Yes I"ll admit it, was the singer and gob horn player in The Beat Steet Runners circa 1962-3 and the one who suggested the band to Manchesterbeat.

I was in temporary employment as a van driver for Sunnyside Dry Cleaners Glossop and had a van boy working with me, his name I can't remember, he asked what I did in the evenings and I told him I liked to listen to local bands.

To my amazement he said he was the manager of a band called The Beat Street Runners he must have been 16-17 years old - I was about 19. he suggested that if I traded my car in for a van I could be their roadie. It seemed like a good idea and "hey presto" by the following weekend I had acquired a Bedford Van. 

Rehearsal was at the now famous Palatine Hotel Hadfield "Royston Vasey". The band were trying to learn Muddy Water's Got My Mojo Working. I told them that they"d got the wrong words and that I knew it complete and would write it down for next week. "No time for that" was the reply - "Get on the mike and show us how it"s done".

Having never sang on a mike before I said "no" but after much arm twisting I got on the mike and did the song. On loading up the van afterwards they gathered around me and to my surprise asked me to be the singer and gob horn player.

At that time they didn't really have a front man so now they had one and a permanent roadie. A couple of rehersals later at Brookfield church hall and I did my first gig ever with them at the Victoria Hall Glossop to a good crowd of about 300. We appeared there with another band of which I can't remember the name - playing alternate sets from two stages, one each end of the room.

My old boss Ted Holland was there too and he liked what we did. That was welcome praise from him, as I hadn't slept for a week before that gig. He said he always knew I could sing as he part heard me in the machine shop at work although I would clam up when he walked round the corner.

The equipment was a bit spartan. I remember the dodgy p.a. that Pete Mcgarrity mentioned. I think it came from an old picture house in Glossop. Graham Thompson's dad converted it from single input to four which was asking a lot from it!

When the band broke up I became the proud owner of that very p.a. but used it as a guitar practise amp - it was much better than plugging in to my record player as I recall.

Can't remember how long I was with them but after a while John Brooke left and was replaced by Mike Eastham from Mossley, one of my workmates - a singer guitarist of good quality who played a Hofner Verithin through an AC30 amp.

I think the band broke up a few months after that for what ever reason, then Mike and myself formed a vocal harmony duo The Quantrells. We did quite well and were voted best up and coming duo in the "Whats On" club magazine, middle of the road stuff playing mostly W.M.Clubs although we did gig at the Lonsdale club in M/chester a great club to play as we had to share the dressing room with the strippers "nice" also remember playing the Kumfy Club Ashton a few times.

After a while The Quantrells broke up and I went solo, again playing the Kumfy Club where the very popular compare Ken Oldham gave me the stage name of Geoff Shaw - I"m still gigging and using the same name. "Thanks Ken" 

The last time I saw any of The Beat Street Runners was outside A1 Music, Oxford Road, where John Brooke was unloading a Marshall combo for servicing. He said it was to noisy for recording with, that must have been about 2yrs after I first joined them, only a short space of time but very important to me with such a lot crammed into it marvellous!!!

P.S. Thanks for the photo!

Geoff Kershaw - A.K.A. "Chuck" because I was mad on Chuck Berry - 1/11/11

Comments powered by CComment