The Orphans


  • Alan Bancroft - guitar/vocals
  • Kev Bowden - keyboards
  • Rob Parkes - drums/vocals
  • Steve Parkes - bass/vocals

Originally The Deputies from Stockport.

Comprising of Rob Parkes (drums vocals aged 10 !! Steve Parkes (bass vocals) aged 12!! Kev Bowden keyboards) aged 14!! Alan Bancroft (guitar vocals) aged 14!! and various similar age lead guitar players, including Roger Paton, Pete Cundill, and Ray Platt.

We were for sure the youngest gigging band at the time, and not only played the usual youth club gigs, but also venues such as the Offerton Palace club, the Buckingham Club, Manchester, and many more.

We were reported to the Stockport education authority for playing too many hours, and my father (Stockport bookmaker Sammy Parkes) was threatened with court action!

We were managed by Len Young, who also managed the Kaye Sisters and Donald Peers!

We all went on to other bands, but that's another story!!!!!

Robert Parkes

Kev Bowden went on to join Ginhouse then the Alvin Stardust band. Myself and brother Steve went on to join Love Lane and Sweet Dreams.

I have more recently fronted "A tribute to Matt Monro" touring theatres with the 16 piece "Blackpool Tower Big Band", and my brother is still gigging in Spain.

Robert Parkes 16/2/09

Just remembered !! We also took part in a group competition held at the Manor Lounge Stockport.  There were many of the top groups from Manchester there. I remember the Soul Executives, Cyclones, Deek Rivers, etc. Also the Red Admirals, and a group called the Halons.

At the time, the Toggery five were managed by Mike Cohen of the Toggery boutique. "Halons" was also a clothes shop, and they sponsored the Halons.

The competition was organised by the Rhythm House Stockport, and I remember one of the prizes was an AC30.

All the groups names were picked out of a hat, and we were first on !! We were nervous as hell being only kids playing in front of around 30 experienced groups, but they all gave up a great reception !! For our 2 songs allocated, we did "Walking the dog" and "Wipeout". Happy Days !!!

Although we didn't win, as a result of being seen there, I played drums for the Cyclones shortly after at the tender age of 12 !!

Robert Parkes - 23/2/09


Lovely to read you comments Ian. You were a pretty cool person as well. A fantastic footballer and the best girl puller I ever knew! I hope that you and your family are well. Take care and keep smiling!
Best wishes, You pal forever,

Jeffrey Parkes 


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