Tribute to Tony Hancock
Ray Galton and Alan Simpson were two of Britain's greatest comic script writers. Sadly Ray Galton has just died. One of the finest scripts they wrote was for Tony Hancock with Hancock's Half Hour both for radio and television. This is a small tribute in the style of Tony Hancock.
Ray Galton OBE (17 July 1930 – 5 October 2018), and Alan Simpson OBE (27 November 1929 – 8 February 2017), were an English comedy scriptwriting partnership. They met in 1948 whilst recuperating from tuberculosis at the Milford Sanatorium, near Godalming in Surrey. The sitcom Get Well Soon (co-written by Galton) concerns their shared experiences at the facility. They are best known for their work with comedian Tony Hancock on radio and television between 1954 and 1961, and their long-running television situation comedy, Steptoe and Son, eight series of which were aired between 1962 and 1974.
Allcock and Jacksies Touring Clown Company at your Service
Tony Hancock and John Jacko Fossett Blackpool 1950. Appeared in the Gang Show together.
Morning Squire are you the Caretaker?
I am indeed; Hughie Lloyd is my name at your service. You must be the Trevor Allcock and Jacksies Clown Company have been expecting you.
Absolutely mush, well-travelled from Bangor to Bognor always in mode persona but out of make up at the moment as you see, Tubby Allcock they call me. Just doing the old provinces at the mo but been with um all you know. All the big shows like Smarts and Mills Krone and Knie. Oh yes, they don’t do the clown comedy like we used to do anymore with the white faced central figure and the fall-about-side kick Augustes. Mind you I don’t do the fall-about anymore but still have the kids rolling in the isles and the aisles!
You will be out of the Hall on time won’t you Tubby because we must set up after you for the pensioners Tea-Dance. They give me a right grilling if they have to wait to set up the record player. We have not received a work sheet for your requirement so haven’t a clue about needs.
I do not believe it, stone me! Everything Hughie was put within your required multi paged hire document and posted along with a set of different sized posters full-colour. Hattie assured me.
All we know is we have your clown show today. I do hope you are more successful than the last lot. Hardly anyone turned up and not a bit funny either. Can’t see much in the way of promotion for yours at all – no one knows anything about it.
I think you will find we are slightly different we have played the old Palladium you know!
Barnoldswick no doubt! A stab at humour Tubby!
Oh very droll.
Are you on your own?
Do you mind mush, I have with me two of the finest comical character feeds in show business in Sid and Bill. What a trio we are with perfect timing for each gag probably totally lost out here in the sticks. Probably not used to our style of artistic merit. I might tell you we are only filling in the lesser Halls until our next European grand tour starts in Berlin with Cirkus Edelweiss. Comic timing to a tee, a life time of experience that’s what counts.
Come to think of it, I do remember you on the Good Old Days back in the 1960s, Black and White television in those days – no smart phones – kids are so sophisticated now. Were you not called Allcock and Bull at that time? I suppose you are doing the same old stuff like the Grannie routine.
Do you mind! I might mention my friend that none of our gags are old but fully up to date fully professional and worked to perfection.
Well I would like to see it but I am very busy this afternoon bingo calling at the Church Hall. I am a bit of an all-rounder actually and children’s entertainer too.
Stone me, are you really? You must remind me to take your CV when I leave. Now about our publicity, Bill placed posters all around the shops but where are the posters for the Hall here? I see your notice board outside with various things on it, tiddles the lost cat, various items from the Council, new bus route timetables, Be a Blood Donor – here every Tuesday – new parking restrictions, playbill advertising the local Ham-Drams panto for last Christmas, something about a lost dog, Keep Calm and Carry On – and Careless Talk Cost Lives – from 1943 but, no Allcock and Jacksies poster! And, you keep saying WE
Yes, my understudy Bert. Probably Bert got them, takes over on my day off, a part timer and a complete waste of space. It must be around somewhere if not nicked. Clown posters are collectables you know, circus followers like them to put on E-Bay. We do not know what number of chairs you needed so Bert put out 25 six inches apart well back from the stage. If you need any more there are 50 or so in the store cupboard and around 20 old wooden ones down in the boiler room bit dusty though. Sure you won’t need them but if you bring them up you must put them all back again. Now the issue of Hall rules and regs, there must be no pyrotechnics, use of fire, water, paste, sticking of things onto walls stage nudity animal magics or fish and chips brought in. Your sound system must not exceed 60 decibels.
Bit restricted then. Will you or Bert be here to cast you critical eyes?
Na, as I said we do have other duties you know this is not the only thing I must attend to. In the afternoons I serve as a Blunkett Bobby we help put up the Market stalls and mornings and afternoons I am the local Lolly Pop man. Put on a Red Nose to cheer the kids with a tickling stick, then I do some part time taxi work, then I ….
Do you have a functioning lift?
Not allowed for goods.
So we only have the two flights of stone steps then. Now we do require the chairs nearer to stage for the old show-biz atmosphere you know.
Can’t be allowed for H & S must keep the fire doors clear. But if you do move them I won’t know about it alright? Will you need the stage Chubby? The last lot worked in the round.
Of course we need the stage, the very idea to question it! I like my voice to be thrown to the back of the Hall. We did book it.
It is much cluttered at the moment, use it as a store. Also the amateur dramatics are painting scenery for the next production. There is about six feet to the front and the drawing tabs work if on the rails. The piano is optional but needs a tune.
No we won’t need the piano. May I ask the unmentionable, what lighting do you have? Don’t tell me, it belongs to the amateur dramatics!
That is so, in any case they have the function board so I do not have a clue how to put it on. They usually charge £50 for the use of. We do have some basic including the strip lights.
Where can my cast of greatness change into our unique comic attires?
Afraid the dressing rooms are out at the moment the dramatics have their gear in one. I have another one for my office and the local traffic wardens use the third. The kitchen is free though.
Where do we unload?
Can’t use the fire door owing to this H & S ruling so it is access through the front from the high street up the steps but do not park more than a few minutes because the warden is a demon – put a ticket on my car yesterday and he is my brother!
As I said Chubby, I am also a children’s entertainer in my spare time, perhaps you have a few props and gags to dispose of?
Don’t tell me, you are Uncle Hughie!
How did you guess that? Yes I work all the local events and Parties – local gala -free of charge of course, do a lot of charity things.
Like Save the Traditional Clown?
I do like to be liked.
I am sure you are being free.
Well, I have never liked the professionals much, always too demanding and expensive, thinking of going onto the XFactor thingy or BGT with my ventriloquism ‘Gottle of Gear! I could make a dummy character in tramp costume and call the act Clown and Out! What do you think?
You could team up with Bert for a double act with him as the dummy. So, you want to suffer with us professionals then?
Na, no work is there? Bit of a closed shop innit?
Well, you would need to join Equity and pay the annual sub for you to be looked after.
What would be the point?
Well, the association looks after all your interests, like rates of pay, health insurance, contractual agreements, travel expenses, and dressing rooms and stage lighting and drapes, lifts and accommodation and tuneful pianos – all of those things.
Would you like a cup of tea Chubby I have a couple of chipped mugs
Don’t worry I can supply a couple myself.