The Past


Butch on Drums Billy Bass Guitar  John Rhythm Guitar and myself

This Cambridge born Entertainer started out at fifteen years old as a Guitarist. His first instrument was a tea chest, you take a tea chest, one broom handle and a piece of string and bingo !!

One of his first microphones was made by his father, from an hearing aid. As you've probably gathered, there wasn't a lot of money floating about at the time, having six kids in the family didn't leave much cash spare to be extravagant, but that's Doug, make the most of what you've got, and get on with it, a big lesson learnt from his Parents, who were fully supportive.

Anyway back to the group, called Matt Pawn and The Tremlows, Which got it's first big booking at The Dorothy Ballroom in Cambridge. Playing at the Co-op staff parties to several Hundred people, with "The Reg Cottage Orchestra". To get to venues, they hired a mini bus, and from taking the odd passenger along, soon grew to having to hire a full size double Decker bus.

Playing at youth clubs, village halls parties, and even his local Sunday School (Panton Hall) Members at that time:

Tubby White, Robin Andrews, Freddy Wiles, Butch Lindsey, Tubby Rhodes, Graham Bavester,

Noah Cox, Stu Stubbings, Billy White, Doug Beale, Eric Coulson, Nev Downs, Jacko, Richard Papworth, Paul(Cosh)Culpin, Andy Peters, and John Walters.

Any Saturday night when the group wasn't playing, he would take a stroll along Newmarket Road, where every pub, (about10-15) had a pianist and drums, and  would invite singers  to sing, then go on to the next pub. On one occasion he ended up at the Five bells, and was invited to play the piano. It was a brilliant night, and at the end the landlord offered to pay him with the piano, as he was getting a new one. He arranged to get it home, and Mother was very pleased for him.

The group then changed their name to "The Bluebirds".

The group went on to play bigger venues like "The Carlton" Newmarket, "The Guildhall" Cambridge and University Colleges, etc, with the May balls being the highlight of the year, they were supporting big Rock n Roll names like "The Shadows", "Bill Haley", "Alan Price", "The Searchers", "Georgie Fame", "The John Barry Seven", "Leapy Lee", "Karl Denver" ,"Freddy & The Dreamers"  to name but a few. They were featured on the Granada Television programme "Gosling's Travels" Town and Gown, which was filmed in the Rex ballroom where they were resident. The group at this time was Butch Lindsey, Doug Beale, and Duggie. 

The group performed their last gig together at Shelford Memorial Hall January 1976.

In January 1976 Duggie moved to Bridlington, and formed another band called "The Swinging Bluebirds", and was offered a job as bingo Manager in Hull for Jackson & Whitworth. At that time he also played at their South Shore Holiday Inn at Bridlington, and around Hull and the West ridings Working men's clubs.

Members at that time:

Malcolm Allan, Mel Brown, Johnny Ember, Isabelle Mcgougan, Shaun Papworth, Lee Papworth, and Jim Eccles.

In 1977 he changed his stage name to "Duggie Lea", became Entertainments Manager, and the next year became Manager at South Shore holiday village, and was offered a summer season in "The Michael Barrymore show" at the 3'Bs Theatre at Bridlington.

At this time, his two sons, Shaun, aged 12 and Lee, aged 9, were performing at South Shore as "The Boys", these two young lads were undoubtedly showing inherited talents of their father on guitar, and on the final night made a surprise appearance on "The Michael Barrymore Show". I knew nothing about the surprise, all the stars arranged it,

Duggie  had many  fun afternoons playing dominos with Les Dawson in the black bull old town, Les always won he says, but I beat him at Badminton at the nearby sports hall.. Michael Barrymore was much harder to beat at badminton lol.  Duggie  hosted a evening at his home,  stars from the show such as Barley, Michael Barrymore, Janet Brown, Dana, Tammy Jones ,Don Harper, Barbra Law, Victor and June Burnett graced his door. At the end of the season all stars for the East Coast attended a dinner at the Royal hotel Scarbough, Where all the above plus Danny la rue, Jimmy Tarbuck, and many more attended . I will always remember that special dinner, it was an honor to be invited. Michael and Les had us in stretches.  Duggie’s Sons went on to back their father until 1992

 His resident band "The Duggie Lea Sound" featured 6 nights of the week throughout the season, backing top acts and performing in their own right, creating a tremendous atmosphere, and made it the place to be, (Never a dull night).

During this time supported such acts as "Jerry Lee Lewis", "Johnny & The Hurricanes", "Marty Wilde" ,"Tommy Bruce", "Eric Delaney", "The Dooleys", Tony Christy" ,"The Searchers", " The Tremeloes", " Mr.Acker Bilk" ,"Kenny Ball", " The Rubettes" ,"Julie Rogers" ,"Susan Maughan", " The Bachelors", "Joe Loss", "Tony Evans", plus countless others.

That year Duggie found a new Bass player, Steve Moxon. The Drummer Stewart Stanley stayed on to form "The Duggie Lea Trio". They stayed together until 1998 when Duggie went solo with the help of Sooty.

Having been going for over 50 years, Duggie  decided to finally start winding down in 2010, by just doing the Marine Bar in Bridlington.

Decided to call it a day with a final booking at the Marine Bar on December 29th 2010.

It's been a pleasure meeting all those people over the years.

Duggie’s Grandchildren Curtis Papworth and Sherilyn Papworth take to the stage performing and enjoying the lifestyle he dearly loved

He hopes they will continue to enjoy their journey as much as he did.