Johnny Boonham

Popular Ballroom and Sequence Dance Musician.

The Early Years.

Born on June 10th 1947 in Birmingham, England, John William Boonham,

I was playing music at quite an early age. This really started when my

parents aquired my grandmother's piano. Before that, I had wanted to be

a drummer. Both my mom and dad liked to sing and my dad played the

piano a little.

I went to have lessons from a piano teacher who lived near to us in the

village of Shelfield, near Walsall, which was then in Staffordshire.

The parents of one of my aunts kept a public house and every year near

to Christmas, my mom's mom and dad held a party there, so that all the

family could be together. Although I was an only child, I had lots of aunts,

uncles and cousins.

" The Four Horse Shoes "

This is probably the earliest picture showing me at about the age

of ten, playing the piano at one of these Christmas Parties and

was taken in the private function room at "The Four Horse Shoes"

public house. This was situated in the Pleck district of Walsall.

School Days

At about this time I started attending the local Secondary School

at Shelfield.

My Music Teacher married my my Woodwork Teacher and became

Mrs. Lewis.

Mr. Lewis was a fine craftsman and had made many lovely items of

furniture, etc, for their house.

The following picture is one that he took of his woodworking class

I am in the foreground, third from the left, at the bench, using a Tenon



Holidays In North Wales.

At about this time we had started taking our annual holidays,

staying in caravans at Towyn, Near Rhyl, North Wales, along

with my aunts and uncles and cousins.

I really enjoyed our holidays here. Staying on a caravan site by

the sea was great and there was a very busy railway line right

alongside the camp which made things even better. It meant

that I could also persue my hobby of trainspotting.

The following picture was taken by the camp photographer

and shows me with mom and dad. In the background, aunt

Evelyn and aunt Hilda are just leaving the camp shop.


Watching The Trains

Watching The Trains

The picture above is one of my first of the North Wales

Coast Line. It was taken with my first Kodak Camera.

It shows a Hughes Fowler (Crab) 2-6-0 hauling an excursion

train along the Down Slow Line near Towyn, having just left


Most of the trains at that time were steam hauled. In addition

to all the excursion trains going to the resorts along the coast

there were also passenger and freight trains, serving the port

of Holyhead.

In those days a lot of livestock was shipped from Ireland this

way and transported on by rail.

There will be more pictures in the "Hobbies" pages later on.

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