The Eight Lancashire Lads

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The Eight Lancashire Lads was a troupe of young male clog dancers who toured the music halls of Great Britain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


They were founded by Bill Cawley and J.W. (William) Jackson (1863–1940) of Wigan, Lancashire. As they became more successful, they recruited other members such as Charlie Chaplin, who got his first professional break with them at the age of ten.

Former members[edit]

  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Nat Jackley[1][2]
  • Brothers Richard, Eric and Clem White went to Sydney, Australia in the 1910s and formed theatre companies including Edgley and Dawe. They had changed their names from White and the successful Australian theatrical empressarion Michael Edgley is descended from Eric Edgley. His brother, Richard White was for a period the choreographer of the female chorus at the Tivoli revue theatre in Sydney. Michael White (aka Wijaya) an exotic dancer and humorist, who has been resident in Bali since 1973, is Richard White's grandson.[citation needed]

Percy Joshua Norman (Pip)was also one the lads. He was in them round about 1921. His wife Pat Norman is now 91 (this is written on 16 March 2013)and living in Bradford. Also his son Chris Norman was in the band Smokie who had a lots of hits all over the world in the 70's. Chris has had a solo career since the 80's and is still touring and recording to this day, he resides in the Isle of Man with his wife and family.

Gabriel Winestein was another of the lads. Born in Leeds, Gabriel joined the troupe in about 1905. Gabriel is the grandfather of Keith Winestein, an actor (stage name Robert Elliot) and Glynis Winestein, a National Trade Union Official.


The book 'CHAPLIN Stage by Stage' (ISBN 978-0-9521308-1-9) by A.J Marriot, lists all of the Eight Lancashire Lads performances which featured Charlie Chaplin.


  1. ^ "Bring on those Wonderful Dames!". It's Behind You. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  2. ^ "Manchunian Film Studio - The Stars". it's a hot'un. Retrieved 2009-03-11.