Jump to content

The Eight Lancashire Lads

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Eight Lancashire Lads was a troupe of young male clog dancers who toured the music halls of Great Britain and Ireland 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 eleven.[1]

Former members

  • Charlie Chaplin[1]
  • Nat Jackley[2][3]
  • 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[clarification needed] and the Australian theatrical empressarion Michael Edgley is descended from Eric Edgley. His brother, Richard White, was for a period the choreographer of the women's chorus at the Tivoli revue theatre in Sydney.[citation needed]
  • Percy Joshua Norman (Pip) was in the troupe c. 1921.[citation needed]
  • Gabriel Winestein was another of the lads. Born in Leeds, Gabriel joined the troupe in about 1905.[citation needed]
  • Percy Frederick Kenyon Connor (later Percy Frederick Smith) was in the group and was a friend of Charlie Chaplin's in London. Percy went on to become a professional dancer who danced all over Europe with his wife Edith Elsie Smith (née Roy). Percy's brother-in-law was Ernest G Roy, the film producer. When Edith died in about 1925, Percy disappeared and no further information about him is known.[citation needed]
  • Gordon Stretton[4]

The dancer Josie Woods trained with the group in the 1920s.[5]



All of the Eight Lancashire Lads performances which featured Charlie Chaplin are listed in A. J. Marriot's book Chaplin: stage by stage (2005).[6]


  1. ^ a b "Clog dancing kid who became a global superstar". www.lep.co.uk. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Bring on those Wonderful Dames!". It's Behind You. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  3. ^ "Manchunian Film Studio - The Stars". it's a hot'un. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  4. ^ Rand, Lisa (30 August 2020). "The global music star from Liverpool you've probably never heard of". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  5. ^ Wilmer, Val (2 August 2008). "Josie Woods". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  6. ^ Marriot, A. J. (2005). Chaplin: stage by stage. Hitchin: Marriot. ISBN 978-0-9521308-1-9.