The history in fact starts in 1940. Parents of HughHugh Gibb jr. was a resolute young man and he was considered the black sheep of the family.Musicians are seldom seen as prominent citizens.
Hugh thought it more important to follow his dreams than to be the person other people would want him to be.
He decided to become a famous drummer.
Around 1940 he had become a successful drummer and a leader of an orchestra.
Hughie Gibb and his band performed in dance halls in the northern parts of England and Scotland, they pulled an enthusiastic crowd which loved to come and see them.
Parents of Hugh
Hugh on drumsIn 1941 Hugh`s band played in a dance hall in Manchester.That`s the moment he saw Barbara May Pass on the dance floor.
“I got one of the other lads to do the drumming, stept of the stage, asked her to dance and afterwards brought her home”, said Hugh.
Barbara Pass was a dance band vocalist in those days and on one of her nights off she went with a friend to another dance hall and
Barbara when she was 27 years oldlike she said: “that`s where it all started.
I met Hugh during one of these nights off in Manchester and we liked each other very much”.
Hugh and Barbara dated for three years before they got married on the 27th of May 1944.
The Second World War was still going on and the town was heavily bombed. Their first child: a baby girl named Lesley was born in Manchester January 12th. 1945.Shortly afterwards they moved to Scotland where Hugh` band started to play in Edinburgh.They had a house in the outskirts of Edinburgh.
The band performed at the palais The Mecca and at that time Linda`s parents used to visit that same dance hall as well to go dancing to the music of the Hugh Gibb Band, but then the two families didn’t know each other yet.
Linda’s parents George and May Gray in fact are from Scotland and it`s an amazing coincidence both families visited the same dance hall for a while!!
Barbara when she was 27 years old
After a while Barbara and Hugh moved back with little Lesley to the Manchester area to live with Barbara’s mum Nora Pass in Stretford. Hugh and Barbara with Barbara`s mum Nora Pass Then Hugh got a job in The Isle Of Man and that`s when they moved to Douglas. The Isle Of Man was some kind of holiday island in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland and in those days it was: abroad, for the English people.
`My own dear Ellan Vannin, with its green hills by the sea`.Hugh started to play at the Douglas Bay Hotel and the Alexandra both in Douglas. In 1946 when Lesley was about one and a half, Barry the second child was born on September 1st. Because he was the first-born son of the family, he was given an extra name. His official last name is Crompton Gibb.
Wedding photo Hugh and Barbara
Hugh and Barbara with Barbara`s mum Nora Pass
Jane Crookall Maternity Home where all three Bee Gees were born.
Entry register of births: Barry
Birth announcement in newspaper
Sir Samuel Crompton is a famous ancestor of the Gibbs and the inventor of the spinning machine the so called: mule-jenny which revolutionized the English cotton industry in the 19th century.( However important his invention was for England, Crompton hardly profited from it.He was born in Firwood near Bolton on the 3rd of December 1753 as son of a farmer. In 1779 he invented the spinning mule.
He was too poor to apply for a patent and so he sold the rights to a Bolton manufacturer. Although a lot of factories started using his machine, Crompton wasn`t getting any of the profits. Finally in 1812 the House Of Commons rewarded him with 5000 Pounds for his invention.
He used the money to invest in a cotton factory but the venture ended in failure. Crompton died in poverty in Bolton , June 26th 1827.)
With Barry`s birth, Barbara and Hugh now had a daughter and a son.They and the grandparents were over the moon!! Barbara didn`t perform anymore but stayed at home with the kids.During the summer seasons Hugh was quite busy with his music but off season he had a variety of other jobs on the little island.
He for instance worked as a chauffeur for a bakery and as a male nurse at the mental hospital. After arriving in Man the Gibbs first lived together with another family in a house they rented and which stood just of the Douglas pier up the little hill. From there they moved to the center of Douglas.
Barry and Lesley on Douglas beach.In Strand Street they lived over Maley`s chemist. When Barry was almost 2 years old he was very badly burned.Barbara had just made tea which she`d put on the table and Barry climbed up and pulled the tea pot down and got the tea all over him.
He was in Nobles Hospital for about 2 ½ months then and was in a terrible state.
It was very serious and it first looked he`d only half an hour to live.In those days health care wasn`t what it is today and all looked very bad for him at that moment.
That period is totally gone out of Barry`s memory.He doesn`t know anything of the accident and the time in Nobles Hospital or the period afterwards in spite of the fact that this has been a very traumatic experience for such a very young kid.
Only his scars remind him of it all.
Strand Street where the Gibbs lived in 1946.
From Strand Street the family moved to St. Catherine`s Drive. In the mean time it was 1949 and on the 22nd of December the twins Robin and Maurice were born in the Jane Crookall Maternity Home.
Them being twins wasn`t a complete surprise, because about four weeks prior to their births the doctor had heard two hearts beating and Barbara also had had some kind of premonition.
Lesley had already turned into a little lady and now there were the twins, which left Barry in the middle!
This made him feel a bit uncomfortable in the beginning and he was a bit quiet.
St. Catherine`s Drive where the Gibbs lived in 1949
He never made a noise while crying, there were just big tears rolling down his cheeks.
This difficult period took a while, but gradually he got over it.
He now was bossing around the twins and Lesley was the boss over all three of the Gibb kids!!
To be continued.
Part two: History, starting in 1950.
Barry 2,5 years old
The birth announcement of the twins in the newspaper
Barry and Lesley around 1949