The Hartlepool musician who met Glen Miller and Marilyn Monroe

Jackson Locke pictured in an undated photograph.
Jackson Locke pictured in an undated photograph.

Jackson Locke was a Hartlepool man with a link to the rich and famous.

The musician might have been 80 by the time we featured him in 1983, but that was sufficient time to have built up a lifetime of memories.

Jackson Locke, the Hartlepool musician who met the rich and famous.

Jackson Locke, the Hartlepool musician who met the rich and famous.

Today, we’re asking who remembers the man who sailed the seas on the Queen Elizabeth and always wore a white tuxedo en route to the States and a black evening suit on the way back.

He sailed on the same ship as the Queen Mother, met Marilyn Monroe, shook hands with Sir Winston Churchill and knew Victor Mature.

By 1983, he was a more familiar face at venues including the RAOB and seamen’s clubs.

He preferred to be known as Jack and explained in 1983 how, although the Queen Mother talked to other members of his band, he never got to talk to her himself.

The boys and I had taken a break on the stand when someone came across and presented me with a bottle of scotch with the compliments of Major Glen Miller. I didn’t realise who it was at first until I asked if that was by any chance THE Glen Miller. I think I must be the only Englishman who actually played for him.

Jackson Locke, 1983

“She was aboard during the time I was playing on the Queen Elizabeth. I haunted the first class lounge, then discovered she had gone for a walk around the ship and ended up outside my cabin talking to some of the lads in the band.”

By the time the ship reached New York, fate interrupted Jack’s hopes of meeting Royalty once more.

“The Queen Mother was in her car as I rushed down the gangplank, “ he said in his 1983 interview.

“She smiled at me and I had to edge slowly past the car, and the security men.”

Jack was born in Horden and his first love was music.

He loved it so much, he became a professional musician instead of another option of becoming a doctor.

He was the leader of the Midnight Follies at Blackhall and was one of the last musicians to play at the Empire Theatre in Hartlepool.

He once played a 22-week season at Skegness with his orchestra.

When the Second World War came, he first made shells before being promoted to inspector.

And on a tour of American camps, he and his band played before Glen Miller.

Jack said in 1983: “The boys and I had taken a break on the stand when someone came across and presented me with a bottle of Scotch with the compliments of Major Glen Miller. I didn’t realise who it was at first until I asked if that was by any chance THE Glen Miller. I think I must be the only Englishman who actually played for him.”

After the war, the Jackson Locke orchestra was formed and played on cruise ships for thousands of miles. Jack met Joe Loss and was still practising on his tenor sax when he was into his 80s.

He was a Thornton Street resident and was described by the Hartlepool Mail reporter who met him as having “an unflagging energy.”

Who remembers him? Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk