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Arthur Owen - jazz musician?


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#1 David Holland

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 09:11

I noticed in a recent book called "Memorable Moments in Motor Racing" compiled by Mike Jiggle that Arthur Owen is described as a Jazz Musician. It's an interesting volume with lists of quotes from various racing personalities, and Owen goes on to say he was inspired by Bira and others during the Jersey races of the 1950s.
I've never heard of Arthur Owen being a musician at all and TNF missed this in a previous (now merged) thread - Racing Rockers & Musicians.
I met Arthur at a Shelsley walsh celebration meeting in 1997 (in fact I helped to locate him to get him there with the other Hill Climb champions) and would have mentioned this to him if I'd have known. There is no mention in his Racing Coopers book and I always thought he was in the jewellery business.
Does anyone know if our man was a jazzer or is it duff info?

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#2 Doug Nye

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 10:06

I didn't know Arthur Owen was a jazzman - in contrast Cooper designer Owen 'The Beard' Maddock most certainly was - playing with Beryl Bryden's band, at one stage together with George Melly.

DCN

#3 ian senior

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 11:34

Originally posted by Doug Nye
I didn't know Arthur Owen was a jazzman - in contrast Cooper designer Owen 'The Beard' Maddock most certainly was - playing with Beryl Bryden's band, at one stage together with George Melly.

DCN


Indeed he was, a sousaphone player I believe. Owen spent some time with Mick Mulligan's band, featuring George Melly, and George's autobiography "Owning Up" has some tales to tell about Owen's appetite for both food and sex.

#4 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 11:58

Originally posted by Doug Nye
I didn't know Arthur Owen was a jazzman - in contrast Cooper designer Owen 'The Beard' Maddock most certainly was - playing with Beryl Bryden's band, at one stage together with George Melly.

DCN

Sure I have seen a photo of B.McL and Chris Barber [trombonist jazz] and a female companion.....
was jazz a Cooper passion?

#5 petefenelon

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 19:47

Originally posted by ian senior


Indeed he was, a sousaphone player I believe. Owen spent some time with Mick Mulligan's band, featuring George Melly, and George's autobiography "Owning Up" has some tales to tell about Owen's appetite for both food and sex.



Search for Bechet, I've posted a relevant extract from the book a while back, I think.
:smoking:

#6 Dean Owen

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 04:11

I can clearly confirm that Arthur Owen was not a Jazz Musician, although he liked to think he could play the piano. If anyone knew him, and it seems quite a few of you did, do tell me about him or post any photos you may have of him. Although he was a gentleman to most, he was not a great father, although his children, including myself, loved him and miss him dearly. I know well of his fondness for the opposite sex, and hear, mostly rumours, that my mother was just one of many Mrs. Owens. Sadly, my father passed away during his retirement years spent in the Algarve. Only two children, myself, and his son from his last wife, went to his funeral. To this day, I do not know how many children he had. He is the father of three children including myself with my Japanese mother. And had one child with his last wife. If anyone has any further information I would be most thankful. Dean Ashley Owen

#7 Dan Axelsson

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 12:16

Dear Dean,

A warm welcome to this very nice forum!

Can I trouble you with a small question regarding when & where your dear father was born?

Most sources reports that he was born on 23 March 1915 in London, UK.

Do you perhaps have any chance of confirming if this is correct? And if so, do you know in which part of London?

Many thanks!

Kindest regards,

#8 GD66

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 22:17

Originally posted by Patrick Fletcher

Sure I have seen a photo of B.McL and Chris Barber [trombonist jazz] and a female companion.....
was jazz a Cooper passion?


Hi Patrick, that pic may be from the Ditton Road days, I don't know that Bruce was a muso, but Mike Hailwood was adept on piano and clarinet, and sat in with Chris Barber on occasions, as did motorcycle racer Tony Godfrey.

#9 Dean Owen

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 00:32

Hi Dan, I wish I could answer you but I do not know for sure. I do know that my grandmother was not an Owen, but a Cohen, and a Jewish immigrant from Poland. I understand that my father changed his name from Cohen to Owen very early on.

#10 terry mcgrath

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 04:09

is this the same Arthur Owen that ran an F2 cooper at macau in 1962 and an E type in the first japan GP GT suuport race in 1963
terry mcgrath

#11 David McKinney

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 06:18

Yep, that's him

#12 Dan Axelsson

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 06:55

Hi Dean! And many thanks for your kind reply!

Very interesting with that name change from Cohen to Owen. You should do some genealogic researching.

No chance to find out more about your father from any of your family members?
A birth details document that could be found somewhere?

Do you think he was born in the U.K.? Or maybe in Poland? And could 23 March 1915 be the correct birthdate?

Sorry for all the trouble and questions, but it would be very interesting to know the true birth data for your dear father.

Kind regards,

#13 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 10:57

Dan, as said to you before, I have a copy of the birth certificate for Arthur Owen - he was born in Forest Gate, London on the 21st March 1915.

This information then links up ideally to the copy of the death certificate for him. I have no reason whatsoever to doubt the information.

#14 Dan Axelsson

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 11:26

Ok Richard, but...

Maybe Dean could help us out here since I very much doubt that the Arthur Owen (from your death cert. copy) who passed away in Wexham Street near Slough on 13 April 2000 is Dean's father.

What I understand is that Dean's father passed away in Algarve, Portugal, and after 2001.

Kind regards,

#15 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 12:20

Originally posted by Dan Axelsson
What I understand is that Dean's father passed away in Algarve, Portugal, and after 2001.


What is your source for that?

http://grandprixinsi...4/13/monday-32/
also seems to back us up, as does every other site I can find. Sure, I'd like to get it confirmed one way or another though..

#16 Dan Axelsson

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 06:21

I have it from a blog now removed, and Algarve is also indicated in Dean's post n°6 above.

But I am sure that Dean will help us out here.

Kind regards,

#17 Dean Owen

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 06:40

I can definitely confirm that he passed away in his Villa in Villamoura, Algarve, Portugal and his graveyard (more of a tomb really) is in a nearby village. He did not live, or own or even visit anywhere near Slough. I'm at work now, but let me go home and check on the exact date for you. I'll also try and post some pics I have tomorrow. Cheers all.

#18 Dan Axelsson

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 07:13

Many thanks for your kind help Dean!

#19 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 23:53

Cheers Dean.

Dan, I will still check to see if the birth details might be correct, even if the death ones are now possibly not.

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#20 Dean Owen

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:13

Posted Image

Hi All, My father passed away in 2002. I am just trying to confirm the exact date with my little brother. I went to Portugal for the funeral, but unfortunately they don't stamp my passport as you know when travelling within Europe, and my lame memory cannot remember simple things like dates. I cannot confirm his birthdate or place of birth either, sorry, not much help. Forest Gate does somewhat sound correct though. He was a very private man, to his family anyway, and would brush off any questions to do with his past.
Sorry not much help. Anyways, here are a few personal photos I have of him. Feel free to use them. And feel free to give any insight you may have on each photo as I really don't have a clue. Dean Ashley Owen

#21 Dean Owen

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:15

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#22 Dean Owen

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:16

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#23 Dean Owen

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:18

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Anyone know who these people are with my father?

#24 Hieronymus

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 06:11

Originally posted by Dean Owen
I can definitely confirm that he passed away in his Villa in Villamoura, Algarve, Portugal and his graveyard (more of a tomb really) is in a nearby village. He did not live, or own or even visit anywhere near Slough. I'm at work now, but let me go home and check on the exact date for you. I'll also try and post some pics I have tomorrow. Cheers all.


Thanks for the nice photos, Dean. Now I know what Arthur looked like. The excellent book GRAND PRIX WHO's WHO (Steve Small) had a very poor image of Arthur, which was my only refeerence before.

In my note books I found an old address for Arthur in Portugal...A. Owen Sociedade de Exploraçoes Turisticas in Quarteira.

#25 Dan Axelsson

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 08:43

Dear Dean & Richard,

Dean, many thanks again for your kind help & for the nice pictures!

Richard, but wasn't the Arthur Owen who passed away in Wexham Street identical to the Arthur Owen born in Forest Gate?

If you have the Forest Gate birth certificate there must be the parents names.
Surely Dean can tell us whether or not that is his grandparents names.

And before the Forest Gate info, wasn't Arthur's birth date mostly recorded as 23 March 1915?

Also remember that we now must consider that he could have been (and most likely was) born as Arthur Cohen.

Best regards,

#26 Stephen W

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 08:48

Originally posted by Dean Owen
Posted Image


The Triangle Special used an Alvis engine - hence the name. :wave:

#27 Stephen W

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 08:54

Originally posted by Dean Owen
Posted Image


Your father ran a series of Coopers in the British Hillclimb Championship:

1959 - T43 with 2.0 Climax FPF engine
1960 - T45 with 2.2 Climax FPF engine
1961 - T51 again with the 2.2 Climax FPF unit
1962 - T53 with 2.5 Climax FPF engine - the year he was Hillclimb Champion

Then in 1963 Arthur bought a Lotus 23 and had a go at the European Mountain Championship.

:wave:

#28 ensign14

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 09:02

Stating the obvious, but there are a lot of Jersey number plates in that one. /goes into Bergerac mode

#29 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 11:27

Originally posted by Dan Axelsson
Dear Dean & Richard,

Richard, but wasn't the Arthur Owen who passed away in Wexham Street identical to the Arthur Owen born in Forest Gate?

If you have the Forest Gate birth certificate there must be the parents names.
Surely Dean can tell us whether or not that is his grandparents names.

And before the Forest Gate info, wasn't Arthur's birth date mostly recorded as 23 March 1915?

Also remember that we now must consider that he could have been (and most likely was) born as Arthur Cohen.


That's what I'm checking out.

There is only one Arthur Owen born in that period, in that area, but of course, we now know we might need to check an Arthur Cohen. We will check that out too.

On the Forest Gate birth certificate, which I don't have in front of me, there is only a mother listed - not a father - the mother was a kitchen maid... if memory serves me correctly her name was Charlotte.

The Arthur Owen of 1915 was a Arthur William Owen.

I'm going to have to try & check the death certificate again (I don't have it at home), and I am going to check the records for an Arthur Cohen born around that time too.

Hope this helps - bear with me & I'll try to get both certificates to check what matches up & what doesn't.

#30 Dutchy

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 12:36

Originally posted by Stephen W


The Triangle Special used an Alvis engine - hence the name. :wave:


Not so. It had a 4 litre Hudson straight eight. The Triangle moniker comes from the time it was owned by Ted Lloyd-Jones and who fitted the Hudson motor.

#31 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 12:58

Dan, a check confirms the following:
There is no Arthur Cohen registered for 1915.

The 2000 death does appear to be the Forest Gate man (ie the wrong one)

It could well be an Arthur S Owen born in Dartford (not a million miles away from Forest Gate) - (no exact date, mind) - mother's maiden name is Godfrey?

I've checked the deaths abroad, but there was nothing registered, sadly. But I'm still awaiting some extra information, but hopefully Dean can shed some more light first.

#32 cdrewett

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 13:13

I might be wrong but the man on the right of the picture of the folks in evening dress looks a lot like Tony Marsh.
Chris

#33 Stephen W

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 13:15

Originally posted by Dutchy


Not so. It had a 4 litre Hudson straight eight. The Triangle moniker comes from the time it was owned by Ted Lloyd-Jones and who fitted the Hudson motor.


Then why the Alvis badge?

#34 Allan Lupton

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 13:34

Originally posted by Stephen W


Then why the Alvis badge?

What Alvis badge?
The triangle is t'other way up from Alvis, and presumably says "Triangle Special" somewhere on it if you could only look closely.

#35 Geoff E

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 14:07

The owner Andrew Harding wrote about it and other Triangle Specials-

Posted by AKH on 24-May-06 20:34:

hi

I'm Andrew Harding (note not Matthew) -the current
custodian of the Triangle Skinner Special.
I have done a bit of research over the years and can hopefully
help with some facts about both Triangle and Skinner Specials.

Triangle Specials were named, as Dutchy says, after the Triangle
Service Station in Solihull where Ted Lloyd Jones ran a garage.

The first Triangle was, I believe, the blown Meadows engined one
-which I think is the one Ken Miles must have driven. It had a very
cut-off tail and is shown on the cover of the photography book
'Speed Camera'. It was also driven by Bruce Spollon.

The second was the Triangle Skinner Special which was the
development of one of the Skinner Specials- a Morris Minor chassis
with a Hudson Straight Eight. The car features on the front cover
of Autosport of 22.9.50 with Ken Rawlings (better known as a trials
driver)driving. It went on to be driven by John Derricourt and Arthur Owen.

The third was the 'Triangle Flying Saucer' ,which was the combination
of the scout car chassis with an R/R Kestrel engine behind the driver.

As far as the Skinner cars are concerned I'm not completely clear ,
but there were at least three. Two were based on Morris Minor chassis
with blown sv engines. The 'red car'' was driven by Peter and the
'white car' by Barbara Skinner. Both were very succesful hillclimb cars
notably at Shelsley.

The former was based on the £100/100mpg/100mph' Minor used
to publicise the new cheapo and retrograde side valve Morris Minor in 1931.
When the special block of this car and all the spare ones had all been used up,
-succumbing to the effects of high pressure supercharging, the Skinners
hit on the idea of shoehorning in a Hudson 8 cyl lump giving c 140 bhp.
In this form the car held the record for unlimited Shelsley specials for
1937/38/39. This was the car that Lloyd Jones developed into the
Triangle Skinner single seater. in the early post war years. There is a
chapter about it in the excellent Vintage Specials book by Bateman as well as
the Bolster Specials book referred to.

The white car went through John Bolsters hands and ended up with a
Ford 1172 engine. It is owned now by David Baldock.

There was. I think. another Skinner road car with a Hudson engine which
I last heard of when it was in the St Austell Motor museum(now closed)

I hope this helps.
Andrew


#36 KJJ

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 15:21

Originally posted by Richie Jenkins
Dan, a check confirms the following:
There is no Arthur Cohen registered for 1915.


Richie - did you miss the Arthur Cohen born last quarter of 1915 in Hackney? The Arthur Cohen registered in Poplar, first quarter of 1916 could also be a 1915 birth. Are we sure about the 1915 birth date in any case?

#37 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 17:31

No, but whether it's Arthur Cohen or Owen they would be born in March so it would either be the 1st or 2nd quarter (Jan-Mar or Apr-May, depending on when it would be registered).

The question is whether it's the 21st or the 23rd March, I believe, which makes the rest of the year.. if I've understood Dean & Dan correctly.. non-applicable.

#38 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 22:24

Dan & Dean, I'm going to send you both an e-mail with a bit more information. I hope it will be of use.

#39 Dean Owen

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 06:19

Dan & Dean, I'm going to send you both an e-mail with a bit more information. I hope it will be of use.

Thanks Richie. As you know I have sent an e-mail to my little brother in Portugal to answer all the questions. Apologies to everyone for turning this into a bit of a time consuming puzzle. ...

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#40 Stephen W

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 08:57

Apologies to everyone for turning this into a bit of a time consuming puzzle. ...


They are the best kind! :wave:

#41 Dean Owen

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 04:28

Hi All. I have just got confirmation from my family that my father's Birthday was indeed 23rd March 1915, and he passed away on 27th April 2002. As far as we know he was born in Lambeth, London. His parents are Pauline Cohen, and something I did not know, Harry Owen. Harry Owen apparently was a Jazz Musician. So not sure on the truth of the name change business. I heard it from my mother, but as it turns out, I could be very wrong. Maybe our Grandfather changed his name? Anyway, hope to have set the record somewhat straight. Do let us know if you have anymore information. Would love to know more about dad.

Edited by Dean Owen, 04 May 2009 - 04:31.


#42 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 16:24

Thanks ever so much Dean. We'll have to have a look & see if there's anything in the records that would fit in the information given above which might help pinpoint it more. I'll try & have a look tomorrow when I'm back in front of my "normal" computer.

#43 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 14:31

I've had a look through the whole 1915 birth index & can't see one birth registered as a surname Owen, with the mothers maiden name as Cohen. Whether it was registered as Cohen, I'm not sure. Not sure if anyone else has any suggestions?

#44 David Birchall

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 15:48

I spent a long time searching for the Cooper Streamliner that Arthur Owen built using a Cooper 500 as a basis and body drawings supplied by John Cooper. He used the car to set records at Montlery (sp) some of which still stand I think.
The car came to Canada in the late fifties and was fitted with a series of Porsche 4 cam engines ! After those were worn out it was fitted with a Climax FWA and owned and raced by TNFer McGee before disappearing in the late sixties. I managed to trace it to the next owner who sold it to "two young lads who wanted a beach buggy"! Thirty five years later it turned up 200 miles away belonging to a guy I knew who used to race at Westwood and who had spent his (most recent) honeymoon at the Inn I owned until recently! Suffice it to say that I missed buying the car but have the contact info for the latest owner who is restoring the car to it's sports racer days.
Good to hear from you Dean and welcome to the forum!

#45 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 06:23

I spent a long time searching for the Cooper Streamliner that Arthur Owen built using a Cooper 500 as a basis and body drawings supplied by John Cooper. He used the car to set records at Montlery (sp) some of which still stand I think.
The car came to Canada in the late fifties and was fitted with a series of Porsche 4 cam engines ! After those were worn out it was fitted with a Climax FWA and owned and raced by TNFer McGee before disappearing in the late sixties. I managed to trace it to the next owner who sold it to "two young lads who wanted a beach buggy"! Thirty five years later it turned up 200 miles away belonging to a guy I knew who used to race at Westwood and who had spent his (most recent) honeymoon at the Inn I owned until recently! Suffice it to say that I missed buying the car but have the contact info for the latest owner who is restoring the car to it's sports racer days.
Good to hear from you Dean and welcome to the forum!


There is a piece by Simon Taylor on this Cooper on page 27 of the April, 2009 Classic & Sports Car. The last I heard from the latest owner was that he was trying to restore the car for our Westwood reunion at Mission, B.C., July 19th weekend. He said that Mike Knight and his brother were going to try to come over to drive their father's car! Dean, maybe you could join them! More info here:

www.westwood50.org/

Vince H.



#46 Allen Brown

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 16:45

Your father ran a series of Coopers in the British Hillclimb Championship:

1959 - T43 with 2.0 Climax FPF engine
1960 - T45 with 2.2 Climax FPF engine
1961 - T51 again with the 2.2 Climax FPF unit
1962 - T53 with 2.5 Climax FPF engine - the year he was Hillclimb Champion

Then in 1963 Arthur bought a Lotus 23 and had a go at the European Mountain Championship.

:wave:

I'm not sure if this is the case. The "T43", "T45" and "T51" may have all been the same Mk IV (T51) that he bought new from the works in 1959. He did then buy a 2.5-litre lowline (T53) in late 1961 from the Atkins team.

He had a Brabham BT8 briefly in 1964 as well IIRC.


#47 Stephen W

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 18:53

I'm not sure if this is the case. The "T43", "T45" and "T51" may have all been the same Mk IV (T51) that he bought new from the works in 1959. He did then buy a 2.5-litre lowline (T53) in late 1961 from the Atkins team.

He had a Brabham BT8 briefly in 1964 as well IIRC.


Allen, I was quoting the Hillclimb Black Book. :wave:

#48 Dean Owen

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 00:24

There is a piece by Simon Taylor on this Cooper on page 27 of the April, 2009 Classic & Sports Car. The last I heard from the latest owner was that he was trying to restore the car for our Westwood reunion at Mission, B.C., July 19th weekend. He said that Mike Knight and his brother were going to try to come over to drive their father's car! Dean, maybe you could join them! More info here:

www.westwood50.org/

Vince H.


That would be a dream come true. Don't think I could take time off this summer. Working for a Chinese company, my employees get 5 days annual leave a year so I have to set an example.....
Would love to see pictures of the restored car.