A WELL-KNOWN ventriloquist who regularly played in Barnsley clubs may be getting an exhibition in a museum with his collection of memorabilia.
Bob Hammond died aged 79 in Wakefield Hospice after a battle with lymphoma. He was known in the club scene for his act Tony Addams and Grandad, which saw him perform with a dummy based on the character of an old Barnsley gent.
Bob, who grew up in the Old Town ward of Barnsley, moved to Wakefield in later years with his wife Andrea, but travelled to all different venues as part of his act.
He first became interested in ventriloquism as a young teenager after he saw an act on a neighbour’s television. He previously told the Chronicle he began to practice voice throwing in the toilet.
However, Bob said his father tried to discourage him for pursuing the art of ventriloquism because it was deemed ‘a bit effeminate playing with dolls’.
His father soon changed his mind and before Tony Addams and Grandad hit the circuit, he made a stage debut at the old Princess Cinema at the bottom of Racecommon Road. And after he left Holgate Grammar School, he went semi-professional, playing at various clubs.
Tony Addams and Grandad came about in 1958 but he also did several TV appearances as a solo actor - with appearances on All Creatures Great and Small, Opportunity Knocks and the Ace of Clubs.
Andrea Hammond, who was married to him for nearly 50 years, said she wants to get an exhibition for Bob - which would include the dummy - at Experience Barnsley given his standing in the town.
“He was great at what he did and having a display up is definitely something I would like,” she said. “It would be great to see an exhibition with his stuff in and it would be a great tribute to him.
“He was very much known for being on the club scene in Barnsley, so I’m sure people would remember him.
“I’d have to get Grandad out of hibernation for it.”
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Museum potential for popular ventriloquist
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