Plonkers Agricultural Orchestra from the New Forest



The Plonker's™ band line up
The main band members of The Plonkers Agricultural Orchestra are:

Gordon on Banjo, 'making noises what some people call singing'

Gordon and Bob founded the band in 1979 when they entered the Lymington carnival with a cider-making machine 'float'. It was a two-wheeled cart pulled by Plonker the donkey with whistles, bells and various gizmos. The cart was followed by Gordon on banjo, Bob on squeeze box and a trombone and bass drum. They won first prize playing the chorus of Drink up thee zider (which is all they knew, but as they kept moving the crowd never realised this!) for the whole parade.

They did this for a few years until the 'band' numbered 15. Then one year the band booked for the Lymington Steam fair couldn't make it and Gordon was asked to stand in - the first booking for Plonker's Agricultural Orchestra.
Gordon has been heading The Plonkers Original Agricultural Orchestra ever since.
Bob has retired from the band, and very sadly, Plonker the donkey has since passed away.

Click here to see a tribute to Plonker the donkey.

Gillybaby, on the Catgut and Scrapey , or Violin.

Gillian Tolliday, Violinist by day, Jazzer by night.

Gillian graduated in music at Southampton University and obtained diplomas at Trinity College & London College.
As a classical violinist she leads the Grainger String Quartet and ‘A Touch of Class’ String Quartet’.
She plays viola in the ‘Stromenti String Quartet’ (Bournemouth) Her interest in playing without 'dots' began in the early 90s, playing in Irish sessions and pub jazz bands in Portsmouth.
She plays gypsy jazz violin with ‘Swing 39’, ‘Night and Day’ jazz duo and ‘Bon Accord’ jazz trio.
She performs as ‘Ship’s Fiddler’ on HMS Warrior, Portsmouth. To see her in action, visit her website:
Gill often guests for The Woodsiders Barn Dance & Ceilidh Band.Woodsiders Barn Dance & Ceilidh Band

Steve Moorhouse

Steve joined the Plonkers’ in 2015 when he was talent spotted by Golly making funny noises on in a local public house. He is known in the band as Major Ferguson, the Squire of the Manor’s useless son adopted by the Plonkers after a distinguished military career in the 1st New Forest Foot and Mouth. He has campaign medals for the Battle of East Boldre and the invasion of Didben Purlieu.

Steve plays Mandolin and Guitar and as he is a Plonker who can put pen to paper proper like, we get him to write the new songs. 
Prior to joining the band Steve was a member of The Bad Boys and has many years experience playing in Pubs and Folk Clubs in London & the South of England. 
We believe he is also the only person to have busked on the top of the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales within a 24hour period. What a Plonker!

Julian Bishop is our additional moosician from Somerset.

Whenever he can, (when he’s not filming or treading cider apples); he plays keyboard, bass guitar, or mandolin.
Julian often joins the band at The Great Dorset Steam Fair and many other west country gigs. Julian also joined the band at Sark a few years ago, where the locals thought his old Joanna sounded gert good and lushish rustic, well it did once he got all the seaweed out of the upright.
Golly and the boys ‘asked Julian to join 'em at a surprise birthday party near Langport, one May.
It was such a surprise they forgot to tell him where it tiz…The directions were quiet easy to follow, go down the road and bit listen out for the cock calling, turn left, head up and bit and swing round and come past a gate. Not the 2nd turning, but look out for the field where that horse used to be in, straight on follow your nose past the smelly farm and when you see the bright lights of the birthday cake, then you’ll be there or some where near by.

Take a look at Julian's website, the directions are............

Richard on Drums.

More details on Richard will appear here soon.

This picture was taken a Brockenhurst station during an event to celebrate Her Majesty's 90 birthday


Details of some of our former band members are listed below, which we are in the process of updating.


The late Rustic Ray on drums

You can hear Rustic Ray on our second CD 'Second Eruption'
And now also on our third CD 'Rustic Rumpus'
Listen out for his legendary drum solo on Second Eruption
We were saddened to announce the passing of our drummer
and very close friend, Ray Clamp, during the Spring of 2013.
Affectionately known as 'Rustic Ray', he had been a loyal and enthusiastic member of The Plonkers since the early nineties.

Ray will be greatly missed by us all.

Gary Leport
, on bass thingy,

Gary Leport was a bass guitarist and backing singer with the Plonkers Agricultural Orchestra until 2010, when he was sadly struck by a car while crossing the road in Lymington.
He suffered serious head injuries in the collision and remained in a coma on a life support machine at Southampton General Hospital.
Following a long stay at a rehabilitation centre, Gary was finally able to return home. During this time, fellow musician Gill Tolliday spent many hours helping with Gary's 'musical' recovery.

Gary started playing the guitar from the age of 15. His first recording was for the legendary Joe Meek of Telstar fame, where he later formed the Five Dimensions with a then unknown Rod Stewart.
The group went on to play for Chuck Berry and other major American Blues artistes.

Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson has been away from the band in a long exile.
(Known to his friends as Kacker or Gipsy Dave)
Dave was put out to stud for a few years down in Dorset, but he has now returned over the cattle grid, and is back in the herd with the rest of us!
During most songs, Dave swaps from being Sexophonist to playing his liquorish stick.
Dave's wonderful playing can be heard on our CD, Second Eruption.

(click here for more details)


Other people come and go depending on chicken-milking, cow-plucking and pumpkin-herding commitments.

Last revised: June 02, 2023

For more details:
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