Former neighbours remember glam rock legend Bernard

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Mansfield residents have been paying tribute to ‘local boy made good’ Alvin Stardust who has died following a short illness.

To many he was the leather-clad 70s rock legend famed for hits like My Coo Ca Choo and Jealous Mind.

But for those who grew up near to the top of the Pops regular, he is remembered as a polite young man who dreamed of becoming a musician.

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Dorothy Wells (82) told Chad that she knew young Bernard Jewry as a music-mad nine-year-old, and remained friends with the rocker as his success bloomed.

“He was such a good friend to me and this is just so very sad - my son called me this morning and told me that Bernard had died.

“I knew him from when he was about nine years old and I remember his mum and his aunty ran a boarding house on West Hill Drive and they used to take in all the musicians he met.

“I always called him Bernard and he went off to Southwell Minster School to pursue his music.

“Later, when he was famous, we used to go up to see him when he was back in Mansfield and he would often bring music friends back with him - I met Joe Brown once on one of Bernard’s visits home.

“He was a great lad who grew up to become a lovely man - a real local boy who made good.”

Stardust was born in Muswell Hill in London in 1942, he moved to Mansfield as a young boy.

He made his stage debut in pantomime at the age of four, and first emerged in the early 1960s under the guise of Shane Fenton, before disappearing from the charts for more than a decade.

He re-emerged in the early 1970s as Alvin Stardust - a name given to him by record boss Michael Levy.

Maria Gibson (49) of Mansfield Woodhouse lived next to the singer’s mother at the height of his Shane Fenton days, and would regularly chat to him over the garden wall.

She said: “I was only a small child at the time but he lived next door and his mum and my mum were friends.

“When he was back home from doing his gigs he would always talk to me - he was just a really lovely genial fellow. We’d not stayed in touch, but over the years I don’t know how many times I’ve told people that I used to live next door to Alvin Stardust.”