Here we are at the end of the year episode of the History of the Happy Ballroom for 1964; we have just experienced the Christmas and Boxing Day entertainments, and all the additional activities that would have been included on the Pier for your entertainment, the Bingo, the Coffee Morning Dances and not forgetting the Fishing. The next big date will be NEW YEARS EVE featuring the resident band – “The Percy Howe Orchestra “the Pier Company had offered some special rates for the 3 days: 6/- single and 10/- ALL DANCES. – That does seems very reasonable for what’s on offer, or is the competition very strong from alternative venues? Only time will tell.
So what else have the youngsters been up to over the Festive Season – please tell us in no less than 100 words c/o The Hub, White Rock, Hastings via email firstname.lastname@example.org – we will select the best answers and publish later in January. I will speak with the CEO[Simon] and see if we cannot get a small prize to be given out.
Of the published activities, we would have started off the weekend on the Friday 25th, with an hour long Ready Steady Go, not bad – on the show this week – Dave Berry & The Cruisers, Wayne Fontana & Mindbenders, The Four Pennies, Herman’s Hermits, The Nashville Teens, The Searchers and Sandie Shaw and complete with Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan. But it would have been a different night, as there were very few places to go I can only recall one pub in the old town – The Anchor, and clubs and ballrooms, with the exception of some hotel, where it would have been for guests only. The Witch Doctor did follow with tradition and open for a few hours around lunchtime on Christmas Day for a Record Spin, and it was FREE 12.00noon-2.00pm
Boxing Day saw the Pier and Witch Doctor back in full swing, at Marine Court it would have been a festive day, starting with Junior Spin at 10.00am – 2.00pm : 2.30pm-6.00pm Live Music with the Outcasts. 7.30pm – The Unit 4+1 and local attractions The Talismen. All day ticket from 10/- and that would cover till 11.45pm as it was a Saturday Night, and no late extensions. The Sunday Club featured the Voodoos, Wednesday was the visit from The Mindbenders – if my memory serves me correctly, there was a good crowd in the club that night, and the Mindbenders came out on stage and as they struck the first note there was a bang, all the electrics went, and we were only left with emergency lighting. They were unable to reset anything for that night, and the show has to be cancelled. The Big problem was that Thursday Night was New Years Eve, and the problems had to be resolved so that 24 hours later everything would be geared to that – it was on 31st December, the acts at the clubs that night were John L Watson & The Hummelflugs + The Blues Creatures plus records 7.30pm – 01.00am all for 7/6d. Friday Nights 1 January 1965 – The Migil 5 took centre stage.
BBC Light Programme for the Boxing Day did a classic Saturday Club wityh Brian Matthews including Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, Joe Brown & The Bruvvers and The Beatles. Saturday Swings [2.00pm] Gerry 7 Pacemakers, The Searchers, Sheila Buxton, The Vicounts, the Seekers, and the man they cannot keep off our Radio – Wout Steenhuis – rumour has it that some fans of his keep writing the Controller General of the BBC and request this artiste to be included!!!!
Juke Box Jury that weekend on BBC TV – the Panel Alan Freeman, Nyreen Dawn Porter, William Rushton and Susannah York.
The next episode will take us into a brand new year – 1965 – and all that was going to change – but more about that as we tell the story of the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier.
On a personal note, New Years Eve 1964, I spent with several friends from the town in Trafalgar Square, we had gone up in the afternoon of 31st December in 2 cars, from memory I recall that amongst the party were, Dave Bargioni, Lester Tilbury, Hans Herald, John Gillies also I thought the 2 Pats from Bexhill, but I cannot recall any other names – it was an experience.
Till next year – take great care on NYE……..
2014© Andre Palfrey-Martin
Andy Qunta… Great write-up, as always, Andre! Just about every artist you mentioned I loved, even the Juke Box Jury panel! In those days I loved every record I heard! Not so now!
Alan Esdaile… Agree Andy, Andre makes it really interesting and brings back so many memories. I used to love Juke Box Jury and remember most of the time disagreeing with my parents on what was going to be a hit.
Andy Qunta… See, I even like this! Of course, it sounds like The Shadows, so I’m bound to like it!
Mick O’Dowd… Well done Andre on a fascinating and informative series of posts this year. Memory joggers and nostalgia rolled into one. A big thanks to you and keep your pen sharp for 1965!