The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier Feb 6th 1965 and more by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… This week has been tinged with a little sadness, as I heard that the Police Sergeant, who played a pivotal role in getting the Rolling Stones on and off The Pier, during the August Bank Holiday Show in 1964 passed away. When working with Matthew Wheeler on “End of The Pier Show”, we tried to persuade Sergeant Dobson to come on camera and tell us about this event with the Ambulance, but we were unable to film the story first hand, but we do have the story from other second hand sources. RIP Sergeant Dobson.
The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, has now reached February 6th, 1965 – and the musical entertainment is provided again by The Gordon Ryder Dance Orchestra, I know at times I can be a little tongue in cheek about the provision, I do appreciate that Bob Knight worked hard at meeting the needs and expectations of the dancers, he was constantly trying to get the best for his patrons, and on balance he did a good job. Times were changing and entertainments one of the quickest to meet change.
The weekend would have kicked off with its visit to Kingsway, London and Ready Steady Go – “The Cathy McGowan and Keith Fordyce Show” and this week the featured acts were –Adam Faith “Stop feeling sorry for yourself” Marianne Faithfull “Come and Stay with Me” Gene Pitney “I must be seeing Things” also on the show The Zombies, The Roulettes – Adams backing group and Donovan making one of his early appearances.
The Witch Doctor, now fully established in Mare Court, was always making changes to the weekly schedule, not just with different bands, but the weekly format. This coming Saturday The Twilights and The Brothers Grimm. Sunday Club featured The Echo’s [Dusty Springfield’s backing group]. Friday Night it’s a return visit from Kris Ryan and the Questions. The rest of the week and Sunday Afternoon it was “ New FAB record Nights “ included in the week on Wednesdays a Ladies Night – 7.30pn- 11.00pm for 6d – that right SIX pence OLD money. Gentlemen were charged 1/-.
Radio was still the mainstay of the pop music provision, Saturday morning it was Saturday Club [Light Programme 10.00am] this week the show featured The New Christie Minstrels, The Animals, The Zombies, Sandra Brown, The Four, Tom Jones, Introduced by Ray Orchard. At 2.00pm Saturday Swings –Brian Poole & The Trems, Kenny Lynch, Barbara Kaye The Frazer Hayes Four, The NDO all under the direction of Bruce Wyndham. 4.00pm the new show Top Gear with Brian Matthews and on this week’s show Chuck Berry, Rockin Berries, Gold & The Gingerbreads and The Five Dimensions. Plus Brian’s Tips for the Top..
Main pop show on the Sunday schedule was Easy Beat and this week featured The Searchers, The Hollies, The Morgan James Duo and the Johnny Howard Band all under the control of Keith Fordyce.
Television – Saturday had on BBC – “Juke Box Jury” with David Jacobs in the chair, and this week’s Panel included – Thora Hird, Linda Lewis, Don Moss and Gene Pitney. Over on ITV “Thank Your Lucky Stars” and this week Brian Matthews ably assisted by Janice Nichol, introduced The Animals. Billy J Kramer & the Dakotas, The Gamblers, Twinkle, Mark Wynter and guest DJ Don Wardell.
With reference to last week’s edition, I have since found out that both Radio Caroline and Radio London ceased transmission on Saturday 30th January whilst the Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill was taking place, as a mark of respect. The next great thing to be looking forward will be St Valentines and I wonder just what the Pier, the Witch Doctor and the Radio & TV had in store …. We will see, until next week’s edition of “The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier” – you all take care of yourselves
Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

Nicola Dobson… Thank you Andre x

Andre Martin… Just has a 60s flashback moment – the first time that I remember hearing Goldie & The Gingerbreads was at the Witch Doctor, and I think that Ginger Powell was doing the honours. I mentioned this above on the Saturday Top Gear Show

John Wilde… Damn, am I that old?