The Happy Ballroom and more 22nd May 1965 by Andre Martin.

Fifty years ago – Saturday 22nd May 1965 – the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier is empty as it had been the week before, nothing in the press gave any indications as what was being planned. All that was listed was that Wrestling would be presented every Monday from 17th May, and that an Old Time Music Hall was to be presented SIX nights a week from early July. No reference to any Dancing, Pop or otherwise, no reference to the Longest Bar in Town. The management must have thought about different uses for the coming summer season. We will have to see what time brings.
The weekend started as ever in the hands of Redifusion Television and Ready Steady Go – Friday 14th included The Kinks, The Dave Clarke Five, Spencer Davis Group and Sandie Shaw. This week it was topped by The Four Tops, The Who and Connie Francis. That would have put everybody in a good mood for the coming days.
The last couple of weeks had seen the Witch Doctors continue to present some of the best working and recording bands at the time. I wonder just how many of these you remember seeing at the Club or elsewhere at the time. I think that Saturday 15th May was one of the best nights – OK I am biased – Tony River & the Castaways, supported by the Eccentrics. Tony and his band were one of the hardest working I had known and he had a good following in Hastings. The Sunday Club presented Herbie Goins & The Nightimers – another excellent R&B act.
The following weekend would see on Friday – Up and coming The Equals, featuring Eddie Grant. Saturday brought a sensational double bill – Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band and the Puppets. Sunday R&B night was recording artistes the Herd. Friday a new attraction for the club – The Blues Creatures. In between the happy trio of Trevor, John and Tony [Ginger] would keep the discs spinning. I understand that these records were supplied by Alan Jensen of The Disc Jockey so all tastes were well covered.
The BBC were up to strength with the range of music on offer, over the two weeks, all the regular shows offer some good music, Saturday Club featured such as Val Doonican, the Ivy League, Mr Acker Bilk, Spencer Davis Group, Billy J Kramer, The Everly Brothers, Manfred Mann Heinz and The Wild Boys, all kept under control by Brian Matthews. Saturday Swings included Zoot Moneys Big Roll Band, the Hollies, Julie Grant, The Searchers, Sandie Shaw – plus a good selection of discs! Top Gear – The Rockin Berries, The Artwoods, The Checkmates and The Lady Birds.
Sunday lunchtime national treasure – Family Favourites – had a three way tie up with London, Cologne and Malta. I remember when we open up the new BFBS Studios in Malta a few years later, when working with MOD/MPBW who was responsible for the construction and commissioning.
Television pop was still mainly limited to Thank Your Lucky Stars from Birmingham, Brian Matthews introducing a wide range of US and UK acts, i9ncluding Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, Ray Anton & The Peppermint Men, Twinkle, Danny Williams, Unit 4+2, Screaming Lord Sutch and many more. David Jacobs was in charge with Juke Box Jury – whose panel members included – Mrs Mills, Peter Murray, Sandie Shaw, Tsai Chin, and Russ Conway & Suzy Kendall.
There we have it a potted version of the two weeks covered by this episode – with very little about the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier. Next week will be the first Spring Bank Holiday – last MONDAY in May to be exact. Again there is nothing listed for the Pier ??
Until next week, keep safe out there, the summer will soon be with us, and perhaps the sun will always be shining!!   Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2015

Twinkle – 60’s star of Terry hit dies.


Matt Thomas… R.I.P. Twinkle

Alan Esdaile… R.I.P. Twinkle. I think the single was banned at one stage by the BBC.

Jim Breeds… Awww. 🙁

Barry Newton… Terry and Tell Laura, take me back everytime I hear them. Great times

Chris Giles… Loved that song R.I.P Twinkle

Jane Hartley… Loved that song too, yet another gone too soon

Peter Fairless… Here’s something other than ‘Terry’…

Nigel Ford… Got the 7″ single still and played it on Hastings Rock more than once. RIIP Twinkle.

Stuart Moir… RIP Twinkle, at the gates of heaven with TERRY

Black Horse Music Festival 1996.

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ad supplied by Phil Little, Jacqueline Wearn, Jeremy Gillet and Martin Richter.Hastings Music Files.

photo: The Lost Boys Pete Prescott. supplied by Pete Prescott

Pete Prescott…   A year I’ll never forget. It was the lost boys last gig. Very emotional.i loved being in that band. It was filmed. I still have it. I should put some of it on you tube. Amazing much missed festival.

Kev Towner… Yes you should Pete!!

Paul Dengate… Couldn’t have been a better folk reunion day.

Stuart Moir… Saw the video at Pilot studio, brilliant performance loved it