The Happy Ballroom and more – Sat 17th July 1965 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

After a short break, I am back, is Saturday 17th July 1965 – but nothing much has happened in the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, I have searched with Steve Peak, the management meeting minutes, as we are jointly writing a book on The History of Hastings pier for the Pier Trust [publication is planned for later in the year] and there is nothing mentioned about the Entertainments? From the press we can see that The Old Time Music Hall and Wrestling made up the programme for the Ballroom in the week – something must happen soon ???
The weekend would have started off with the ITV – Ready Steady Go and this week with both Cathy and Keith at the controls, the artists include – The Animals “ Gotta get out of this Place” : Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames “Like we used to be” : Dusty Springfield “ Middle of nowhere” : Inez & Charlie Foxx : Nina Simone, another excellent line up.
The Witch Doctor was just to enter its second year, as on 16th July topping the bill that night were The Moody Blues, and I can recall that night, the club was packed, and I mean packed ! it was HOT but the atmosphere was just sensational, at this point, if I could have contact Lloyd Johnson, I am sure that he would have been able to live a garment by garment detail of just what the boys we wearing, all I can recall was dark blue mohair suits – but very smart, their whole show was just the Best!! In support was one of the clubs favourite bands from Folkestone – The Lonely Ones. Not a bad night for only 7/6d !
Saturday continued with the two group shows, and this week the Top of the Bill were – Davy Jones and The Lower Third, supported by The Sultans. The Sunday Club: The Five of One. And Friday live music was supplied by another favourite of The Witch Doctors patrons – George Bean & The Runners. The remaining nights, plus both Saturday and Sunday afternoons were filled with records by the resident team of spinners keeping everybody entertained.
Radio played a great role in the entertainment of the young and not so old in the town, Pirates were heard everywhere – Radio Caroline and London were the two prime stations. The BBC was not doing too bad, as they had the resources, even if those in charge were very set in their ways, and ran the Corporation like a Government Department. Saturday had a great selection of shows. Saturday Club at 10..00am this week presented Billy Fury, Dusty Springfield, Herman’s Hermits, Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, The Gamblers, The Echos and The Ladybirds all presented by Brian Matthews. 2.00pm it was Saturday Swings – Tom Jones & The Squires, Elkie Brooks, The Boston Dexters, Ian Russell and The Saturday Sound. 4.00pm was a change with the introduction of “The Folk Room” with The Overlanders, The Strawberry Hill Boys and Friday Brown with Don Spencer as the compere.
Sunday it was Easy Beat – 10.31am this week the Johnny Howard Band with Laura Lee, Danny Street and Tony Stevens plus a few releases and guests with Keith Fordyce. Lunchtime it would have been what has been described as a National Treasure in the format of Two Way Family Favourites – this week keeping the UK via London and BAOR Germany {Cologne} together with record requests and messages. Another of the Sunday highlights would have been Alan “Fluff” Freemen with Top of The Pops another programme that was destined fo prosperity in the history of the British Music Industry.
Television features were Saturday night –Juke Box Jury – with David Jacobs chairing the weekly half hour show and the panel this week was Ray Brooks, Angela Douglas Stubby Kaye and Millie. Over on ABC was Thank Your Lucky Stars, which this week included not only Brian Matthews, but Jim Dale, Dusty Springfield, Dave Clark Five, Billy Fury, Kenny Ball and His Jazz Men, Pete Murray, Janice Nicholls, Helen Shapiro, The Searchers, The Seekers and Mark Wynter.
So for any of you who around at the time, it was another good week, I was lucky with the Moody Blues on the Friday, as I was roistered for early morning starts 06.00am with the buses, but when you had been having a good night out, getting up was hard work, and to get to the Depot on time – I must thank my Dad, who was often up and about getting men to jobs, that I was never given the opportunity to oversleep!! Adding it all up it was a great time to be around.
As we reach August in the next few days, and with the return of Carnival FM I will have to find and dust down some of my favourite records, CDs and MP3’ and make sure that I can find the “Time Machine” last seen last August in the Old Town, I am sure that we remembered to bring this when we moved house recently !! so until the next episode of the History of the Happy Ballroom keep a watch out for the work on the Pier, the base has now gone down for the new information/educational centre and how things have been progressing. Also on Monday I went to the HUB to be interviewed about the Pier only to find the place full of yellow tee shirts and the Seafront Rickshaw project getting its official opening – good luck to all involved it’s a great idea and a great tourist attraction. Till next week you all take great care of yourselves.

Andre Palfrey-Martin@2015

Jim Hobbs… I used Go Now for many years as a play-out track at gigs.

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