History of The Happy Ballroom and more 21st August 1965 by Andre Martin

I thought that for this week’s edition of The History of the Happy Ballroom, Hastings Pier – Saturday 21st August 1965, it would be a good idea to check back on the weather, as we go from extremes to extremes at the moment, and it does make life a little difficult. Overall the Temperatures for August 1965 were below average, and on several occasions the area of Hastings and the Pier were subject to gale force winds and heavy rain. This would have given the ballroom even more problems in trying to heat such a large area, but the British are a hardy race, and the Old Time Music Hall and the Wrestlers, keep the “Dunkirk Spirit” alive and made the journey to the sharp end and kept the audience numbers good.
Friday Night would have started the weekend off with our visit, via Rediffusion to the Television Studios in KingsWay London, and on the show tonight: Alan Price Set-“Any Day Now” :Donovan – “ Universal Soldier”: Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders – “She Needs Love” and Herman’s Hermits – “A Little Bit Better”. Our usual hosts Cathy and Keith would have tried to bring some sanity to the show.
The Witch Doctor was as ever presenting an interesting range of groups for us to appreciate, Saturday it was the return of The Meddy-Evils and in support The Equals [featuring an up and coming Eddie Grant]. Sunday Club presented an up and coming band from South London – The Herd. Friday Night – the start of the Bank Holiday Weekend and we had the Rising Suns. The rest of the week we had the various record nights being presented by the WDs team of DJs.
BBC Radio was working hard to maintain their audiences. The Light Programme on Saturday was a real mix with something for all, 10.00am Saturday Club – this week with Simon Dee sitting in for Brian Matthew, on the show – Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders, Unit 4+2, the Walker Brothers, Alma Cogan, the Artwoods, Mel & the Primates, the Ladybirds and Arthur Greenslade & the Gee Men. 12.00 Lance Ago go. 12.30 The N D O with Sheila Buxton. This was followed at 1.15pm with Murray Kash and Walk Right In. 2.00pm Saturday Swings with Mr Aker Bilk, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, Dodie West, the New Faces, plus records. 4.00pm we would have had The Folk Room with the Overlanders, Alabama Hayrides’ and the Malcolm Price Trio. Later in the evening, perhaps in competition to the Pier people might have decided to stay home 9.00pm “Time for Old Time” Sidney Bowman and Benny Lee and MC for the show Stanley Wilson.
Sunday followed the usual format – 10.31am it was Easy Beat, following the morning service, noon and it would have been Two Way Family Favourites [London & Koln]. The early afternoon was filled with comedy half hours and at 3.00pm Movie Go Round with this week – “Mary Poppins” featuring Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke, and “Dr Who and the Daleks” – starring Peter Cushing and Roy Castle. The pop music continued at 4.00pm with T O T P.
Television – Juke Box Jury panel this week were Carole Carr, Terence Edmonds, Herman and Rosemary Nicols – in the Chair David Jacobs. Later in the evening at 10.35pm Raymond Baxter introduced the 1965 Edinburgh Military Tattoo, 50 years later, so many of the regiments have disappeared as the reduction in the Military numbers and postings.
Its main pop show for this week was “Thank Your Lucky Stars” and I wonder how many of you know all the acts that appeared this week – the Byrds, Alma Cogan, Eddie Hodges, Frank Isfield, Barbara Kaye, the Walker Brothers, the Rockin Berries introduced by Brian Matthew.
Looking ahead, it’s the Bank Holiday next weekend, in its new slot at the END of August and there is lots being planned to entertain the visitors and residents alike, I recall that we even put on extra buses to cope with the expected people. Going back to my point about the weather, I am sure that we were just about or have just had flooding in the town centre and Middle Street being under water. That would make it difficult for us[bus crews] to get into our canteen during its opening hours.
Until next week’s Bank Holiday Special, I hope that you have been able to keep dry and are enjoying the end of the Summer Season – you all take care.
Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

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