The Happy Ballroom and more – 11th December 1965 by Andre Martin

After the start of the new proposed Beat Dances in The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier I am surprised to discover that last week’s show was to be the only one! The promoters have decided not to continue with the bookings. I have found very little about them other than in the Directors minutes for the Pier Company, they are named as Dale & Barton, the posters/press sdverts indicate that it was Solite Recordings who were promoting. I have been sent a copy of the poster from that night by SMART, but apart from knowing that Saxtet 65 had some connections with John Hodgeson the other listed I have come up with nothing. We are now at Saturday 11 December 1965, and the for hire signs are back on the Ballroom.
For those of us who used to tune in via cable, we would have started the weekend off with our Friday nights Ready Steady Go, and on the show this week The Kinks “Till the end of the Day”:Manfred Mann “ There is no living without Loving” : The McCoy’s “ Hang on”: Spencer Davis Group “ Keep on Running” : also with Dodie West and The Rockin Berries. In control – well they liked to think so – Cathy and Keith.
The Witch Doctor, was starting to advertise the Festive Seasons programme and what goodies would be about, but with feet firmly on the ground this Saturday topping the bill were Guy Darrell & The Midnighters “plus that very popular group”!The Confederates. All for 6/- and a late bar to at least 11.45pm!!
Record spins were the feature of Sunday afternoon – 2.30pm – 5.00pm for a whole 2/- [10p in today’s money] Tuesday it was a “ Candlelight Rave” with prizes for the best female D.J. again at a discounted price of 2/-. Thursday was another of the Record Nights and this time it would have been Maidstone’s top jock – Steve Maxted and all for 2/- and it had to be over by 11.00pm – if I remember the last buses to either Ore/Hollington and Bexhill left from St Leonards before 10.30pm, so the last half hour was always quiet.
Radio was following a similar format as previous weeks, Saturday features would have included 10.00 Saturday Club with Manfred Mann: Herman’s Hermits: Mark Wynter: Transatlantics: Koobas and the Johnny Pearson Orchestra. Brian Matthew with records and comments. 12.30 and it would have been Jack Jackson with his own particular brand or record/comedy show. In the afternoon Bandstand features the Cory Band and at 7.30pm Home & Away from British Forces Broadcasting Berlin, featured Alan Haven & Tony Crombie.
Sunday was 10.30 Easy Beat and noon, 2 way family favourites BBC London & BFBS Cologne. Later in the afternoon Pick of The Pops with “fluff” and later in the evening Music from the Continent featured Cliff Richard and The Shadows.
Weekend Television, likewise followed a similar weekly schedule – Saturday afternoon was Grandstand. At 5.15pm Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs this week Lesley Longley, Mickey Most, Dakota Station & Johnny Tillotson. There followed the usual mix of Dr Who, The Munster’s, Dixon of Dock Green at 9.00pm Kathy Kirby Show with guests Tom Jones, Peter Gordeno and The Mercy Men. Sunday the schedule would have included Z Cars, The Lucy Show, Sooty & Dr Finlay’s Casebook.
No doubt the programme planners are keeping something for the festive weekend, which is now only 2 weeks away, I recall that we did have a dance at the old Falaise Hall for the Hastings College around this time on a Friday Night and the “cabaret” were “The Pretty Things” the main band were from memory Gordon Rider? I ended up taking my girlfriend for a meal in the middle of the nights entertainment , we went to the Star Restaurant in Claremont., used to be run at the time by the Antoni family. We did catch the “ cabaret” which was not what some of the staff had expected!
There we go another week has passed, and excitement grows so more to tell next week, until then you all take care of yourselves and start getting your pressies wrapped for Father Christmas to deliver on Christmas Eve.   Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

Leave a comment