The Happy Ballroom and more – Christmas 1965 part 2 by Andre Martin

CHRISTMAS 1965 Part 2
That was Christmas Eve 24th December 1965, done and dusted, we now move to Christmas Day, and the Pier does play a large part in the local celebrations, believe it or not, one of the big attractions to the Entertainments on Hastings Pier other than the Happy Ballroom, was the Sea Fishing. And apart from the Beach Fishing sessions on both Christmas and Boxing Day, on the Pier was a real competition with a very good turnout of competitors and followers alike. The Bar and Café were in full operation at the time, so they no doubt played a part in the celebrations. The Pier was usually closed after about 3.00pm in the afternoon for the rest of the day.
Boxing Day 26th December was a Sunday, and this would have presented many restrictions as to opening hours etc, the only entertainment that is listed on the Pier that day, as the Annual Coffee Dance 10.30am – 1.00pm and the main attraction were the Lurking Cromwell’s, and I have so far found no more details of this outfit – if anything comes to hand I will let you all know.
The Witch Doctor was closed for the Saturday and Sunday and did not re-open until Monday 27th December with “ Boxing Day Carnival” featuring The Fabulous Symbols and The Poor Boys – late bar to 11.30pm [people had to get to work the next day, in fact I remember many who had worked on Boxing Day in Hastings, with all the stores & shops being open and Busses running] From what I recall, this was an excellent night and the venue was packed. I can also confirm that both the PamDor and Fiesta were open on the Sunday and Monday.
Christmas Day on the Radio – The Light Programme – 7.00am Christmas Morning Music, 8.30am Family Choice,9.30am HM The Queen, 10.00am Saturday Club with Cliff Richard, P J Proby, Bachelors. Joy Strings, The Johnny Pearson Orchestra and Brian Matthew. Later that evening 10.15pm Music for your Party with Joe Loss and His Orchestra, Freddie & The Dreamers, Russ Conway, Kenny Ball and The Lorne Gibson Trio [Close down MIDNIGHT]
On the Sunday – Boxing Day – 10.00am Joe Henderson, 10.30am Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce, 11.30am Peoples Service from Bexhill Methodist Church. 12noon FIVE WAY Family Favourites and for the season greetings from London, Cologne [Koln], Cyprus, Aden & Tripoli thanks to BFBS. This was followed by the usual programmes until closed down at Midnight.
Television had a lot to offer – on Christmas as Day, 9.15am “Welcome Christmas” with Ivor Emmanual, 10.45am Children’s Ward, 12.00noon Leslie Crowther meets the Kids 12.45pm “Champions on Ice”. 1.25pm “The Andy Williams Show” including The Osmonds & Young Americans. 3.00pm HM The Queen, 3.10pm The Billy Smart Circus. 4.00pm “Disney Time”. 6.50 Panto with “Mother Goose” Norman Vaughan, Terry Scott & Jon Pertwee. 6.35pm Dr Who. 7.00pm Max ByGraves. 8.00pm “The Road To Bali” [Film] with Crosby, Hope & Lamoor. 9.30pm The Ken Dodd Show with special guest Sandie Shaw. 10.35 Top of the Pops 65 with DJs Jimmy Saville, David Jacobs, Alan Freeman & Pete Murray.
On the Sunday highlights included 9.30 am “The Christmas Oratorio” J S Bach 11.30am International Balloon Racing. 12.15pm Repeat of TOTP 65, 1.35 “Jack and The Beanstalk” & 2.50pm “The Dick Van Dyke Show”.
Monday Bank Holiday Radio included 10.00am The Hollies, The Ivy League, The Yardbirds, The Seekers, Elkie Brooks, Kenny Lynch and Division Two. 12.00noon Forces Jamboree thanks to BFBS linking all parts of the Forces on land and at sea -with Norman Vaughan, Anita Harris, Barron Knights, Danny Williams, Frankie Howerd and the Cliff Adams Singers. 1.00pm “The Mitchell Minstrels” later in the afternoon 4.20pm and Panto “Alice in Wonderland” from a recording. 5.30pm “ We’ll meet Again” Vera Lynn. 6.45pm Edmundo Ross. Followed by “The Archers”. Later in the evening 10.30pm it was Jazz Club with Humphery Littleton.
Television for that Monday included 12.25pm Grandstand, 4.25pm Blue Peter with Christopher Trace and Val Singleton, 4.50pm Jackanory . 5.00pm The Royal Ballet. 7.00pm “United” a soap opera – technical advisor Jimmy Hill [ed RIP] 7.30pm Brian Rix & “The Whitehall Farce”. 9.20pm, Perry Mason.
“Thank Your Lucky Stars” on ITV that night included Jim Dale, Ivy League. Barron Knights, Frankie Vaughan and Ruby Murray.
I will pick on next Friday Night – New Years Eve in next weekend’s episode. OK time to go and look at the leftovers and start thinking more about 1966, which was to be a special year in many ways for some of us. I do hope that you have enjoyed these blogs, they have changed from what had been the original intention to be a “History of the Happy Ballroom-Hastings Pier” but then our lives changed, and if this weekly write up brings back memories I am glad. Till next weekend and the last slice of 1965 you all take care.
Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

Alan Esdaile…  Really enjoy reading these Andre.

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