The Happy Ballroom and more 22nd January 1966 by Andre Martin

Life continues very much as before, it is now Saturday 22nd January 1966, in particular with the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, nothing appears, and the ballroom is empty and cold. Bingo is still a regular event, and the accumulator paid out £2850.00.0d last week. This would represent a very large amount of money 50 years ago.
Friday night’s main event Ready Steady Go has on the bill this week – Donovan “Little Tin Soldier” Nashville Teens “The Hard Way” and Dusty “Little by Little” + Cathy and Keith and some records – so the show represents a good start to the week.
The Witch Doctor this Saturday presented The Mirage “must be touched to be believed” according to the press advert for that Saturday night, and supported by The Chaquitos plus records, all for 6/- with bar and food available. Sunday afternoon and Tuesday evening it’s the usual Record sessions, and Mid-week Rave Thursday Night with The Muscles Maxted Show featuring Steve “Carnaby Street”Maxted.7.30pm – 11.00pm and only half-a-crown!! 2/6d!! For those who remember old money.
For those who regularly tuned into Radio Caroline, we had some excitement in the week, when Caroline was blown ashore along Frinton Seashore on the night of 19th January; it would be several weeks before normal transmissions would be resumed. From all accounts it was a very lucky escape for all, as the ship Mi Amego beached between 2 groynes, as the Coast Guards were able to land some of the DJs and Crew despite the conditions.
Over on the BBC, the Light Programme 10.00am Saturday Club with Fontella Bass, Georgie Fame, Paul & Barry Ryan, Billie Davis, Keith Powell and the Checkmates. In the afternoon Jazz Beat featured Manfred Mann and The Grahams Bond Organisation. Home and Away in the evening from Minden, West Germany thanks to BFBS, featured Frankie Vaughan and The V Men plus Susan Maughan. 9.45pm Saturday Star this week was Perry Como. Late Night Saturday with Pete Murray, this week the feature artiste was Jack Jones.
Sunday morning 10.30 Easy Beat, 12noon Two Way Family Favourites – London and Cologne. 2.30pm The Joe Brown Show with guest Dickie Valentine. 4.00pm Pick of the Pops with “fluff”
Television, likewise followed a very usual programming, this week some of the features, again depending on your choices – Saturday, Grandstand followed by Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs in the chair, on the panel this week – Pete Cook, Bryan Forbes, Dudley Moore and Nanette Newman. 8.25pm The Kathy Kirby Show with guests Kenny Ball and his Jazz Men. Sunday highlights included 11.30 Forward in Retirement!!!. 2.45pm, FA Cup Special with Kenneth Wolstenholme. The film that evening “The Millionairess’” with Sophie Loren and Peter Sellers.
ON ITV one of the regular show – “Thank Your Lucky Stars” this week the line up included – Jim Dale: Swinging Blue Jeans: Herman’s Hermits: Patti & The Bluebells : Pinkertons Assorted Colours : Sandi Shaw & Julie Rogers.
Many thanks to the readers who get in touch with me and say how much they enjoy these weekly reports, they have changed from their original “History of The Happy Ballroom-Hastings Pier” intention as we have moved on, and life does not stand still. Also for those who send me little stories, snippets etc about specific acts that have appeared in Hastings. Until next week you all take care of yourselves, and fingers crossed that we do not get what is covering the Eastern Seaboard on The US. I have been in New York several times with students when snow has started, but nothing as bad as this weekend. Also I hope for all our sakes that it does not come across to the UK, rain possible which can be bad enough but snow – no thank you!    Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

Jim Breeds… “Tony Blackburn and the other djs and crew were cold and wet, no doubt scared but amazingly all were rescued from the Mi Amigo by breeches buoy …

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