The Happy Ballroom & more 5th February 1966 by Andre Martin

A new month has arrived, here we are 50 years ago, its Saturday 5th February 1966 – and here on the Pier, the Ballroom remains quiet, The Bingo and School of Dancing continue, but we have no name attractions on the programme – surely things are going to change soon, as this is also the 900th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, and the town is gearing up for the celebrations this summer. Ok to be precise October 14th!!
We had started the weekend, with our visit to the Ready Steady Go Studio in London and on the bill this week included by Cathy & Keith – Adam Faith “Idle Gossip” and “If I ever need you” and The Spencer Davis Group “ Keep on Running” and “Somebody Help Me”
The Witch Doctor in Marine Court was active on Saturday Night the bands booked and advertised as “Sound plus Image” were – The Objects and The Brethren. 7.30pm – 11.45pm, Late Bar admission 6/-. The Sunday afternoon Spin was under the control of Johnny Mann 2.30pm-5.00pm for only 1/6d. Tuesday this week was a special “Candlelight Session” with “Muscles Maxted” driving the decks 7.30pm-11.00pm admission 2/-. Steve was back again on Thursday for the “Muscles Maxted” Show 7.30pm-11.00pm all for only 2/6d…..St Valentine’s Day is coming .. watch this space ….
BBC Radio, Saturday feature was as usual “SATURDAY CLUB”. Making up the show this week featured – Chrispian St Peter, Chris Barbers Jazz Band, Cliff Bennett, Paddy, Klaus and Gibson, Tammy St John, The Puppets, Tommy Rich and the Ladybirds. Brian Matthew spinning discs keeping all the links going. 12noon”Does the Team Think”. 12.30 “The Jack Jackson Record Show”. Later on in the day 5.30pm “Chorus Everybody“ Mousehole Male Voice Choir. 6.30pm “Jazz Beat” – from Bournemouth the Zoot Money Big Roll Band.
Sunday features included “Easy Beat” with Mike Felix including The Johnny Howard Band and the best on disc. Noon – “Two Way Family Favourites” London and Cologne.1.30pm “Al Read Show” with Susan Maugham and The Countrymen.2.30pm “The Joe Brown Show” with Clinton Ford. I see that Joe Brown is appearing at the Adelphi Theatre, London in “Charlie Girl”. Also a regular feature on a Sunday was “Movie Go Round” with Peter Haig, this week one of the films featured was “Sky West & Crooks” staring Hayley Mills and Ian McShane.
Television at the weekend included – Saturday – “Grandstand”, “Dr Who”, “Juke Box Jury” – this week’s panel Alan Freeman, Hayley Mills, Marianne Faithful and Jimmy Greaves. Also “ Dixon of Dock Green”, “ The Western[Film]” “ the Black of White Minstrel Show” One of the films that was screened this weekend had a local link – “Operation Amsterdam” with Peter Finch, Eve Bartok, Tony Britton and Alexander Knox. The Director was local man Michael McCarthy who lived in St Leonards and daughters both went to Christ Church Primary School, when this film was first released the school were taken to the old Gaiety Cinema and we all had a viewing of the film, and the girls had a very small part in one of the crowd scenes. Another film that weekend on BBC2 was the classic “Storm over the Nile” with Lawrence Harvey and Anthony Steel.
One of the features from ABC at Birmingham would have been “Thank Your Lucky Stars” on this week’s show – Jim Dale, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Small Faces, Salena Jones, The King Brothers and Dusty Springfield. Compere for the show, the very popular Brian Matthew.
Commercial – or Pirate Radio as it was often referred to at the time, the main charts were for this weekend as follows: Big L Radio London 1 Len Barry. “Like a Baby”: 2 Mindbenders “ A Groovy Kind of Love”: 3 Swinging Blue Jeans “Don’t Make me Over” Radio Caroline South, still having problems due to the recent running aground of the Mi Amigo, still maintained the following for this weekend – 1 The Overlanders “Michelle”: 2 Cilla Black “ Loves Just a Broken Heart”: 3 Spencer Davis “Keep On Running”
To quote a great Television show from earlier in the decade – “That Was the Week that Was” – Saturday February 5th 1966 to bring this right up to date, perhaps this will be described as the same for Saturday 6th Februarys 2016, when we had the excellent long awaited news about the plans for the Pier – after months of waiting we now have a opening date of Saturday 21st May –now we can get behind this and show the world just what we have sticking out 900+ feet into the English Channel, and meaning so much to us over the years, congratulations to all involved and a big thank you to all who have worked in extreme conditions to reach this point in the History of The Pier.
Until next week’s edition, you all take care out there, if you want to go down to the seafront and have a look at the Pier, watch yourself for the wind & rain which has been really strong in recent days. There is a lot happening along the part of the front line, with the White Rock Baths being regenerated into a new skateboard park, the work on Bottle Alley underway and The Pier.
Enjoy this good news                  Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016.

Andy Qunta… Thanks, Andre! Brilliant write-up, as always!

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