The Happy Ballroom & more – 26th February 1966 by Andre Martin

Saturday 26th February 1966, was a normal Saturday for many, the weekend was underway and some were looking forward to the leap year possibilities ! Here in Hastings in the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, nothing moved not even a mouse, we were following the previous weeks of?????????- But my crystal ball tells me that we might have some news next week.
Our Friday nights entertainment had started with the ever popular trip to London via Rediffusion TV and this week’s screening of Ready Steady Go – the weekly look at the best of fashion, dancing and music, on this week’s show – from the U.S. the great Tory Troy, Bill J Kramer “Were doing Fine” and The Walker Brothers “ the Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore”
Back in Hastings on that Saturday Night we would have been treated to a really special show at the Witch Doctor with Headliners that night – Tony Rivers & the Castaways, a band that used to make many visits to the town during this great decade, and supporting Tony on that night The Blues Syndicate. The rest of the week’s entertainment was with Records –still not using Disco! – Both Tuesday and Thursday given over to the “Mad Man of Maidstone” Steve Maxted. Also we understand that Friday nights were to be back on the schedule shortly…..
Looking through the Radio Times for that weekend, the usual programmes are scheduled, on Saturday it would have been a mix of Saturday Club, with Brian Matthew, and this week’s headliners included Georgie Fame, Lulu, The Mike Cotton Sound, The Gamblers and Billy Fury. Jack Jacksons Record Show, Pop over Europe, Jazz Beat and a range of Old Time Musicals.
Sunday, very much as previous – Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce, 2 Way Family Favourites at noon, Al Read Show and Pick of the Pops. The Movie Go Round featured film this week was – “The Spy that came in from the Cold”, featuring Robert Vaughan David McCallum, Dorothy Provine and Rip Storm.
Television over the weekend, Saturday – Grandstand, Dr Who, Juke Box Jury with DJ and panel Scott Warker, Judy Geeson, Don Moss and Evelyn Taylor. In the evening The Bertram Mills Circus and the Black & White Minstrel Show. Sunday included The International Winter Sports, The Lucy Show, Pinky & Perky, plus the usual range of drams in the evening – Dr Finleys Casebook etc.
Over on the Pirate Ships – Radio Caroline despite transmission problems since the storm, was managing to put out the Top 20 at the weekend, and the line up this Sunday was 1 Rolling Stones, 19th Nervous Breakdown, 2 Nancy Sinatra, Those Boots are made for Walking 3 – Pet Clarke My Love, 4 Mindbenders – Groovy Kind of Love [NB Mindbenders had just split from Wayne Fontana and 5 – Chrispin St Peters You were on My Mind. Radio London was presenting the FAB 40, and for this weekend this was as follows 1- Sha La La La Lee – Small Faces, 2 –Uptight – Little Stevie Wonder, 3 –Barbara Anne – Beach Boys, 4- This Golden Ring -The Fortunes and 5 Jenny Take a Ride – Mitch Rider & The Detroit Wheels and just bumbling under Lightening Strikes –Lou Christie. { some great toons that we used to hear very regularly in the Pam Dor and at Thee Witch Doctor.
So there you have a very quick round up of 50 years ago, it was little like this weekend – cold and windy, but we had the spring to look forward to and perhaps something special on our Pier. Until next week you all keep warm and safe and enjoy these little trips down memory lane.

Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016

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