The happy ballroom & more 26th March 1966 by Andre Martin.


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

It may well be the Easter Weekend as I write, but 50 years ago, we still had several weeks to go. 50years ago its Saturday 26th March 1966 and the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, is not in action this weekend, according to the local newspaper reports the visit from Dave Berry was well received and the Pier company were going to continue these shows in the coming weeks. Nothing mentioned about the Disc Jockey Promotions in the Restaurant, I think they were moved to the Regent Hotel about this time.
The Friday Nights entertainment for many would have been a short while in front of the Television with “Ready Steady Go” Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan would have introduced – Wilson Picket:634 5789- The Animals : Inside Looking Out, Mary Wells and Roy Orbison. But the best has to be Dusty Springfield as “You don’t have to say you love me anymore” – heading for the top of the charts within a few weeks.
The Witch Doctor again keeps the groups coming and we are being spoilt for the variety that always on the programme, This Saturday it’s the return of the fantastic ANTEEEKS and The Sonics plus records, just over 5 hours entertainment for just 6/- that has to be good value. Sunday afternoon “Big Big Record Spin” 2.30pm-5.00pm all for 1/6d. Tuesday night is “Candlelight Nite” an “Intimate atmosphere” and records for only 2/-. Thursday it one of the BIG nights with Steve Maxted and Friday according to the advertisement it was The Hastings Theatre group presenting “ Heat Rave so Come Cool” featuring 2 Fab groups – sadly very little can be found about this evening, and nothing was printed in the local press, so we will just have to wonder……
Radio for the weekend included on The Light programme – Saturday Club with Brian Matthew featuring Cilla Black, Crispian St Peters, Herman’s Hermits, Billy Joe Royal, Barry St John, The Puppets and the Ted Taylor Seven. Lunchtime it was the turn of Jack Jackson with his Record Roundabout, later the afternoons line up would include The Grand National from Aintree,THE Sound of Johnny Pearson, Saturday Bandstand, Desmond Carrington with Open House, Pop Over Europe organised by the West German Broadcasting Service, and Jazz Beat with the Alex Welsh Band. The evening was full of Music Hall, Old Time Dancing with Sidney Bowman and his Orchestra and Late Night Saturday with Peter Murray and friends. Sunday would include Easy beat with Keith Fordyce introducing toons from The Johnny Howard Band. Lunchtime it was Two Way Family Favourites from London & Koln. The afternoon was given over to comedy- Round The Horne,Val Doonican & Benny Hill. Alan Freeman would be around with Pick of the Pops. For the movie fans, Movie Go Round this week featured “Life at the Top” Laurence Harvey, Jean Simmons and Honor Blackman and “Where the Spies are” David Niven and John LeMesurier.
Television that weekend included – Grandstand incl The Boat Race & Grand National. Dr Who on his travels, Juke Box Jury this weeks panel included Nina & Frederik, Adrienne Posta, Ray Davis with David Jacobs in the Chair. The evenings viewing continued with Dixon Of Dock Green, The Western with Audie Murphy. Barbra Streisand in “My Name is Barbra”. The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Spies and to end the evening The Andy Williams Show this week featuring amongst other the Osmond Brothers.
On the Pirate wave bands, Radio Caroline South is still having technical problems and were off the air for the coming week, however on Radio London – the top 5 were – Dedicated Follower of Fashion[Kinks], Elusive Butterfly[Bob Lind], Super Girl [ Graham Bonney], I met a Girl[Shadows] & Substitute [Who]
There you go, 50 years ago, it only seems like yesterday at times. This has been an interesting week, in particular with the Pier; we now have the official re-opening day and the headline show for that day, it’s going to be an interesting day.
Until next week – everybody enjoy what is left of the Easter break and fingers crossed that the weather is not as bad as predicted !!   Andre Palfrey-Marin © 2016

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