The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & More 17th September 1966 by Andre Martin

Midway through September we have reached Saturday 17th, and more details are being announced about the 900th celebrations in the next few weeks it is going to be a truly great experience for the whole town. The only thing that we can report for certainty is that the result will not change 1-0 to the Normans, although some might say that the arrow was offside! Over in the Pier Ballroom, the Saturday nights continue with the Tony Strudwick Big Band Party Night. For those of us who addicts for Ready Steady Go, this was an Otis Reading Special assisted by Eric Burden and Chris Farlowe, included in the toons – Satisfaction, My Girl, Respect, Pain in My Heart, I Can’t Turn you Loose. Solo offerings from Eric – Hold on I’m Coming, and Chris – It’s a Man’s, Man’s World. Closing the show, Otis + Eric + Chris – Shake and Land of 1000 Dances; that would have been some show and all kept together by Keith and Cathy.
Along at the Witch Doctor, the entertainment profile continues with Live music on Saturday, and this week we see the return of Herbies People formerly Herbie Goines and the Night Timers. Tuesday – Friday – 7.30 to 11.00 Discs A Go-Go, some advance publicity indicates that changes will shortly be taking place – so watch this space! Over at the BBC – the Light Programme this weekend, offered its usual mix, including Saturday Club with Brian back in the hot seat, on his show this week – the Who, Peter & Gordon, the Searchers, Paul Richie & The Cryin’ Shames and the Rothchilds. David Frost at the turntables at lunchtime with Music Parade, the autumn schedule was starting to appear and David Gell hosting – Swingtime amongst the artistes appearing the King Brothers, Chris Barber, the Settlers & Sands of Time. Later in the evening, it was A Music Hall Night, Henry Wood Promenade Concert Last Night with all the regular patriotic toons and sing-alongs ! The a special for many live from The Rick Tick Club in Windsor – Georgie Fame, the evening would have ended with Simon Dee. Sunday would have included Children’s Choice, Mrs Mills, Easy Beat and a Three Way Family Favourites with London, Koln and Borneo[ we often forget that during the 1960s, we had a lot of service personnel stationed all around the world, some in “hot” spots] in the afternoon, we could tune in and listen to –The Navy Lark [HMS Troutbridge in all its glory] The Mitchell Minstrels, Frankie Howerd, Pick of the Pops, Movie Go Round, and back for a new series Top of the Form. Later Sing Something Simple, Steptoe & Son, the variety show this week was Blackpool Night with Ken Dodd, Barry Kent [I worked a summer season with Barry back in the 70s, a nice guy] and Rosemary Squires. The evening ended with Jazz Scene.
Television offered – Saturday Grand Stand, Juke Box Jury with David Jacob’s guests – Marion Montgomery, Fanny Craddock, Mike d’Abo and Chris Denning. Dr Who, Till Death us Do Part, Last Night of the Proms. Match of the Day – when we would have still bathed in the Winning of the World Cup in July of this year. BBC 2 featured The Battle of Britain Display from RAF Biggin Hill, a key player in those dark days of 1940 in protecting London & the South East. On Sunday – most of the early programs are educational till 15.30hrs, this was followed by Professional tennis, film The Loner, It’s a KO Grand Final between Yorkshire v Lancashire.[ A lot of people forget that It’s a KO started in the North of England with Eddie Warring as main compere, and did not go to the whole of the UK till the 1970s – I worked with the company on many shows in the late 70s/early 80s when the BBC sold the show, props & all to a northern promoter – it used to be fun in all weathers !] the Sunday film was Anastasia featuring Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brinner. Later we had the Billy Cotton Band Show. The Pirates were keeping us active, Radio Caroline South this week with Rick Dane, the Top 5 included – Supremes : You Can’t Hurry Love, Sonny & Cher : Little Man, Beatles : Eleanor Rigby, Jim reeves : Distant Drums and Lee Dorsey : Working Down a Coal Mine. Over on 266 Big L – Kenny Everett presented – Supremes : You Can’t Hurry Love, The Who : I’m A Boy, Sonny & Cher : Little Man, The Seekers : Walk With Me and Bobby Hebb : Sunny.
There in a few lines is what was happening to some of us in the town all those years ago, one thing that I have just remembered, I only had a few weeks to remain as a Bus Conductor, and would then start as a trainee Sales Manager for a local business, the meant that once I joined the firm I would have to attend night school for Book Keeping and would you believe this fell on a Friday, but that’s the luck of the draw. If any of you have any particular memories that you would like to share, please add to the posts. Until next week in the words of Sgt Esterhause from Hill Street Blues – Hey, Hey lets be careful out there.
Andre Palfrey- Martin © 2016

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