The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more 5th November 1966 by Andre Martin

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot – the 17th Century English Rhyme used to go, and here we are Saturday 5th November 1966.And in and around Hastings & St Leonards, there is evidence of this being celebrated, The Happy Ballroom – no change, this is sad when you think of how this venue used to be busy all year, nothing has been mentioned about the future, all we can do is “watch this space” Our Friday night start with Ready Steady Go this week contains a varied selection of musical tastes, amongst the guests – Cream: Wrapping Paper & N S U, Bobby Darin: If I were a Carpenter and Manfred Mann: Semi-detached Suburban Mr James. This weekend at the Witch Doctor it is the return of top Scottish Band – the Gaylords and the Thursday night it will be yet again that raver from Maidstone – Steve Maxted with his own particular brand of entertainment and mayhem.
Radio & Television follow very much the same as earlier weeks. Saturday Radio [The Light Programme] Saturday Club with Freddie & The Dreamers, Pinkerton’s Colours, Cat Stevens, The Zombies, The St Louis Union and Toni Daly, with Brian Matthew in control. Noon it was time for Call It Country Style with Murray Kash and Jack Jackson with his Record Roundabout followed. Later in the afternoon we had Swingalong with David Hamilton, Music Parade, Saturday Bandstand, Pop over Europe and Have a Go with Wilfred Pickles from Birchington in Kent. The evening continued with A Night at the Music-Hall, Nord-Ring from Oslo, Time for Old Time and Dancing Round Europe with some top orchestras including Eric Winstone & His Orchestra from Butlin’s Holiday Camp, Bognor Regis. Later it was time for Pete’s Party with Pete Murray and the evening ended with The Derek Franklin Trio taking you to 2.00am and closedown. Sunday it was time for Children’s Favourites with Leslie Crowther, Mrs Mills & The Happy Gang, Keith Fordyce and Easy Beat and at lunchtime Two Way Family Favourites from London & Koln. A comedy afternoon followed with The Navy Lark, The Clitheroe Kid, and The Billy Cotton Band Show. Semprini Serenade was followed by Pick of the Pops and Movie-go Round. Early evening included Top of The Form and Sing Something Simple. Desmond Carrington was back later with more Open House and this was followed by Movie Go Round 2 and the feature film this week – The Idol with Jennifer Jones, Michael Parks, John Leyton and Jennifer Hilary. The evening ended with Frankie Howerd and The Jazz Scene taking the station to close down.  Television – Saturday afternoon Grandstand followed by Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs who had for his panel Brian Poole, Julie Foster, Dave Clark and Francoise Hardy. After the News, Dr Who, Dixon of Dock Green, High Adventure Film – The Spanish Main, The Val Doonican Show, The Lucy Show, Match of the day, The Late show with John Bird & Co. BBC 2 included in their schedule – The Danny Kaye Show, Breaking Point and the Midnight Movie – The Young Stranger starring James MacArthur. Sunday afternoon Movie was Carlton-Brown of the F.O. with Terry Thomas and Peter Sellers, later it was the time for Bilko Returns, The Woman in White – final part!! Sooty, Meeting Point, and religious quiz – Where was Moses? Songs of Praise from Warminster in Wiltshire, The early evening film – Let’s Make Love, with Marilyn Monroe and Yves Hontand. In the evening it was time for the Billy Cotton Music Hall and the Ballet Eugene Onegin and the evening ended with the Look of the Week.
Over on the Pirates the weekends top records were –Radio London Big L- Beach Boys : Good Vibrations, Manfred Mann ; Semi-detached Suburban Mr James, Spencer David Group : Gimme Some Lovin’, Ike & Tina Turner : A Love Like Yours & Hollies ; Stop, Stop, Stop. Radio Caroline South with Dave Lee Travis – Beach Boys : Good Vibrations, Paul Jones – High Time, Four Tops : Reach out I’ll Be There, Hollies : Stop, Stop, Stop & Manfred Mann : Semi-detached Suburban Mr James.  The evenings are now drawing in and with the return to Winter time, Christmas must be fast approaching – but more of that to come. I made a slight error that week, I have subsequently discovered that Battle Bonfire had been held on 29th October 1966 because of the Queens Visit to the area for the 900th celebrations, and I do have very clear memories of being at that event. But as to where I spent this 5th November 1966 – that I do not recall. I will leave you with me pondering that thought. Until the next slice of The History of The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier aka Hastings 50 years ago! You all take care.

Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

Geoff Peckham… Thank you, Andre.

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