Several people at a recent SMART meeting asked why I had not been writing my “History of The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier” for a while, and to be honest the reason has been nothing had happened since November. When you think that, how important an entertainment centre this was at one time, it really was a great shame that it used to sit closed. In the immediate weeks before, the management had kept advertising the venue available for firms and clubs to hold their seasonal events, there are no records of any take-up. This coming Saturday 24th December 1966 there was however a change and booked to appear that night “Lord Caesar Sutch & The Roman Empire.” Yes you have guessed it was Screaming Lord Sutch under a new name. The weekend would have started off on Friday Night with Ready Steady Go, and as I have posted on several sites today [23 Dec] this was the last ever Ready Steady Go. Not perhaps a good way to start off the Christmas Holidays. The Witch Doctor, offered this Christmas Eve – The Lonely Ones and on the following Thursday – Steve Maxted with his post-Christmas hi jinks, I do remember going to see Steve, but the crowd numbers were down for his usual Thursday Night show. Perhaps people were saving up for New Years Eve, and although this was really well attended there was no advertising and I have been unable to confirm who played that night.
Looking towards a 3 day Bank Holiday Weekend on the Radio & Television, to fill in all the details, would be a major operation, so I have just picked a few items – Light Programme had the important – Saturday Club with Brian Matthew and later in the day items such as Music Parade, Christmas Bandstand and Forces Jamboree. On Sunday [Christmas Day] Family Favourites was FIVE way and Linked LONDON, KOLN, ADEN, SINGAPORE & BORNEO. Later in the afternoon The DJs Christmas Party was spent with Sam Costa, Simon Dee, Keith Fordyce, David Jacobs, Brian Matthew, Pete Murray and Don Moss. Also Round The Horne, Sing Something Simple, Bing Crosby and The Men From The Ministry. Boxing Day Charlie Chester with Family Choice, The Ralph Harris Show, Pop Round Christmas, Ken Dodd, Singalong – the Story of The Black and White Minstrels, & Sherlock Holmes Again ?? Television on Christmas Eve included Grandstand, Film Davy Crocket, and Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs and his guests Judith Durham, Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley and Keith Potger. Later offerings would have included Dr Who. Dixon of Dock Green, Film- High Adventure, The Val Doonican Show, See the Children Sing and Midnight Mass. Sunday included Welcome to Christmas, Leslie Crowther at a Children’s Hospital, The Lucy Show, Andy Williams, HM The Queen – address to the Commonwealth. Billy Smart Circus, Disney Time, Carols from Kings, The Black & White Minstrels, Ken Dodd, Film Dr Findley Casebook & The Christmas Story. Bank Holiday Monday – The Munster’s, Grandstand, When Comedy was King, Sooty, Three Musketeers, Top of The Pops 66, Till Death Us Do Part, Brian Rix Farce from Whitehall, and the film The Lady Killers. [Ed Well done if you remember any of those] Over on the Pirate Radio Stations, Radio Caroline South with Dave Lee Travis – DDDBMT : Save Me, Donovan : Sunshine Superman, Who : Happy Jack, Troggs : Any Way You Want Me & Elvis : If Every Day was Like Christmas. On Radio London – Who : Happy Jack, Troggs : Anyway you want me, DDDBMT : Save Mee, Cliff Richard : In The Country & Temptations : I know I’m Losing You. A quick catch up of 50 years ago here in Hastings. It’s been an interesting year looking back FIFTY YEARS – 1966 what a year that was. Who knows what 1967 will bring, was something that we were all thionking about, for some it was good and for others – well perhaps not so good at the time, but we have survived. And I hope enjoyed looking back to our teenage years – you all have a Peaceful Christmas and a New Year to look forward to.
PS Don’t forget the Pier Book – “A Pier without a Pier” by Steve Peak now available and from all accounts a very good read and makes a great Christmas/birthday present – but then I am biased [Chap. 12]. Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016
Mick O’Dowd… Welcome back Andre. Beginning to get cold turkey( got plenty of that to come) not seeing your posts. Happy Christmas to You, Sheila and the Girls.
Andre Martin… Thanks Mick to you and yours, its been a long time since our path first crossed all in the cause of music.
Andy Qunta… Fabulous, Andre, thanks! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!