Who would have thought that 50 years ago we would be celebrating a change to the Bank Holidays ? Yes in fact August Bank Holiday 1965 was the first at the END of the month, not as in previous years, since around 1873 the first Monday in August. It is Saturday 28th August 1965 and in the Happy Ballroom, Hastings Pier the Old Time Musical Company are doing great things according to the local press. However, I cannot find any reference to any Bank Holiday Lunchtime entertainment, music and dancing, which is most unusual.
For many of us the weekend would have started in the time honoured way of watching Ready Steady Go on ITV on Friday Night, and this week’s show had a special Bank Holiday feeling with The Rolling Stones special – “Mercy,Mercy” “Cry to me” “Satisfaction” and “Apache” also on the show The Hollies: “Look through any window”, Lulu “Try to Understand” plus The Yard Birds and Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames. This starting of the weekend in a first class way.
The Witch Doctor had brought together some good acts, on Saturday Night it was the turn of The Beat Merchants plus Chapter IV, on the Sunday Club It was the very popular recording group The Mark Four. The rest of the week would have been Record Nights with a whole supporting cast from the resident DJs at the club.
Over on the BBC –The light programmes offering for the weekend were – Saturday – 10.00 Saturday Club with Brian Matthew and this week his guests would have included Allan Sherman, Lulu & the Luvvers, Cliff Bennett& The Rebel Rousers, Heinz and the Wild Boys. 12.00noon it was Lance Ago go. 12.30 Sports Parade, 12.50 The NDO [Northern Dance Orchestra] with Terry Burton. 1.15pm Country Music with David Gell “ Walk Right In” this was followed at 2.00pm by Saturday Swings – this week including The Ivy League, Dennis Lotis, The Blue Aces Showband and The New Radio Orchestra. 4.00pm it was time for Folk Club with Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGregor their guests included The Strawberry Hill Boys, The Spinners and Jim Dale.
Sunday was very much the usual format, with Easy Beat, 2 Way Family Favourites and Top Of The Pops.
However on Bank Holiday Monday this are different, 10.00am “The Beatles Abroad” Brian Matthew is on tour with the Fab Four in Canada and The US. 10.45am “You Really Got Me” – with the Kinks, Yardbirds, Transalantics, Laure Lee, Kenny Lynch and The Kenny Salmon Sound. 12.00noon Mid day spin with Don Moss. 12.50pm it was Monday with Mack – The Ken Mackintosh Orchestra, Don Lang and The Frantic Five, the Ivy League show introduced by Paul Hollingdale. 2.00pm – Swing into Summer with Simon Dee, Adam Faith, the Hollies, Billy J Kramer, Terry Lightfoot Jazz Band, The Baron Knights, TONY RIVERS & THE CASTAWAYS, Marian Williams, Craig Douglas, The Transatlantics, The Brooks. This was followed at 4.00pm with “The Rolling Stones” introduced by Tony Hall and also featuring Hermans Hermits and the Three Bells, at around 5.00pm it would have reverted to Grandstand/results programme.
Television was a little different – on Saturday there was no Juke Box Jury, and BBC1 would have covered live Grandstand from lunchtime to 5.15pm. 7.00pm it was the Billy Smart Circus, 8.00pm “The Likely Lads “this week’s episode – A Star is Born !! 8.25 it was a visit to the City Varieties Leeds for the Good Old Days, with Leonard Sachs as the Chairman. Over on BBC 2 there was a programme called Gadzooks featuring Roger Whittaker, The Beat Girls and The Three Bells.
Thank Your Lucky Stars was broadcast from Birmingham on the Saturday, with Jim Dale, Cliff Bennett & Rebel Rousers, Ken Dodd and Vince Hill.
There you have a potted history of the Bank Holiday 50 years ago, and not a Mod or Rocker in sight, so I don’t know what the press would have come up with to fill their papers. What infuriates me is that people today, who were not there at the time, but think they know all about that period in our social history, keep going on about the Mods and Rockers and The Troubles. I have just one thing to say and I will end – grow up!!
On that ranting note, which is not like me, let’s look forward to the coming weeks and what is happening here in the town now 50 years LATER – The Pier is on the way to being back in our uses, likewise with Bottle Alley and parts of the seafront, we have some cracking events planned this autumn not forgetting the St Michaels Hospice Concerts at the White Rock – lets enjoy, but most of all, lets enjoy our memories.
Till next week episode you all take care Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2015