The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more 11th Feb 1967 by Andre Martin

Its mid way through February, and the reason that I have not posted anything for a couple of weeks, is that in Hastings there has been very little to report, here we are on Saturday 11th February 1967. The Pier Ballroom is in operation this weekend with a St Valentines Ball, heading the programme it Eastbourne’s own Gordon Rider and his Quartet with a programme of music and entertainments for the young and not so young lovers.
Along at the Witch Doctor, the usual patten was live music on Saturday and The Steve Maxted Show on Thursdays. This weekend Saturday 11th February we had a visit from The Meantimers and The Unloved[ not perhaps a good choice for St Valentines Weekend] and on St Valentine’s 14th the return of The Lonely Ones. What was the BBC offering us this weekend – Saturday Light Programme – 10.00am Saturday Club, with DDDBMT, Chris Farlowe, The Searchers, Maxine Brown & The Q Set, Truly Smith and The Powerpack, with Brian Matthew in charge. Later in the day, Jack Jackson Record Roundabout, Des O’Connor, Saturday Swingalong, Saturday Bandstand – this week The BMC Band, Chris Denning with “Where it’s At” and Desmond Carrington with Music from the Movies. The early evening was the time for Those were the days and later Frankie Vaughan, Forces Startime from RAF Anglesey, Music Parade, Saturday Night in Scotland and Pete’s Party with Pete Murray and Friends.
Sunday – Children’s Favourites, Easy Beat with David Symonds, This week’s Family Favourites was a Three Way link up between London Cologne and Singapore. The afternoon had its regular selection of comedy shows – Round the Horne & The Clitheroe Kid. A special “Farnon in Concert” introduced by John Dunn and 4pm it was Pick of The Pops. In the evening Movie Go Round, Sing Something Simple, Grand Hotel, The Men from The Ministry and later The Jazz scene with Humphrey Lyttelton.
Television high lights this weekend included Saturday BBC 1 – Grand Stand, Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs and his guests Simon Dee Alan Freeman Pete Murray and JS. Dr Who was off to Moonbase 1, The Monkees and then the Film Lost Treasure of the Amazon. The evening continued with The Rolf Harris Show, with special guest Sandie Shaw with a Song for Europe, Adam Adamant Lives, MOTD and The Late Show with John Bird. BBC 2 we had Rugby Special: Ireland v England, The Forsyte Saga, International Cabaret, Thriller – The Girl in a Black Bikini and the Midnight Movie 711 Ocean Drive with Edmond O’Brien and Otto Kruger. Sunday BBC1 – International Winter Sports : The World Bobsleigh Championships from Alpe d’Heuz in Austria. Film Matinee: Without Reservation – John Wayne & Claudette Colbert. The Lucy Show, Great Expectations, Pinky & Perky’s Island. In the evening it was Film : Pete Kelly’s Blues, followed by Dr Finlay’s Casebook, James Robertson Justice introduced Gala Performance from the London Ballet.BBC 2 – We had The Danny Kaye Show, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle play and On the Margin with Alan Bennett. Over on the Pirates, this week 50 years ago, Radio London Fab Forty was voted the most popular off-shore programme and Kenny Everett for a second time the most popular pirate DJ. The top 5 for this week was Beatles: Penny Lane, Pet Clark: This is my Song, Tremeloes: Here Comes my Baby, Jimmy Ruffin: I’ve Passed this way before and Englebert Humperdink : Release Me. Over on Radio Caroline South Johnny Walker presented – Monkees: I’m A Believer, Cat Stevens: Matthew and Son, Rolling Stones: Let’s spend the night together, Paul Jones : I’ve been a Bad Bad Boy, Move : Night of Fear.
So there we have it – 50 years ago this weekend, there is just one other event that I would like to mention, for those of you who followed the local groups, The Confererates were very well know and popular, this weekend it was that the lead vocalist emigrated with his parents to Canada, and I can remember on that Saturday night/Sunday Morning saying goodbye in Havelock Road of all places waiting for Taxis home.
Until next week when I open up the time machine again and have a delve around in fifty years of entertainments history. Enjoy St Valentines Night, and keep warm – the temperature keeps falling.     Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2017

Joe Knight… That’s information

The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more 13th Jan 1967 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Two weeks into the new year, Friday 13th January 1967 and we see life appearing in The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, and not just the Ballroom, but the longest Bar in the town and the Palm Court Restaurant, because it’s time for one of the BIG social events in the towns calendar – The annual KB Social Club Ball, and this year’s it’s no exception topping the bill at “The Black Cat Dance “ a big name from the world of Dance Bands – Bob Miller & The Miller Men. Dancing 8.00pm-1.00am and all for the price of 10/- [50p] This would have certainly added some sparkle to the weekend for many people. Without “Ready Steady Go” to kick start the weekend, things were usually very quiet, the Pam Dor both the coffee bar and Les’s club up stairs – admission 1/- dancing to the Juke Box, and there were one or two of the smaller clubs – The Nest for example down stairs in Robertson Street [live music] or top floor of The Fiesta. Along at the Witch Doctor, another up and coming group were booked in for that night, a group of up and coming young musicians from south London – The Herd, line up included Andy Bown [Keyboard/vocals] Gary Taylor [Bass] Andrew Steele [drums] and Lead Vocal & Guitar – Peter Frampton. The group had released 3 singles under Parlophone but none had charted, they now switched to Fontana and were under new management Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley and this was to prove a success in the coming months. The other attraction in the week, and for some this signified the start to the weekend, was the regular visit to the club from the Mad Man from Maidstone, who amongst his tricks and pranks, managed to find time to fit in some excellent music on disc that was a true reflection of the music that we all enjoyed in the town.
What would we find on Radio & Television this weekend 50 years ago – BBC Radio Light Programme offer us its usual mix – on Saturday – Saturday Club with Brian Matthew, Zoot Money Cream, Kenny Ball, Graham Bonney. Country Style, The Jack Jackson Show, Des O’Connor, Music from The Movies with Desmond Carrington, Saturday Swingalong, Saturday Band Stand with the Staff Band Royal Engineers Aldershot. Later you could have tuned into Have a Go with Wilfred Pickles, from The Ocean Club “Take a Bow” Cabaret show, Those were the Days, Bing Crosby, Forces Star-time from RAF Little Rissington- at the time home of the RAF Display Teams including the Black Diamonds pre runners of the Red Arrows [now the station is the National Fire Defence College] Dancing Round Europe and Pete’s Party.
Sunday radio, would again be very much the same, Easy Beat, Lunchtime 2 Way Family Favorites from London & Cologne, Ken Dodd, Jimmy Clitheroe, Billy Cotton Band Show, Semprini, Pick of The Pops, Does The Team Think, Movie Go Round with a special this week on Disney Films, Brain of Britain, Sing Something Simple, Grand Hotel, Sunday Half Hour, Men from The Ministry and later Jazz with Humphrey Littleton. Television on Saturday would mean BBC 1 – Grandstand, Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs and his guests again were Simon Dee, Alan Freeman, Pete Murray and Jimmy S. Dr Who, The Monkees The early film was Lost Word with Michael Renee & Jill St John, Val Doonican, Adam Adamant Lives, MOTD and The Late Show.BBC2 –Rugby Special France v Scotland, The Forsythe Saga, Whickers World and the Midnight Movie – Marlon Brands “On the Waterfront”. Sunday – International Skiing, Film Matinee “ Arise My Love” Ray Milland & Claudette Colbert, The Lucy Show, The Three Musketeers, Pinky & Perky, Film: “Cry from the Street” with Max Bygraves, Dr Findley’s Casebook and Leonard Bernstein Conducts.
Taking a quick look at the Pirate Radio Stations – Radio Caroline South with Steve Young: 1 I’m A Believer: The Monkees, 2 Sitting in The Park: Georgie Fame, 3 Sunshine Superman: Donovan,4 Anyway You want Me : Troggs, 5 Standing in the Shadows of Love : Four Tops. Over on MV Galaxy- Radio London – Ed Stewart played 1 Monkeys, 2 Nashville Cats: Lovin Spoonful,3 Matthew & Son: Cat Stevens,4 Tell it to the Rain Four Seasons and Hey Jo The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
So there you have a quick trip back 50 years to what was happening. I must admit that I did not go to the Witch Doctor that weekend, but spent the time with two chums in having a wander around the pubs mainly of the Old Town, we started in The Bodega Bar, then the Albion, the Pump House and The Anchor, and the we would have ended back at the Pam Dor for the late night bus. Kept us out of trouble. Until next week’s slice of History you all wrap up warm and be extra careful out there on the Pavements and Roads, it will soon be spring and improved weather, although we have not been too badly treated unlike some along the east coast and up north.                                Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2017

Geoff Peckham… Thanks, Andre. It takes ya back!

Karl Holden… Seeing you mention the Witch Doctor, was there a club called the Black Cat in Hastings during the mid-sixties? I’m sure we (the Midniters)played there a couple of times.

Andre Martin… Chat Noire – was over the Mac Fisheries in Castle Street, the entrance was via the alley between Wards in Queens Road and what used to be the information bureau, now a coffee shop.

Karl Holden… Ok, so as Guy Darrell & The Midniters we obviously didn’t appear at the Black Cat coffee bar. I can only think it must’ve been the Witch Doctor. This would’ve been 1963/64. Sometimes we were on the pier, sometimes in a club.

The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier and more. 10th September 1966 by Andre Martin

The town seems to be in limbo between the Summer Season and the Celebrations, its Saturday 10th September 1966 and for those who are interested, we are still running the buses on Summer Timetables, more late nights for the next few weeks. In the Pier Ballroom the resident Saturday Night band – Tony Strudwick continues to offer a “Party Night” with all the usual add-ons, the rest of the week it’s mainly the longest bar in the town that is the attraction and the fishing.
The Friday Night offering from Ready Steady Go has quite a good popular mix with Eddie Cave & the Fyx ?,David Garrick : Dear Mrs Applebee, The Zoot Money Big Roll Band :Big Time Operator, Peter & Gordon : Lady Godiva, Twice as Much : Step out of Line and topping the show The Who: Heatwave & I’m a Boy – no doubt all of these would have been heavily played at a local night spot in St Leonards.
The Night Club is of course The Witch Doctor, known to us all, and on this Saturday night we have another visit from The GayLords – previously known at Dean Ford and the Gaylords from Scotland and destined to be Marmalade in a few months, however never with Paddington Bear!! The rest of the week the club would vibrate to the best of vinyl and be described “ Go where the action is every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On the Radio that weekend, The Light Programme offered its usual mix including Saturday Club with DDDBM&T, The Fortunes, Hedgehoppers Anonymous, Glen Dale,& the Sectors this week Chris Denning. Lunchtime it was David Frost with Music Parade and the afternoon continued with Swing into the Summer with Simon Dee, and on the show this weekend The Hollies, The Fortunes, Rockin Berries, Susan Maughan, Robb Storm and the Whispers, Wout Steenhuis and Paul & Barry Ryan. The Band Stand this week was music from the Band of The Grenadier Guards. Later in the evening the main variety show was Dickie Henderson with “ Its Yarmouth” his guests included Barron Knights, Hope & Keen and The Karl Denver Trio. The Henry Wood’s Promenade Concerts were still running for the 1966 Season and the evening ended with Dancing to The Eric Winstone Orchestra, Simon Dee and Jazz. Television this Saturday included Grandstand & Cricket, Juke Box Jury – David Jacobs with guests Jackie Trent, Judith Archer, Peter Murray & Chris Farlowe. That evenings viewing included Dr Who, The Munsters, Till Death Us do Part, Match of the Day & Twenty Years after – the end of the Edinburgh Festival. Over on BBC 2 the Midnight film was “The Man that Never Was”
Sunday was the usual format of Childrens Favourites followed by Mrs Mills and Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce. The forces link up this week was London & Koln and the afternoon included the Mitchell Minstrels, The Navy Lark, Frankie Howerd, Melody Hour and Pick of the Pops. Movie Go Round featured “Carry on Screaming” with H H Corbet, Kenneth Williams and Jim Dale. Later that day Sing Something Simple, Steptoe & Son, Desmond Carrington music go round. The Sunday Half Hour that week was a joint English & Welsh production to mark the opening of the Seven Bridge. Televison included trips to The Farnbrough Air Display; It’s a KO between Bridlington & Otley, Perry Mason, The Ken Dodd Show and Sunday Prom.  Pirate Radio kept us entertained with the chart shows, and this week Radio Caroline South with Dave Lee Travis played Jim Reeves : Distant Drums, The Big O :Too soon to Know, Beatles : Yellow Submarine, Small Faces : All or Nothing,Lee Dorsey : Working in A Coal Mine. Over on 266 Big L, the charts for this week included – Jim Reeves : Distant Drums, Lee Dorsey : Working Down a Coal Mine, The Who : I’m A Boy, Billy Stewart : Summetime, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers : Got to Get you into My Life. So folks that’s how it was FIFTY YEAR AGO in the town and on Radio & Television, I can not think of anything else much that occurred, so until next week enjoy the sunshine and make the most of this extended “Indian” summer to enjoy yourselves and take care. Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016

Alan Esdaile… I remember the guy from Twice As Much coming in the shop on numerous occasions and being upsets that his songs were being used on most of the popular Immediate Record and sixties hit samplers and him not receiving any royalties.  Anyone know if he still lives in Hastings?