A Band Of Angels – 18th March 1966 and part 2 of The Happy Ballroom report by Andre Martin.



supplied by  Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection L-R:John Gaydon, John Baker, Andrew Petre, David Wilkinson, Mike d’Abo.

Here is the 18th March 1966 extra report –
As you can see we are looking at Hastings 7 St Leonards some 50 years ago, although it only seems like it was yesterday. We at the local college – Hastings College of Further Education had planned for the college Rag would coincide with the 900th celebrations of that famous battle around 14 October. Because of the term dates, our main entertainments were scheduled for June and would be a 3 nighter on Hastings Pier, the Big event being the Friday All Nighter. To start the ball rolling we decided that something in March would be a good idea, and looking for a theme, decided against St Patricks Night and went for 18th March – “ The Ides of March “ the entertainments committee organised this, and for some unknown reason decided to book the Dolphin Ballroom on the floor below the Witch Doctor, at the last minute this was changed and we had a very successful night. The Programme was top of the bill, Pye Recording artistes and old Harrovians “ A Band of Angels” supported by two excellent local groups The Defiants and The Victors and the record spinning was left in my capable hands.[ its strange that the word Disco does still not appear anywhere] As we had 2 members of the d’Abo family amongst the college student body, the addition of Mike in A Band of Angels, would ensure that Mrs d’Abo would be along to see the boys appearing on the night, she was a real trouper and all the noise, lights and great number of young people, never flinched the whole evening – she was a Star!
We arrange for a personal visit from the boys to Alan Jensen in the Disc Jockey in the afternoon for PR exercise, record & photo signing etc – these were always popular and you could rely on a very happy smiling Alan to be buzzing around the shop, and he came along to the club that night as one of our guests. On another personal level, that turned out to be the start of another interesting time for me, as I was asked to take over the organisation of the entertainments for the Rag 3 Day event later in the year, so great things ahead. A Band of Angels were a great act and I think one of their best records, and one that in subsequent years would get a big following on the Northern Soul Circuit was” Invitation” As this was a Friday night – “Ready Steady Go” had set the scene, and on the show that week, we saw Billy Fury-“I’ll never quite get over you” : Barbara Lewis : Bob Lind “Elusive Butterfly”: Spencer Davis “Somebody Help Me”[ has to one of my all time favourite records of the year ] Irma Thomas and The Who “ Substitute “ – which was the first single that I played that night, having been given a copy earlier in the week by Alan Jensen as Reaction records were doing a heavy promotion at the time. It was an excellent way to start the night. For those of you who remember that night, I hope this addition to my weekly blog has brought back good memories, I certainly remember that weekend for all sorts of reasons. Back to normal in the next couple days when we look at the weekend of 19 March 1966        Andre Palfrey-Martin© 2016.

Alan Esdaile …..Not sure if this record was a hit but was big with the Northern Soul crowd. I used to go and play the piano for Mike ‘d’Abo’s mum ‘Primrose’. A lovely lady and very much missed.

Andre Martin….Very true – now being played in Japan in the Northern Clubs ! Hope Mike and the Boys are getting their Yen.


The Happy Ballroom, David Bowie & The Buzz at Witch Doctor and more. 3rd September 1966 by Andre Martin


bowie & buzz

Andre Palfrey-martin collection

All too quickly the summer season ends and we start to return a more normal schedule, although as this was 1966 this would be still hectic for a few more weeks because of the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, as I write this we are remembering Saturday 3rd September 1966. The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier has The Tony Strudwick Big Band for this weeks entertainment, and the variety on offer has now been reduced to just the Saturday night – the Sunday Club ended on the Bank Holiday Weekend.
Along the coast, a distance that I was informed recently was just under 1 mile, the Witch Doctor is still following the Saturday Night live bands, and this week we have some chap, called Dave Bowie ?? And the Buzz, they have advertised them as Radio London Climbers! The remainder of the week is Record, but I understand that one of the most popular record spinners would be returning later in the month after a summer break. Our regular routine would for many have been Friday Night and Ready Steady Go with the show piloted through the bedlam by Cathy & Keith, on the show this week The Spencer Davis Group “When I come Home”, Wayne Fontana “Goodbye Bluebird, The Fortunes “ Is it really worth your While” & Sandie Shaw “ Run”. Lets take a look at the BBCs offerings – On The Light Programme on Saturday we had 10.00am Saturday Club with Don Moss sitting in for Brian Matthew, and the groups appearing included Alan Price, The Spencer David Group, Small Faces and Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. In the afternoon – Swing into Summer continues and this week’s artistes included Adam Faith, Vince Hill, The Ivy League & The Magil 5, for Brass Band Fans this was also the 114th National Competition broadcast live. The evening entertainments still with summer seasons in mind came from Great Yarmouth with Terry Scott & Hugh Lloyde, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Dallas Boys and The Countrymen. Later in the evening it was The Henry Wood Promenade Concert from the Royal Albert Hall. The evening ended with Dancing Over Europe and Simon Dee. Television – Grandstand, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Till Death Do Us Part, The Trouble shooters and Match of the Day. Sunday, was very much as usual – Radio – Children’s requests, Mrs Mills & The Happy Gang, Easy Beat. Three way Family Favourites – London, Koln & Singapore [BFBS were just about to move into their new studios in Tanglin Army Barracks on the island, that would be their home until the pull out of British Forces in 1972 from the Singapore Base – I remember it well] The afternoon was filled with the usual comedy, Melody and Movie times and later in the evening the main show came from Blackpool. The evening ended with Jazz Scene. Sunday was Educational till mid afternoon, then International Athletics, followed by It’s a KO – Blackpool v Lytham St Anne, Perry Mason and Ken Dodd. BBC 2 had Cricket and a feature on Animals in Trinidad.
On the pirates Tony Blackburn on Radio London Top Forty – Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers “ Got to Get you into my Life”, Lee Dorsey “ Working Down a Coal Mine”, Chris Andrews “ Stop that Girl”, Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band “ Big Time Operator & a band that I would work many times with a little later in the Decade on Hastings Pier – Episode Six “ Here There and Everywhere”. The top 5 on Radio Caroline this week – Dave Lee Travis on Caroline South – Roy Orbison “ Too Soon To Know”, The Beatles “Yellow Submarine, Manfred Mann “Just Like a Woman”, Small Faces “ All or Nothing” and Chris Andrews “ Stop that Girl”
So there we have another weeks memories of Hastings & St Leonards. I hope that it brought back the good times, even if after all these years perhaps that not quite as we remember them – memory can do some strange things to the truth.

Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016.

Andy Qunta… Thanks again, Andre. You took me right back there!

The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more 21st Jan 1967 by Andre Martin

One of the great things about the SMART meetings, are the times that people will ask ”What ever happened to ?” and that’s the start of another trip down memory lane and it was just that last week, we had been sad at the demise of “Ready Steady Go” but what ever happened to “Thank Your Lucky Stars” as some of you will remember I used to also include in my weekly blog, details of this regular pop show from the 1960s. The last regular edition of TYLS was broadcast on Saturday 25th June 1966, but they did put together a Christmas Special that went networked on NYE 1966. The final show included Brian Matthew, Jim Dale, Ivy League, Keith Fordyce, Pete Murray, Gene Pitney, Helen Shapiro, Cleo Laine, Herman’s Hermits and Peter and Gordon.
This weekend Saturday 21st January 1967, the Happy Ballroom, Hastings Pier is quiet, the only dancing being held were the twice weekly Pier School of Dancing in The Restaurant – Monday & Friday Night. The Witch Doctor was functioning on Saturday & Thursday nights, but I have to say that I have been unable to track down any advertising or details of who appeared. The Thursday would have been the traditional record entertainment in the hands of Steve Maxted, when anything could and did happen. BBC Light programme for the 21st included Saturday Club with The Who, Paul Jones, Brian Poole & Tremeloes, The Settlers, Brian Connell and the Round Sound and Sue & Sunny. The usual Saturday afternoon shows followed, Call it Country Style, Jack Jackson Record Roundabout, Des O’Connor, Swingalong, Saturday Band Stand, Music from the Movies, Those were the Days, Moira Lister, Forces Startime from Celle in West Germany. Dancing Round Europe, Pete’s Party with Pete Murray, On Sunday the key shows were Easy Beat, Three Way Family Favourites – London, Cologne and from RAF Luqa Malta. The Ken Dodd Show, The Clitheroe, Pick of The Pops, Movie Go Round, Sing Something Simple, Grand Hotel, Sunday Half Hour, The Men from the Ministry, Nicholas Parsons and The Jazz Scene.
Television for the weekend included on Saturday – Grandstand, Juke Box Jury this week David Jacob hosted the show with guests,Simon Dee. Alan Freeman, Pete Murray & JS. –Dr Who, The Monkees, The High Adventure Film was Saigon with Alan Ladd and Veronica Laki. Later that evening – The Rolf Harris Show, Adam Adamant Lives, Match of The Day and The Late Show. BBC 2 included The Forsyte Saga, and the Midnight Movie was Pitfall starring Dick Powell and Lizabeth Scott. On Sunday the schedule included Look at The Beachcombers a nature programme filmed in the North East, International Skiing from Austria, Film Matinee – Reach for the Sky, Great Expectations, Pinky & Perky’s Island, Meeting Point, Songs of Praise, Film – This Man Reuter starring Edward G Robinson, Dr Findley’s Casebook and the evening ended with Leonard Bernstein Concerts and this week featuring Stravinsky: Right of Spring. Over on the Pirates, Tony Blackburn on Radio London with the Big L Chart on Sunday, the top 5 records that weekend were:1 Matthew & Son : Cat Stevens, 2 Standing in The Shadows of Love : Four Tops, 3 Lets Spend the Night Together: Rolling Stones, 4 I’ve been a bad bad boy: Paul Jones, 5 I’m a Believer: Monkees. Over on Radio Caroline a hitch in the delivery of the new records caused a dely in broadcasting the week show until Tuesday 24 January. 1, I’m a Believer: Monkees, 2 Standing in the Shadows of Love: Four Tops, 3 Sitting in the Park: Georgie Fame, 4 Matthew & Son : Cat Stevens,5 Night of Fear : Move.
In the week leading up to this weekend, there had been several interesting events in the music world, 15th Jan: Rolling Stones perform on the Ed Sullivan Show – “Let’s Spend the Night Together”. 18th Jan: Epstein’s NEMS Enterprises amalgamates with The Robert Stigwood Organisation bringing together The Who, Cream, Merseys, Chrispian St Peters, Lord Such under one management. Jan 19th: Monkees No 1, Stones No 3. Jan 20th: Stones Release between “The Button Album. And finally on Sunday 22nd Jan the Rolling Stones appeared on Sunday Night At The London Palladium – but refused to go on the roundabout at the end.
Well there we have Week ending 22nd January 1967, not a great deal happening in Hastings, the weather was Dry, Sunny and rather mild with little light rain, the cold had left us for a while. Thinking back where I was working at the time, it must have been quite good, as there was very little heating, which fact has remained with me from way back. Moving on, I hope that your keeping warm, the temperatures have dropped over the last couple of weeks, and I fear that the Energy bills will have risen . Until next week and perhaps something more to report about the History of The Happy Ballrom – Hastings Pier have a good week. Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2017

The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more January 1967 by Andre Martin

January 1967 – we made it through New Year ’s Eve and its back to normal from now on – The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier is still not open for any form of entertainment, after all it is Saturday 7th January 1967. I fear this is going to be the case for a while, even my crystal ball is not showing much in the future – the Fishing is doing well and the Long Bar is open, but where are the visitors? For those of you who were missing the start to the weekend – Ready steady Go, I have had a search as what was on offer included CrackerJack – guest this week Wayne Fontana, The White Heater club with Andy Stewart, The New Comers, Perry Mason and Twenty Four Hours. Over on the ITV network, there is nothing of a musical nature to offer. The trouble was that nobody has Video Recorders at the time so we have no back catalogue to watch in its place. For many it would have been The Pam Dor that would have offered somewhere to go on Friday Evening. Or perhaps to the cinema, and we did have several still in operation at the time, but from memory it was more of a Sunday Night event or perhaps in the week. Down at the Witch Doctor – recovery had been quick after NYE and we would have had Steve Maxted to look forward to as a pick up on the Thursday. Saturday and it would have been live music and this week’s line up would be another of the regular and popular – Davy Sands & The Essex giving the club a good start to 1967.
The BBC for Saturday has on offer: Light Programme: Saturday Club with Pinkerton’ Colours, Jimmy James & the Vagabonds, Cat Stevens, The Alan Price Set, the Bystanders & the Alan Tew Orchestra. Brian Matthew is on hand to spin some records and have a chat with the guests. Lunchtime “Its Call it Country Style” with Murray Kash and Jack Jackson, later in the afternoon – Music from the Movies, Swingalong, band Stand and “Have A Go” The evening has “Those Were the Days”, Henry Mancini, “Forces Star Time” from Bielefield, vis BFBS Germany. Later – Dancing Round Europe and Pete’s Party with Pete Murray. Sunday the schedule included: Easy Beat, Three Way Family Favourites [London, Koln & Borneo]{ for those interested I have some new information about BFBS in the 1960s and will feature some of this as and when it is relevant} The Ken Dodd Show, The Clitheroe Kid, Billy Cotton Band Show, Semprini and Pick of The Pops. In the evening you had the choice of Movie Go Round, What Do You Know, Sing Something Simple, Grand Hotel, the Men from The Ministry and Jazz Scene. Television offered – Saturday – Grand Stand, Juke Box Jury, guests this week included Simon Dee, Alan Freeman, Pete Murray and Jimmy Saville with David Jacob in the chair. This was followed with Dr Who: The Highlanders, The Monkeys. Film: “If I Were King” with Ronald Coleman and Frances Lee. The Val Doonican Show, Adam Adamant Lives, MOTD, The Late Show. Over on BBC 2 you had Rugby Special- England v Australia, The Forsyth Saga, International Cabaret and the Midnight Movie was “Never Let Go” starring Peter Sellers, Richard Todd and Adam Faith. Sundays Television – Education and Training Programmes till 15.20 Film Matinee The Four Marx Brothers in “Horse Feathers”, Sleeping Beauty on Ice, The Three Musketeers, Pinky & Perky’s Island. Sunday evening film – “I was a Male War Bride” with Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan, Dr Finlay’s Casebook and to end the evening Leonard Bernstein Conducts – Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5, Over on BBC 2 there was The Danny Kaye Show, World Cinema – Les Cousins a French film with English Subtitles.
For those who preferred to tune into the Pirate Station, we had a great choice in the South-East, but the main 2 were of course Radio London and Radio Caroline South. Thinking about the choice, you also had Radio Luxemburg and for some, particularly in the winter month American Forces Network, which was broadcast from Bremerhaven in West Germany and via booster transmitters in coastal Holland that was aimed at East Anglia and the US bases. The Top Hits from AFN for 1966 were, Ballard of The Green Berets: SSGt Barry Sadler, Reach Out: Four Tops, Last Train to Clarksville: Monkeys, Cherish: The Association. Radio Caroline Countdown Of Sound, Saturday, January 7, 1967,from 12 noon till 3 pm – with Dave Lee Travis and from 0030 Johnnie Walker* on Caroline South : 1 Sitting in the Park: Georgie Fame, 2 Sunshine Superman: Donovan, 3 Save Me : DDDBMT, 4 Any Way You Want Me : Troggs, 5 Walk with Faith in Your Heart : Bachelors. Radio London with Kenny Everett played – 1, In The Country : Cliff Richard, 2, I’m a Believer : Monkeys, 3, Night of Fear : Move, 4, Come Round Here, I’m The One you Need : Miracles, 5, Nashville Cats : Lovin’ Spoonful. That’s the first week over; the Christmas Decoration will be down and packed away. Some of the shops, actually had theirs removed and the January Sales signs up by Boxing Day. Although it was different back 50 years ago, as many shops were closed for Sunday Trade, so you did feel that the weekend was different. Perhaps it was a good thing when you knew that Sunday was going to be a different type of day – answers on a p/c co SMART and I will let you know. Till next week you all take care.     Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2017

Andy Qunta… Thanks, Andre! I almost felt I was back there in time!

Jim Breeds… In the famous Time Machine?

The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more – 31st Dec 1966 by Andre Martin

Well here we are at the last day of 1966 – Its Saturday 31st December 1966, and I know that I may have already mentioned the New Years Eve, I thought that I would add some more to give you all a feel of what it was like 50 years ago this weekend. The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier is again in a situation of being closed, they had briefly opened the Ballroom for Christmas Eve, and then it was closed –no doubt they are suffering the economic downturn in the country. Friday night would have started off with the TV and a visit to Ready Steady Go, but as we all know – this has gone with the last transmission on Christmas Eve 24th.
The Witch Doctor was geared up for an excellent night as always, but I cannot find any trace of advertising of bands etc, I know that it took place as I was in the end persuaded to go along by two old friends of mine – John & Phil, but I have no idea of who played. And I must add, this loss of memory was not induced by excessive consumptions of alcohol, what I do recall was that it was packed and everybody was having a good time. One good thing about having this on a Saturday Night was that it went well past Midnight and January 1st was not yet a Bank Holiday in England, so nobody had to get up the next morning and go to work. The BBC offerings for the weekend included – on The Light Programme, Saturday: Saturday Club with Brian Matthew and his guests were Mindbenders, Julie Rogers, Guy Darrell, Geno Washington, O’Hara Playboys and The Alex Welsh Band. This was followed by Call it Country, the Jack Jackson Show, Music from the Movies, Swing along, and Greetings from Around Europe. Later we had Those Were The Days, The Stubby Kaye Show, Forces Star time from RNAS Lossiemouth [Home for many years of the aircraft from HMS Arch Royal & HMS Eagle, when not at sea] and at 10.00pm Alan Freeman hosted “Swing into the New Year” with a visit to Scotland. Sunday: Easy Beat, Two Way Family Favourites – London & Koln, the usual afternoon of comedy and music and at 4.00pm Pick of The Pops with Fluff. The evening continued very much as a normal Sunday with Grand Hotel, Men from the Ministry and Jazz Scene.
Television that weekend – Saturday: Grandstand, Juke Box Jury with guests Simon Dee, Alan Freeman, Pete Murray and Jimmy Saville with David Jacobs with the bell! Dr Who, The Monkeys, The Film was High Adventure and this was followed by Val Doonican, Match of The Day, Joyce Grenville and at 0.01am “ Entertainment from Scotland “ Over on BBC 2, we had Rugby Special, Mozart for NYE, International Cabaret and the Midnight Movie –“Night in the City”
On Sunday, the film was “Going My Way” with Bing Crosby, International Sky Jumping, Billy Smarts Circus, Sooty, and later film – “Bell Book & Candle. Regular Sunday night viewers would have been expecting Dr Findlay Casebook, with all the goings’ on in Tannochbrae And the evening ended with New Years Day Concert from Vienna.
The Pirates were trying to keep the music going with Radio Caroline South – Johnny Walker and Top 40, including the Troggs, Donovan – Sunshine Superman, DDDBMT, The Who and Elvis –I wish it would be Christmas all the time. Over on Radio London – Tony Blackburn with the Fab 40 – DDDBMT, Troggs, Cliff Richard – In The Country, Temptations – I know that I am Loosing You and Young Rascals – Too many Fish in The Sea.
That bring us all to the change over 1966 to 1967, and as I have said before a lot to look forwards to and memories to look back on. Until my next blog – have a safe and happy evening. For many Normal Service and the diets will resume very shortly !!                                  Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016

The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier and more 24th Dec 1966 by Andre Martin

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!

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.

The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more – 29th Oct 1966 by Andre Martin

As we move to the end of the month of October, life returns to normal, we have had the re-enactment of the battle, the visit from the current Queen and many dignitaries from around the world all leaving their mark, its Saturday 29th October 1966. The Happy Ballroom is again very quiet and there is just not much happening on the Pier. No doubt the Pier Company are still trying to find out who walked over the Triodome earlier in the year after a gig in the Happy Ballroom and made a small hole in the roof, as the rain was now coming into the building ? It certainly given a good test over the last couple of days, the Royal Visit was somewhat wet!  The Weekend would have started for some with our trip to “Ready Steady Go” and this week’s show would have included the Dave Clark Five, Bobby Goldsboro, Edwin Starr and The Troggs and Cathy and Keith keeping order. The Witch Doctor in Marine Court is running a reduced programme at the moment, and Saturday it’s the turn of Twickenham based Downliners Sect to head the entertainment on Saturday Night, the other big event in the week would have to be the return of that mad mad from Maidstone with all his crazy activities and a few good records thrown in as well – Yes you know who I mean – Steve Maxted. The BBC this weekend – Radio Light Programme: Saturday. Children’s favourites with Leslie Crowther, Saturday Clubs guests this week included Manfred Mann, Zoot Moneys Big Roll Band, Brian Poole, Kenny Ball, The Three People, Stevie Lewis and the Johnny Arthey Band with Brian Matthew. Lunchtime it’s David Frost, followed by Music from the Movies, Swingalong, Music Parade and Saturday Bandstand. In th3e evening we have Have a Go, A Night at the Music-Hall, from Stockholm Nord-Ring, Time for Old Time, The Phil Moss Orchestra, Graham Dalley & His Music and Pete’s Party with Pete Murray & records.
Sunday – Easy Beat, with Keith Fordyce, Lunchtime 12 noon 3 way link up for Family Favourites with London, Koln & BFBS Cyprus. The Navy Lark, The Clitheroe Kid and the Billy Cotton Band Show, Semprini and Pick of The Pops, were the afternoon show. Movie Go Round Pt 1 featured “After the Fox” with Peter Sellars, Victor Mature & Brett Ekland. Evening continued with Top of The Form, Singe Something Simple. Open House with Desmond Carrington, Sunday Half-Hour, Movie Go Round Pt 2, The Frankie Howerd Show, David Hughes with his choice of records and ending with The Jazz Scene.
Television would have included Saturday – Grandstand, Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs and his panel Rita Tushingham, Moira Lister, Adam Faith & Johnny Devlin. Dr Who, Dixon of Dock Green, Film “The Man in The Iron Mask”, the Val Doonican Show, the Lucy Show, Match of the Day and The Late Show. BBC 2 The Danny Kaye Show, “Breaking Point” a thriller in five parts, Theatre 625, and the Midnight Movie was “ Crashout” with William Bendix On Sunday after the educational programmes around mid-afternoon – Film Matinee “ Men with Wings” Fred MacMurray. The Best of Bilko: Cherokee Ernie, The Woman in White, Sooty, Where was Moses a religious quiz competition, Songs of Praise, Film “ They Were not Divided “ a tribute to the Guards Armoured Division, Billy Cotton Music Hall, The Leeds international Piano Competition 1966, the look of the Week ,Pirate Radio this weekend would have included top 5 from Radio Caroline South – Hollies: Stop,Stop,Stop. Four Tops: Reach Out, Paul Jones: High Time, Bobby Darin: If I were a Carpenter and Herman’s Hermits: NO Milk today. Radio London with Tony Blackburn Hollies: Stop, Stop,Stop. Four Tops: Reach Out, Bobby Darin: If I were A carpenter, Temptations: Beauty is Only Skin Deep and Cilla Black: A Fool am I .
I have in the back of my mind that there was a college Halloween Dance on the Friday Night, but I cannot find any information, I remember that somewhere at this point in time there was a do at the Dolphin Ballroom featuring the Searchers plus ?? Well it was 50 years ago!! Next weekend it would be Battle Bonfire Night, and that I do recall so until next week and the next look back at Hastings some 50 years ago, you all take care if you are “Trick or Treating” watch out, there are some strange people about!! Heh Heh!!            Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more. 28th Oct 1966 by Andre Martin

With the Battle of Hastings – circa 1966 have been fought and the winners, yet again William of Normandy, we can still expect to see Royal Visitors to Hastings in the coming week, for on Friday 28th October 1966, The Queen & The Duke of Edinburgh will be attending a lot of events in the town as part of the 900th Celebration of the Norman Invasion. Unfortunately the only part of Hastings Pier that will visit by the Royal Party is the Triodome to view the Tapestry. There is nothing scheduled for that weekend in the Happy Ballroom. Our Friday night celebrations would have been somewhat sad this particular Friday, I know that many people can always tell where and what they were doing when specific events happened – When the final whistle blew at Wembley in the World Cup Final earlier this year, the day JFK was assassinated, and sadly this Friday 21st October 1966 was another of those dates – It was the day of the Aberfan catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip which killed 116 children and 28 adults. I can remember exactly where I was when I first heard the news; it would have been 10.00am our break time and the Radio News would have been playing.
Our usual Television RSG as far as I can tell was still transmitted, and as it had been pre-recorded on the Wednesday, as it had been originally planned – It was a Who special, with such numbers as I’m a Boy, My Generation, Disguises, Rule Britannia and the group miming to Cliff Richard “Summer Holiday” also included were Lee Dorsey – Working Down a Coal Mine and Georgie Fame “Sunny”.
Along at the Witch Doctor on Saturday we have a visit from Paul & Ritchie and The Crying Shames, as was mentioned their big hit from that year was a Joe Meek production “Come on Back” incidentally this is not the same Cryin Shames that had the minor hit of “Please Stay” earlier in the year, the bands personnel had changed somewhat. Thursday Night was simply described as “In” Crowd Night 2/6d – I have no idea who would have been at the controls that night, but I think is safe to say, he came from Kent! I will let you do a little thinking on that. That was all that was open that week at the club, Just the Saturday and Thursday.
Let’s take a quick look at the radio for this weekend, BBC Light Programme – Saturday, would have most probably started with Children’s Choice followed by Saturday Club, this week Brian Matthew would have introduced DDDBMT, Ivy League, Jimmy James & The Vagabonds, The Easy Beats and The Montannas. Lunchtime, it would have been David frost at the Phonograph and Music from the Movies. Later we would have had Gay Byrne and Swingalong, Music Parade, Saturday BandStand and Douglas Reeve at the Organ of The dome Brighton. Early evening would have included Have A Go, A Night at The Music Hall, later it would have been Nord-Ring a collaboration of many of the Radio networks in Norther Europe and to close the day Simon Dee. Sunday would have included Easy Beat, Two Way Family Favourites – this week a TWO way link up between London & Koln, Afternoon comedy followed, The Navy Lark, The Clitheroe Kid, The Billy Cotton Band show, and then Semprini and Pick of the Pops. Movie Go Round Part 1 would have featured California Holiday with Elvis & Shelley Fabares. Top of The Form and Sing Something Simple would have followed. In the evening Open House with Desmond Carrington, Movie Go Round Part 2 and the evening would have ended with Humphrey Lyttelton and the Jazz Scene. On Television this weekend, Saturday hi-lights included Grand Stand, Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs his panel this week Sandie Shaw, Mike Felix, Gary Stephens & Marion Ryan. The usual format for Saturday evening would have been Dr Who, Dixon of Dock Green, Film – High Adventure, The Val Doonican Show, The Trouble Shooters, Match of the Day and The Late Show. BBC 2 featured Rugby Special, The Danny Kaye Show, The Man Craig, Whickers World and the Midnight Movie was “Don’t Bother to Knock” with Richard Widmark & Marilyn Monroe. Sunday early viewing was mainly of an educational nature, Mid afternoon The Quests of David Attenborough, Film Matinee this week was “ Bolero” staring George Raft and Carole Lombard. Bilko popped up around teatime, followed by the next episode of Woman in White, Sotty, The News and The Weather Man and Meeting Point. Songs of Praise came from Birmingham and the evening film was “Island in The Sun” with James Mason & Harry Belafomte. Billy Cotton came along at 9.30pm and the evening ended with Gala Performance introduced by James Robertson Justice.
Over on the Pirate ships, Radio Caroline South With DLT the TOP Five were – Four Tops : Reach Out. Troggs : Can’t Control Myself, Hollies : Stop, Stop, Stop, Georgie Fame : Sunny & Herman’s Hermits : No Milk Today. Over on Big L Radio London, Ed Stewart with their Top Five – Four Tops : Reach Out, Hollies : Stop, Stop, Stop, Bobby Darin : If I Were a Carpenter, Troggs : I Can’t Help Myself and Cliff and The Shadows : Time Drags By. Whilst writing this part, it is sad to record that we have lost Dave Cash this week, so many I know will remember The Kenny & Cash Show aand of course all the recent years when he broadcast from Radio Kent. This was not the happiest of weeks and something that would be with us for many years to come, looking back as I do 50 years I very much hope that the memories this weekly trip down memory lane bring are Happy and what when we remember they are the good times. Until next week, watch out for the Bonfire Brigades and flying fireworks – You all take great care.

Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016

The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more. 14th Oct 1966 by Andre Martin

14711511_10209099740588686_3405740415913953441_o 14681113_10209099744788791_6768812099512070374_o

all cuttings: Andre Palfrey-martin collection

I am posting this week’s History a little early, as some of the most interesting activity is going to take place on Friday 14th October 1966 will be the Invasion Ball in “The Happy Ballroom”, Hastings Pier and without doubt involve “the longest bar in town” Headlining the programme this night is Georgie Fame now without the Blue Flames, Bob Knights has been able to repeat the success of having him playing in Hastings as we did for the College All-Nighter in June, as he is about to start a national tour with the Harry South Big Band also on the programme this “battle night” are John Mayalls Blues Breakers, Shotgun Express and The Gass and all for £1.00 on the night.
We would have started the night with a trip to the TV Studios in London for this week’s edition of Ready Steady Go. Headlining were Paul Jones “High Time” and Dusty “All I see is You”
The Witch Doctor this weekend added a double bill to the Saturday Night presentation – The Majority plus the Coloured Raisins, who would appear several times over the years at the Pier, Witch Doctor and other venues in Hastings. Thursday Night was as ever the slot for Steve Maxted and his own particular brand of entertainment, as good as ever.
BBC Radio for the weekend, Saturday on Saturday Club – Cilla Black, Adam Faith, Chris Farlowe, Robert Parker, the Four Pennies, Wynder k frog, The Imp-Acts, & the Arthur Greenslade Orchestra all controlled by Brian Matthew. The following programmes followed a similar format and we had edition of I’m sorry I’ll Read that Again, Swingalong, The National Brass Band Festival. Music Parade, It’s Latin, Have a Go, A night At The Music Hall, Time for Old Time, Geoff Murphy and His Music, Simon Dee and to close the evening Lennie Felix and his Trio. Sunday’s offerings would have included – Easy Beat with The Johnny Howard Band, Laura Lee, Tony Stevens and Danny Street with records by Keith Fordyce. Lunchtime would have brought a Three Way Family Favourites link up with London, Koln and Borneo. Later in the day The Navy Lark, Billy Cotton Band Show, Semprini Serenade, Pick of the Pops, Listen to this Space, Movie Go Round –First House, featuring Fantastic Voyage with Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, Edmund O’Brien and Donald Pleasance. Top of the Form, Sing Something Simple, Open House with Desmond Carrington, Sunday Half Hour. Movie Go Round – Second House with Peter Haig, featuring The Battle of the Bulge starring Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan and Dana Andrews. Later Frankie Howerd, David Hughes, The Jazz Scene till closed down. Television on Saturday always started the afternoon with Grandstand followed by Juke Box Jury and this week David Jacobs had as guests Julie Rogers, David Hughes, Scott Hamilton and Truly Smith. Later Dr Who “ The Tenth Planet”, Dixon of Dock Green, High Adventure Film “ Fort Algiers” Raymond Burr and Lelf Erickson. From Great Yarmouth The Hippodrome Circus, the Trouble Shooters, News 7 Match of the Day. The Late show and this was followed by The Conservative Party Conference from Brighton. On Sunday we had Film Matinee –“I’m No Angel” with Mae West and Cary Grant, Western the Loner Series. Wilkie Collins “The Woman in White” Pt 3,Sooty, Meeting Point, Songs of Praise and Sunday Film “ No Highway” Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Jack Hawkins & Glynis Johns. Billy Cotton’s Music Hall. The Georgian State Dance Company, News and The look of the Week. Over on the Pirates, Radio Caroline South with DLT playing this week’s top records – Georgie Fame : Sunny, Four Tops : Reach Out I’ll Be There”, Troggs : Can’t Control Myself, Herman’s Hermits : No Milk Today and NVB :Winchester Cathedral. Big L Radio London contributions, NVB : Winchester Cathedral, Four Tops : Reach Out I’ll Be There, Troggs : I Can’t Control Myself, Bobby Darrin : If I were a Carpenter, Hollies : Stop, Stop, Stop.
So there we have 50 years ago this weekend what people were attracted to in Hastings, Plus there were all sorts of addition celebrations, parades and gatherings to enjoy and remember the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. Here we are now some 50 years later doing the same and celebrating perhaps one of the Key Dates in History 1066. Whatever you are up to this weekend enjoy yourselves and take great care.
Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

Steve Maxted… Hard to believe, 50 years has passed. Your knowledge of the history is amazing and invaluable