Stage hand recalls stars of the 1960s and ‘70s
I was very interested to read the feature (August issue) about the summer shows in Great Yarmouth in the 1960s and 1970s.
I worked as a stage hand at the Wellington Pier theatre for three summers, 1966, ‘67 and ‘68 and in 1966 the top of the bill was Terry Scott and Hugh Lloyd, which I presume was the show Terry Redhead mentioned in the article.
Also in the show that year was The Dallas Boys, who I thought had a fantastic act with their vocal harmony and comedy routines.
In that show was a little Welsh crooner from Swansea called Donald Peers whose most famous song was ‘Babbling Brook’. He was a man of mature years but in 1969 found himself top of the pops with a song called ‘Please Don’t Go’.
The stage manager at the Wellington was a lovely man called Ambrose Taylor.
You can always see Hugh Lloyd by watching old episodes of Hancock’s Half Hour, in which he appeared a number of times, including in the all-time classic, ‘The Blood Donor’,s which also has in it the truly wonderful June Whitfield, which brings us back to Terry Scott, her TV husband for many years.
In 1967 at the Wellington it was Val Doonican and Arthur Askey and in 1968 it was Des O’Connor and Mrs Mills. Des was top of the pops in 1967/68 with big hits such as ‘Careless Hands’ ‘I Pretend’ and ‘Dick A Dum Dum’ written by the multitalented Jim Dale, who went from Carry On films to Broadway and life in America.
It was two full houses a night back then at the Wellington and happy days.
Could I also say that on page 21 the gentleman standing next to Bruce Forsyth is Arthur Haynes, not Haines. Also, the lady in the picture, Penny Calvert, was also Mrs Bruce Forsyth and mother to his three daughters although sadly, in recent years she has been a resident at Brinsworth House, a retirement home for entertainers, in Twickenham.
The large gentleman on his knees in the front is not Joe King but Joe Baker who at that time was a comedy double act with Jack Douglas before they parted, with Joe working as a solo act and Jack going on to work as Des O’Connor’s stooge with his comedy creation Alf Ippytitimus.