Stage hand re­calls stars of the 1960s and ‘70s

Let's Talk - - POSTBAG - STEPHEN FENN Great Yar­mouth Nor­folk

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.

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