Entertainment for the teenager in the early 1960's
|Published: 30th July 2007 21:21|
By Manor Court Nostalgia Writer Peter Keat
What do you remember about the forms of entertainment we enjoyed during our time at school in the 60s? ( I was a Manor Court School myself at that time).
I am not talking about those first romances or clandestine meetings with girl friends and boy friends, enjoyable as they may have been and so often still very fondly remembered. I will spare my own, and other peoples blushes by drawing a veil over those occasions.
What I remember are days out in the summer with friends, we cycled miles all around the area and explored every nook and cranny. Flint House, Farlington Marshes, Forty Acres Farmhouse, Dead Mans Wood, Portsdown Hill and the Chalk Pits the back of the hill and other such places. We would even cycle out to Hayling Island to spend the day on the beach or Hambledon for a day in the country. But in the evenings things changed and out came the winkle picker shoes, or chisel fronts, tab collared shirts for the lads and stilettos and fashionable dresses for the girls and off we went to various venues to enjoy ourselves. But where did we go?
Maybe if the time of year was right we went to the fair on Portsdown Hill on the piece of land just above the QA Hospital at Cosham. The fair had its origins way back in 1193 when the area was granted a market, but I am sure most of us remember the colour, lights, the smell and the excitement of visiting the fair on its yearly visit. Over the years it has petered out and now there are no longer brightly lit swings, dodgems, roundabouts and other sideshows to be found for a week on Portsdown Hill.
There were, believe it or not dances at the Drayton Institute where such bands as Screaming Lord Sutch and the Crypt pickers, the Classics, Dave Dee and the Bostons (before they adopted that impossibly long name) and that little Andover band led by Reg Presley, the Troggs. There were sometimes live bands at the youth club in Manor Court but I do not remember any of the names of the groups but I do remember that it was here that I first came across bulk Coke in pressure containers very modern at the time.
There were also pop concerts every other Saturday at the Guildhall. I could only afford to go once a month and I remember flipping a coin with a friend to decide which group we would see that particular month. The call came down as the Rolling Stones, the group we turned down was the Beatles and I never did see them play live. However I do remember two other evenings at the Guildhall one was with Little Richard who performed so hard and so long that the band gave up at 23.00 and left the stage but undeterred he continued for another 45 minutes on his own until the management were frightened of infringing the Sunday Entertainment laws. The other occasion I remember was the broadcast of Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs in the chair, I cannot remember who was on the panel that night but I do remember being very surprised that the set was so knocked about and tatty, but I suppose back in the days of black and white TV it did not notice.
Friday nights was always Scout night for me and as I grew older and became a Rover Scout this meant shorter Scout meetings and long visits to The George on the top of the hill. At that time over the weekends there always seemed to be a party somewhere, and I can remember attending quite a few, but no details no pack drill.