1968 rock in Aylesbury

1968 proved to be a difficult year for music promoters in Aylesbury.

Eddie Friday pulled the plug on Saturday nights at the Borough Assembly Hall in June. Eddie’s problems were outlined in the Bucks Herald:

Eddie told us this week of his tremendous loss in takings over the past 18 months. “Lack of patronage over the past 18 months has been diabolical,” he said. Another of his main headaches, he said, is the B.A.H. itself. The decor is all wrong, it just doesn’t compare with other dance halls like Top Rank at Watford, and it lacks atmosphere.

The list of artists continued to be rather strange – including Margitte Bardot (the little kmown younger sister of Bridgette Bardot), The Rock ‘n Roll Revival Showband and The Merseys – a “big name” group which attracted only 139 people and lost Eddie £127. Eddie Friday put on two more shows. On July 19th The Foundations, in conjunction with Aylesbury Borough Council, which also made a loss, and in December The Move.


At the beginning of the year, Andrew Smythe as the Ready Steady Go Club, put on The Foundations and The Love Affair. According to the ads for The Love Affair, he also planned to put on The Plastic Penny on March 2nd, but this did not happen.


On 29 February, the front page story of The Bucks Herald was “Wanted “pop” – got Town Clerk – Group failed to appear”:

About 150 young people paid 10s. to see top pop group The Foundations at Aylesbury’s Borough Assembly Hall on Friday. Instead they saw the Town Clerk, Mr. R. D. W. Maxwell who was called from his Aylesbury home to placate the youngsters who were furios at having paid for a group which did not appear.

The promoter was a Mr. Raine from London, who had booked the hall through his company North West Productions. On 7 March, the Bucks Herald ran an editorial entitled “Pop Fans Need A Guarantee” which began:

It is time Aylesbury Borough Council’s Parks and Public Buildings Committee, and possibly the council as a whole, took a closer look at the terms and conditions under which the Borough Assembly Hall, owned by the council, is let. Without referring to any specific incident, there have been a number of occasions when a large number of young people have been badly let down, inasmuch as they have paid a not insignificant sum to hear big-name groups who have failed to appear.

On March 28, the Bucks Advertiser reported on it’s front page under the title “Moves To Protect Pop Fans” that action had been taken:

How to protect pop fans – that was the subject debated at length by Aylesbury Borough Council’s Parks and Public Buildings Committee on Friday. The committee came up with a list of new provisions which, it is hoped, will ensure that fans get fair play when they pay to see pop shows at the Borough Assembly Hall.

In May and June, Cyril Meichtry – who sometimes billed himself as Cyril of The Green Man – put on three gigs on Friday evenings at the Brough Assembly Hall – The Marmalade, The Herd and The Tremeloes.

In an interview with the Bucks Advertiser on May 16, Cyril said: “Somebody had to do something, because the teenagers were not getting the entertainment they wanted”. The Advertiser commented: “And so for this reason, and the fact that much of his trade depended on the number of spectators at the shows, Mr. Meichtry decided to venture into the pop show business.”

The Herd played to a full house – the Bucks Advertiser reported that “for the first time in ages a group played to capacity crowds in the hall” – but The Tremeloes were less of a draw and played to a half-empty hall, with a loss of more than £200 for the promoter.

I believe that Cyril Meichtry passed away in May 2011, aged 90.


After Eddie Friday had confirmed that he had cancelled his block booking of Saturday nights at the Borough Assembly Hall, the council invited tenders to take over these dates. At the end of October, it was announced that Adrian Hopkins from Oxford had been chosen from six tenders that had been received. Adrian Hopkins also promoted dances at Oxford Town Hall and the Bridge Hotel, Wheatley, and ran a booking agency.

The first date was on November 30 with Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds. In the following weeks, The Herd, Simon Dupree and the Big Sound and the Sonny Burke Soul Show appeared – but these were not a success. The Bucks Herald reported that:

His first promotion, when Chris Farlowe appeared, drew an audience of a little over 300. The second, with The Herd as the main attraction, attracted 230. The third promotion, Simon Dupree and the Big Sound, brought in 203, the Sonny Burke Soul Show, plus the Emotional Feet, attracted 80.

On January 9, 1969, the Bucks Advertiser reported that:

After presenting only four shows as the Borough Assembly Hall’s Saturday night pop promoter, Adrian Hopkins has asked Aylesbury Borough Council to release him from his contract.

Mr. Hopkins successfully tendered £30 for each Saturday night booking when the council was seeking a successor to former Saturday night promoter Mr. Eddie Friday. But Mr. Hopkins soon experienced the “apathy” that caused Mr. Friday to back out of his Saturday night block booking. He claims he made a £730 loss on the four promotions.


See below for list of gigs at the Borough Assembly Hall.

Another venue presenting live music was the John F. Kennedy in Bicester Road, where Curly Fields was the promoter. During the year Curly presented Humphrey Lyttelton and his band in May, and The Karl Denver Trio at August bank holiday. There may have been more – the ad for Humphrey Lyttelton shows: “Forthcoming Thursday attractions may include: Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, Chris Barber”. Any more details about gigs at the John Kennedy would be welcome.

By the end of the year, Curly had decided to move on. Writing in the Bucks Herald, Dave James wrote:

Curly has given us professional entertainment from time to time and was to have entered into the world of cabaret for the first time in Aylesbury with the appearance of Diana Dors. But Curly has decided to move on where there is more demand for his efforts – at Paignton, Devon.


Folk, blues and jazz found a home at the Derby Arms.

In February, Willie Barrett and Mike Batory formed the Thumbstrumb folk club, firstly at the Bricklayer’s Arms in Walton before moving to the Derby Arms.

Also at the Derby Arms, Ron Watts and Bob Savage presented blues. Ron Watts was running The Blues Loft at the Nag’s Head in High Wycombe, and was looking to do something similar in Aylesbury. The Bucks Herald reported:

The quiet of St. Mary’s Square, Aylesbury, which comprises the parish church surrounded by some fine houses, has recently been shattered on Monday evenings by some beautiful sounds emanating from the Derby Arms which is also in the square …

After a rather inauspicious start with a group called the Levee Camp Moan, the club is rapidly gaining strength. The Steve Miller Delivery, a very good jazz-influenced band, which normally has Lol Coxhill, of Aylesbury, as a member, played an excellent evening there, and other bands are to follow. Some of the bands, including the Smokey Rice Blues Band, from Princes Risborough, are to be featured on an E.P. produced by Ron Watts.


Blues Loft membership card

The year also saw the start of Saturday evenings at the Aylesbury Social Club, with bands such as Harlem John’s Reshuffle. Earlier in the year the Social Club was the venue for a number of appearances by local band, Concrete Parachute.


See here for a list of gigs at Aylesbury Social Club. We have very little information about the Aylesbury Social Club and would love to know more – if you can help, please get in touch.



Borough Assembly Hall gigs:

DatePromoter NameArtist 1Artist 2
5/1/1968Andrew Smythe / Ready Steady Go ClubThe Foundations
6/1/1968Eddie FridayThe New England MoodThe Associates
19/1/1968Andrew Smythe / Ready Steady Go ClubThe Love Affair
20/1/1968Eddie FridayThe Sound TrekkersThe Acceleration
27/1/1968Eddie FridayLamb Bros. and CompanyThe Re-action
3/2/1968Eddie FridayThe TraxThe Ginger Factory
10/2/1968Eddie FridayThe Special OfferSurrealist Adventure
17/2/1968Eddie FridayThe Bird & The B'sThe Brain Police
24/2/1968Eddie FridayThe Herbal MixtureThe Choice Soul Band
2/3/1968Eddie FridayMargitte BardotThe Associates
9/3/1968Eddie FridayThe Clayton HazeThe Out Of Order
16/3/1968Eddie FridayThe Entire Sioux NationThe Ginger Factory
23/3/1968Eddie FridayThe CortinasThe Rocky Rivers Record Show
13/4/1968Eddie FridayThe Rock 'N' Roll Revival ShowbandCandy Bus
15/4/1968The SymbolsMax Baer and the Chicago Setback
20/4/1968Eddie FridayThe En-devers LtdFriday's Mind
22/4/1968J. J. JacksonJoyce Bond Revue
27/4/1968Eddie FridayThe Night TrainThe Phoenix
4/5/1968Eddie FridayThe TramlineHellhouse Shale
10/5/1968Cyril MeichtryThe MarmaladeBobby Johnson and the Atoms
11/5/1968Eddie FridayThe Clayton HazeThe Out Of Order
25/5/1968Eddie FridayThe FreeholdThe Rocky Rivers Record Show
24/5/1968Cyril MeichtryThe HerdWild Silk (formerly The Tramlines)
1/6/1968Eddie FridayThe Cole Trane UnionThe Concrete Parachute
8/6/1968Eddie FridayThe Rinky Dink Rock 'N' Roll ShowThe Surrealist Adventure
14/6/1968Cyril MeichtryThe TremeloesThe Crew
15/6/1968Eddie FridayThe MerseysPinky and the Phellows
22/6/1968Bucks Ass of Youth Clubs / Eddie FridayMahogany Guinness BluesThe Re-action
19/7/1968Eddie FridayThe FoundationsRainbow Ffolly
9/9/1968Colin DaleCamerons Impact
16/9/1968Colin Dale27th All Stars
26/10/1968Grange Youth Club/Eddie Friday5th DynastyPsycho
30/11/1968Adrian HopkinsChris Farlowe and the ThunderbirdsPaper Lemon
6/12/1968Eddie FridayThe Move
7/12/1968Adrian HopkinsThe HerdYesterday's Papers
21/12/1968Adrian HopkinsSimon Dupree & The Big SoundInorganic Confusion
24/12/1968Forever ChangesU-No-Who
28/12/1968Adrian HopkinsSonny Burke Soul ShowEmotional Feet


1967 rock in Aylesbury

1967 saw some major names appearing on the stage of the Borough Assembly Hall. These included some giants from the rock world, and others from the pop world.

In February 15th, Cream appeared, presented by Paul Hayward (sometimes shown as Paul Haywood) of the Ricky Tick club, which operated in Windsor and other local towns. John Braley in an interview on the Friars Aylesbury website recalls: “That was when Clapton had just got an afro haircut. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker spent the whole gig staring at him and laughing”.


Paul Hayward, under his own name or as Ricky Tick, also presented Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band, Zoot Money, John Mayall, Georgie Fame and Tomorrow featuring Keith West.

On 28th March, the Jimi Hendrix Experience played.

Jimi Hendrix

Eddie Friday continued to promote gigs on Saturday evenings, and also some in midweek. The list of those appearing contains an odd selection of artists. From the world of pop there was Englebert Humperdinck (30th May) and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich (20th June). There were names from the past, such as Heinz and the Wild Boys (4th February), The Barron Knights (4th March) and Duane Eddy (17th October). And many of those who appeared on Saturday evenings are now hard to recognise.

On February 16th, the Bucks Advertiser reported that the Council would offer grants to support music events in the town:

Grants to support jazz and pop concerts as well as classical music may be made by Aylesbury Borough Council some time soon. But on Monday the council agreed not to under-write a visit by Kenny Ball and his Jazz Men being arranged for promoter Eddie Friday on February 22.

But it also recommended that the council’s officers explore with Mr. Friday the possibility of the council promoting concerts of jazz and pop music with “star performers” in association with Mr. Friday.

This eventually took the form of the Council supporting the appearances of Englebert Humperdinck and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich at the Borough Assembly Hall in midweek slots.


However these did not draw in the expected crowds. In an article “Why pop is not a sell-out”, the Bucks Advertsier reported:

Aylesbury’s pop bubble seems to have burst. A dance held anywhere in the district these days just won’t bring in the profits anymore.

Two pop concerts held at the Borough Assembly Hall recently, were sponsored by the Aylesbury Borough Council. They lost over £550. It was stated previously that £400 was to be the maximum outlay for four such concerts.

Things didn’t get any better. Later in the year, Eddie Friday presented Duane Eddy, again in a mid-week slot – but this time only 139 people came.


Towards the end of the year, there was another problem when promoters Andrew Smythe and John Raine advertised The Temptations – which was assumed to be the Motown group.


However as Phillip Apps and Dave James, writing in the Bucks Herald, reported:

The group which appeared was called The Fabulous Temptations, and may well have come from America. But it was not the group which appears on the Tamla Motown hit records credited to The Temptations. Not only was the group which appears on the records not booked to appear at the hall – it was not even in the country.

At other venues, we know that Lol Coxhill set up a jazz club on Monday evenings at the Crown Tavern in the High Street (closed in around 1980, when work began on the construction of Hale Leys Shopping Centre). An ad shows Lol playing on 30th January, with Jeff Read, Ted Speight and Tony Knight. But this was apparently not a success, as on February 23 Tony White wrote in The Bucks Advertiser:

Lol Coxhill tells me that his Crown Tavern sessions are not drawing the crowds he would like.


Later in the year, Lol was reported to be running a monthly jazz club at Unity Hall in Castle Street.

There was also the White Hart Folk Club at the White Hart Hotel in Exchange Street.

Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers were advertised to play at the Zig Zag Discotheque at the Aylesbury Social Club on 5th June, but it is uncertain whether they played. Later in the year, Dave James started his Discville nights at the New Friarage Hall – a venue that would become significant a few years later.

List of gigs at the Borough Assembly Hall in 1967:

DateVenuePromoter NameArtist 1Artist 2
7/1/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe En-devers LtdThe Kontax
21/1/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayEasy Come Easy GoThe Deep
25/1/1967Borough Assembly HallPaul HaywardGeno Washington and the Ram Jam Band
28/1/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayTricia and the Southern Valley FourDenim Blues, Deuces Wild
4/2/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayHeinz and the Wild BoysThe Ironsides
7/2/1967Borough Assembly HallPaul HaywardZoot Money
10/2/1967Borough Assembly HallBucks Ass of Youth Clubs / Eddie FridayThe New Jump BandThe Tridents
11/2/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe UglysThe Associates
15/2/1967Borough Assembly HallPaul HaywardCream
18/2/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayPhil Hunter and the JaguarsThe Substitutes
21/2/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayKenny Ball and his Jazzmen
25/2/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe BobcatsThe Choosey Beggars
4/3/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Barron Knights with Duke D'MondPinky and the Phellows, Just Us
25/3/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe AnzaksThe Vibratones
28/3/1967Borough Assembly HallJimi Hendrix Experience
31/3/1967Borough Assembly HallPaul HaywardJohn Mayall
1/4/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe En-devers LtdThe Tridents
8/4/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Scots of St. JamesFreddie Fingers Lee and the Upper Hand
15/4/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe MeantimersThe Vivas
22/4/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridaySound CityLloyd Williams, Sounds from Spectre
29/4/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridaySoul ReasonThe New Era
6/5/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayGates of EdenDeuces Wild
12/5/1967Borough Assembly HallThe Small Faces (did they play?)The Soul Trinity
13/5/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe ReasonsThe Daystroms
27/5/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe StepThe Tridents
30/5/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayEnglebert HumperdinckThe Bystanders
3/6/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe AnzaksThe Sneakers
10/6/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayMotown TrinityThe Memphis Gents
17/6/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe BlockThe Nett
20/6/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayDave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and TichThe En-devers Ltd
24/6/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe SymbolsThe Driftwood
1/7/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayGates of EdenThe Crew
8/7/1067Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayPinky and the PhellowsThe New Era
15/7/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Worrying KyndeThe Industrial Revolution
22/7/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Wages of SinThe Flowers
29/7/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsMarie (DJ)
5/8/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Memphis GentsThe Vibratones
11/8/1967Borough Assembly HallRicky Tick Promotions ?Georgie Fame
12/8/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe DriftwoodThe Angelo Six
18/8/1967Borough Assembly HallRicky Tick PromotionsTomorrow featuring Keith West
19/8/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe En-devers LtdThe Vivas
2/9/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Mazeplus supporting group (unknown)
9/9/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Memphis GentsThe Exit
15/9/1967Borough Assembly HallHoratio Soul and the Square DealJ. J. Bender and the S.O.S.
16/9/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe U-No-WhoThe Re-action
23/9/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Crash LandingThe Flowers
30/9/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe ImpulseThe Associates
7/10/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe KobaltsThe Ironsides
14/10/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Purple BarrierGranny's Attic
17/10/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayDuane EddyBobby and the Rebels, Soho's Fabulous Go-Getters
21/10/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Cole Trane UnionThe Dream
4/11/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Wages of SinThe Acceleration
11/11/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Quick Re-actionThe Spectre Powerhouse
21/11/1967Borough Assembly HallAndrew Smythe and John RaineThe (Fabulous) TemptationsThe Avalons, Parkers Mood
18/11/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe En-devers LtdThe Ginger Factory
25/11/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Virgin SleepThe Reaction
2/12/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Memphis GentsGranny's Attic
9/12/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe DreamSurrealist Adventure
23/12/1967Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayPinky and the PhellowsThe Denim Blues

1966 rock in Aylesbury

The Ready Steady Go Club, which had started in Aylesbury at the end of 1965, presented more gigs at the Borough Assembly Hall before closing in the spring of 1966. On 4 January Them appeared:

Image: Bucks Herald / Aylesbury Remembered
Image: Bucks Herald / Aylesbury Remembered

However, the club had trouble with artists failing to turn up or equipment not arriving, and small crowds.

On 25th January, the Mark Leeman Five were due to appear – but only three of them appeared. The Bucks Advertiser reported:

Last week a much reduced Mark Leeman Five – without a vocalist and organist – gave us a makeshift show of, mainly, instrumentals. Although, admittedly, it may not be the club’s fault, this is the second time recently that things have gone wrong with group bookings.

Worse was to come when Inez and Charlie Foxx were due to play on 8th February. They arrived – but their backing group did not. John Finn reported in the Bucks Advertiser:

The famous American brother and sister singing team did arrive but a backing group did not. For two hours they sat in their dressing room twiddling their thumbs waiting for the group that was supposed to have left London at six o’clock …

Eventually Inez and Charlie agreed to appear and sang over one of their records. Teenagers rushed to the front of the hall and with just one number the Foxx’s rhythm and music swept over the small crowd. Resounding cheers followed their one and only number after which anger flared up again.

RSG Inez and Charlie Foxx

A few weeks later, on 22nd February, Tony Rivers and the Castaways were due to play – but the same thing happened. The Bucks Advertiser commented:

Another chapter in the trouble-plagued history of Aylesbury’s RSG was written on Tuesday night.

Three times now, in almost as many weeks, things have turned sour with artistes. On Tuesday the twist, treated by teenagers as a poor joke that is quickly wearing thin, was with Tony Rivers and the Castaways. They turned up, but their equipment didn’t. Again, no show.

Things got no better when another club, the Top Of The Pops Club, opened. The intention was to present top DJs, with some live bands. Pete Murray appeared with The Mindbenders.


There were soon allegations of payments not being made – under a front page heading of Top Of Pops Club Flops, the Bucks Herald reported on March 18th that:

Agents for two of the country’s top disc jockeys alleged this week that they had been unable to get payment from the Top of the Pops Dance Club, based in the Borough Assembly Hall, Aylesbury. They maintain that Alan Freeman and Peter Murray – famous faces on television and well-known on radio – have received no money for their personal appearances.

And club members who intended going to the club tonight to see The Small Faces, last week No. 1 in the hit parade, will be disappointed. Their agent has told The Bucks Herald that the group, contrary to an announcement made from the Assembly Hall stage last week, have never been booked to appear at Aylesbury.

Top of Pops Club front page

Meanwhile, Eddie Friday continued with his Saturday evenings, distancing himself from the problems with other promoters. Among artists appearing for Eddie on Saturdays were Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, The Honeycombs, Patti LaBelle and her Bluebelles, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes and The Ink Spots.

Eddie Friday with Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles - 7 May 1966 Image: Bucks Herald / Aylesbury Remembered
Eddie Friday with Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles – 7 May 1966
Image: Bucks Herald / Aylesbury Remembered

The Ink Spots was a strange booking. Tony White in his review in the Bucks Advertiser wrote:

It must have been very difficult – and nerve-wracking – for the Ink-Spots to face a crowd of beat-crazy teenagers at Saturday night’s Eddie Friday promotion at the Borough Assembly Hall, Aylesbury.

At least that was the impression I got from the wings as I watched this veteran group of American showbusiness at work. They looked nervous in front of the youngsters, most of whom had probably never heard of them. That the Ink-Spots’ music was so many years pre-beat was very obvious…

This is the first visit to Britain by the Ink-Spots since 1952. Billy Bowen told me after the show that American bases around the country are included in their itinery. I’m sure they will be far more appreciated there than in the current British ballroom scene.

On 18th October, the El Bribon Organisation put on Lee Dorsey, who had a hit with “Working In A Coal Mine”.

Note: There is some confusion as the local papers also carried ads for Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band on the same evening!

Lee Dorsey review

Towards the end of the year there were more problems with artists advertised but not appearing. On 22nd November, the El Bribon Organisation advertised Tom Jones – billed as “The Greatest Rave Night in Aylesbury”. However Tom Jones did not appear. Dave James later reported:

Last November, posters all over the town proclaimed a show and a dance would star Tom Jones. Tickets were even available from local shops. Tom Jones did not appear, which was not surprising – he was not booked to appear and did not even know his name was on the posters.

Crowds of youngsters turned up on the appointed day, to read a notice saying there would be no show and no dance.

Tom Jones ad

1966 also saw the first Hobble on the Cobbles in the Market Square – see here for more.

List of gigs at the Borough Assembly Hall in 1966:

DateClubPromoter NameArtist 1Artist 2
1/1/1966Eddie FridayChris AndrewsBarry Lee and the Planets, The Ironsides
4/1/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThem
8/1/1966Eddie FridayThe BystandersThe En Devers Ltd, The In-Sect
18/1/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Applejacks
22/1/1966Eddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsThe Gent-L-Men
25/1/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Mark Leeman Five
29/1/1966Eddie FridayPeter Jay and the JaywalkersThe New Creations, The Future Set
1/2/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Paramounts
5/2/1966Eddie FridayThe CaesarsThe Associates
8/2/1966Ready Steady Go ClubInez and Charlie Foxx (no backing group - only one song)
11/2/1966Eddie FridayThe AnzaksThe Ravons, The 5th Dynasty
12/2/1966Eddie FridayStevie, Johnny and the Various OthersThe Tridents, The Unchained
15/2/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Yeng Tongs (did not play)
19/2/1966Eddie FridayThe Tennessee TeensThe Sneakers
22/2/1966Ready Steady Go ClubTony Rivers and The Castaways (equipment did not arrive - no show)
26/2/1966Eddie FridayThe Washington D.C.s featuring Johnny CannonThe Sonics
1/3/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Downliners Sect
5/3/1966Eddie FridayChris Lamb and the Universal Show BandGroup Survival
8/3/1966Ready Steady Go ClubThe Birds
11/3/1966Top Of The Pops ClubThe MindbendersPeter Murray (DJ)
12/3/1966Eddie FridayThe Zuider ZeeThe Night Beats
19/3/1966Eddie FridayMust-B-BluesMistral-Tuac
2/4/1966Eddie FridayBilly J. Kramer and the DakotasThe Shindigs, The Quantum
5/4/1966The Fortunes
9/4/1966Eddie FridayFernandos HideawaysThe Ironsides
12/4/1966Tony Knight's Chessmen
16/4/1966Eddie FridayTerry Judge and the BarristersPinky and the Phellows
23/4/1966Eddie FridayLynn Cordette and the CountdownsThe Future Set
30/4/1966Eddie FridayThe HoneycombsThe Vibratones, Blue Velvets
7/5/1966Eddie FridayPatty La Belle and her BellesThe Bystanders, The Dark Ages
14/5/1966Eddie FridayPeter Fenton and the CrowdThe Associates, The Denim Blues
21/5/1966Eddie FridayThe SurvivorsThe Tridents
28/5/1966Eddie FridayBrian Poole and the TremeloesThe Ravons, The Methods
3/6/1966Bucks Ass of Youth Clubs / Eddie FridayThe RavonsThe 5th Dynasty
4/6/1966Eddie FridayThe Ink SpotsBluesology, The Ironsides
11/6/1966Eddie FridayThe Endevers LtdSounds from Spectre
18/6/1966Eddie FridayThe FenmenThe Triads
25/6/1966Eddie FridayChris Lamb and the UniversalsThe Little Angels
9/7/1966Eddie FridayThe OrlonsGates of Eden
16/7/1966Eddie FridayTerry Judge and the BarristersThe Denim Blues
23/7/1966Eddie FridayPinky and the PhellowsThe Tridents, Anna Arki of Ready Steady Go!
30/7/1966Eddie FridayWainwrights GentlemenThe Reasons
6/8/1966Eddie FridayThe MansfieldsThe Ironsides
13/8/1966Eddie FridayPatterson's PeopleThe Nightbeats
20/8/1966Eddie FridayBean & Loopys LotThe Vibratones
27/8/1966Eddie FridayThe Original DyaksThe Associates
3/9/1966Eddie FridayMudThe Dark Ages
10/9/1966Eddie FridayThe Essex FiveSounds from Spectre
17/9/1966Eddie FridayThe Future SetJo Jo Gunne
24/9/1966Eddie FridayThe UglysThe Nitebeats
1/10/1966Eddie FridayPinky and the PhellowsThe Tridents
8/10/1966Eddie FridayThe Lovin' KindThe Methods
15/10/1966Eddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsThe Denim Blues, The Kontax
18/10/1966El Bribon OrganisationLee DorseyThe Neat Change, John Dimble (Radio London)
18/10/1966Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band (advertised)
22/10/1966Eddie FridayPattersons PeopleThe Vivas
29/10/1966Eddie FridayTerry Judge and the BarristersThe Moonbeats
1/11/1966The ActionThe Neat Change, John Dimble (Radio London)
5/11/1966Eddie FridayThe MeantimersThe Ironsides
12/11/1966Eddie FridayFinders KeepersThe Southern Valley Four
19/11/1966Eddie FridayThe Missing LinksThe Fenton Weils
22/11/1966El Bribon OrganisationTom Jones (did not appear - show cancelled)The Question, The Neat Change
26/11/1966Eddie FridayThe SneakersThe Associates
2/12/1966Barbados Independence Big DanceThe Hot Line Special of AylesburyD.C. Ward and the Fies FiestasThe Havana Boys
3/12/1966Eddie FridayThe AnzaksThe Vibratones
10/12/1966Eddie FridayThe Future SetJo Jo Gunne, The Choosey Beggars
24/12/1966Eddie FridayPinky and the PhellowsSounds from Spectre, The Substitutes

1965 – the last days of Aylesbury Bluesville

May 1965 saw the end of Aylesbury Bluesville, and with it the link with promoters Ron and Nanda Lesley, who had begun the Aylesbury Jazz Club at the Grosvenor Ballroon in January 1961. The Lesleys also promoted in London and other towns, and in particular in Ipswich on Monday evenings, where they continued with the local Bluesville for a few more years.

The list of artists appearing at Aylesbury Bluesville in 1965 typified those who had been promoted by the Lesleys in previous years: from the world of trad jazz there was Kenny Ball and Chris Barber, and from R&B there was the Spencer Davis Group, Rod Stewart and the Soul Agents and the Yardbirds.

Rod Stewart had previously appeared at Aylesbury Bluesville many times with Long John Baldry and his Hoochie Coochie Men – and some say that it was the Lesleys who first billed Rod Stewart as “Rod the Mod”. In an interview with Geoff Bradford in 2002, Long John Baldry recalled: “They were the people who nicknamed Rod the Mod – they started putting it on posters, Rod the Mod Stewart.”

Aylesbury Bluesville 1965:

DateClubArtist 1   
5/1/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleTony Knight and the Chessmen
19/1/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleSpencer Davis Group
26/1/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleKenny Ball and his Jazzmen
2/2/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleThe Art Woods R&B
9/2/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleRod Stewart and the Soul Agents
16/2/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleSpencer Davis Group
23/2/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleThe Downliners Sect
2/3/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleChris Barber's Jazzband
9/3/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleThe Yardbirds
16/3/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleThe Cheynes
6/4/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleThe Downliners Sect
13/4/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleT-Bones
20/4/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleThe Shevelles
27/4/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleZoot Money and his Big Roll Band
4/5/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleThe Downliners Sect
11/5/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleJohn Mayall's Blues Breakers
25/5/1965Aylesbury BluesvilleGarry Farr and the T-Bones

1965 rock in Aylesbury

The Borough Assembly Hall was the main venue in town in 1965. Eddie Friday continued to promote on Saturday nights, but during the year there were some new promoters bringing different artists to Aylesbury – including a short-lived folk club.

One of the highlights of the year was the appearance of The Who on 10th September. A review by Tony White in the Bucks Advertiser covered The Who who played on a Friday evening and Screaming Lord Sutch who appeared the following evening – click on image below to enlarge:

Aylesbury saw the two extremes in pop entertainment last weekend – Friday being the noisiest thing it’s ever been my misfortune to encounter in the shape of The Who and Saturday being far more enjoyable, even though mostly old hat, in the form of Screaming Lord Sutch.

Friday’s performance by the young men being lauded as the bringers of “pop art” to pop was the first, and I sincerely hope the last, time that any form of music, even in its most primitive guise, has made me physically sick. The noise – I think that would be a better title – was so abominably loud that after 20 minutes I had to leave for a stiff whisky with aspirins to settle a throbbing head and an upset stomach.

The Who full page Bucks Advertiser

S & M Promotions presented 16 year old Lulu on 20th August. In 1964 as a 15 year old, Lulu and the Luvvers had a hit with “Shout”. Tony White writing in the Bucks Advertiser was impressed:

This vivacious 16-year-old, who hails from Glasgow, brought the lads to the front of the stage to cheer her wildly – a change from the hordes of screaming girls. And her brief (about 35 minutes) appearance on stage sent them back asking for more …

Overall, it was a first-rate performance from a young girl I think is destined to be in show business for a long time.

Lulu review

The Ready Steady Go Club was another newcomer to the Borough Assembly Hall, with Zoot Money and his Big Roll Band, The Hollies and The Nashville Teens playing.

This was the third visit to Aylesbury by The Hollies, having previously played at the Granada in November 1964 and at the Borough Assembly Hall in April 1965. 1965 had bought two hits – “I’m Alive” (number one in June/July 1965) and “Look Through Any Window” (October 1965).

Hollies report Nov 65

Zoot Money

In July a Folk Blues Club presented by Bruce Dunnet spang up for a few weeks, presenting Nadia Cattousse, Shirley Collins and Arlo Guthrie.

Tony White did not enjoy Arlo Guthrie’s performance – and questioned whether the Borough Assembly Hall was the right venue for folk:

To me, and I know to many others, the answer lies in the Borough Assembly Hall bogie – that is its barn-like structure designed to immediately kill off any initimate atmosphere that a promoter aims for.

I know Bruce wants to get some of our younger folk artists used to working on a large stage, but I think he must realise that a much better rapport could be attained between the performers and listeners if they were altogether on the same level.

Arlo Guthrie review

Eddie Friday’s promotions included Them and The Ivy League.

Them had had chart success with “Baby Please Don’t Go” (with B-side “Gloria”) and “Here Comes The Night”.

The Ivy League had “Tossing And Turning” in the charts, peaking at number 3.

Them ad

On 10th November, the Small Faces played.

Small Faces poster

The band included Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan, who had replaced Jimmy Winston. In his review, John Finn wrote:

Those chirpy East Enders, the Small Faces, who rocketed to fame with their first record, “Whatcha Gonna Do About It”, recently paid their first visit to the Borough Assembly Hall last week.

Perhaps the most significant thing about them is their meteoric rise to fame. Inside six months they have risen from nothing to become potentially one of the biggest groups to hit the pop scene this year.

Small Faces review

List of gigs at Borough Assembly Hall in 1965 – not including Bluesville:

DateClubPromoter NameArtist 1Artist 2
2/1/1965Eddie FridayThe Half DozenThe Mantas
9/1/1965Eddie FridayThe Eric Delaney Band
16/1/1965Eddie Friday
23/1/1965Eddie FridayThe Knives and ForksThe Vibrations
24/1/1965Eddie FridayThe EchoesThe Whispering Four
30/1/1965Eddie FridayThe ClassmatesThe Cavaliers
6/2/1965Eddie FridayShane and the Shane GangThe Sonics
13/2/1965Eddie FridayTerry Judge and the BarristersThe Apollos
20/2/1965Eddie FridayTom Thumb and the Four FingersGeorgie, The Rave Ons
27/2/1965Eddie FridayThe Wackers with Terry AntonThe Mantas with Carol Hanson
6/3/1965Eddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsThe Narcotics
10/3/1965The PrimitivesThe Shames
13/3/1965Eddie FridayTony Knight and the LivewiresRodgers Codgers
20/3/1965Eddie FridayBern Elliott and His KlanThe Downsiders
10/4/1965Eddie FridayThe HolliesThe Cavaliers, The Homelanders
17/4/1965Eddie FridayShirley and JohnnyThe Berries, The Monktones
1/5/1965Eddie FridayBeat SixThe Yes 'n' No
8/5/1965Eddie FridayTerry Judge and the BarristersThe Cameos
15/5/1965Eddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsThe Mantas
22/5/1965Eddie FridayBryan and the BrunellesThe Triads
29/5/1965Eddie FridayWashington D.C.sThe Macambos, The Victors
5/6/1965Eddie FridayShelleyThe Reasons
12/6/1965Eddie FridayYenson's TrollsThe Silhouettes
19/6/1965Eddie FridayShirley and JohnnyThe Homelanders, The Konways
26/6/1965Eddie FridayThe Persuasions with Terry AntonThe Vibratones
3/7/1965Eddie FridayBeat Six featuring Jeannie St. ClaireThe Sneakers
10/7/1965Eddie FridayJohnny Kidd and the PiratesThe Sneakers
17/7/1965Eddie FridayThe TrampsGeoff Moule and the Diggers
20/7/1965Folk Blues ClubBruce DunnetNadia Cattousse
24/7/1965Eddie FridayGobbledegooksThe Dark Ages
27/7/1965Folk Blues ClubBruce DunnetShirley CollinsBarry Thomas, The Tinkers
31/7/1965Eddie FridayThe CameosThe Nightbeats
3/8/1965Folk Blues ClubBruce DunnetArlo Guthrie
7/8/1965Eddie FridayThemSound F-X
14/8/1965Eddie FridayThe Ivy LeagueTerry Judge and the Barristers
20/8/1965S & M PromotionsLulu and the Lovers
21/8/1965Eddie FridayThe Fairlanes featuring Lindi LooThe Mantas
28/8/1965Eddie FridayJimmy Royal and the HawksThe Reasons
4/9/1965Eddie FridayThe ShindigsThe Associates
10/9/1965The Who
11/9/1965Eddie FridayScreamin' Lord Sutch and the SavagesThe En Devers Ltd
18/9/1965Eddie FridayJohnny Cannon and the ShadesThe Tribe
25/9/1965Eddie FridayThe WayfarersThe Vivas
2/10/1965Eddie FridayRip Van Winkle and the MonstersLynn Cordette and the Countdowns
9/10/1965Eddie FridayThe CameosThe Skyliners
12/10/1965Ready Steady Go ClubKenny and Kash
16/10/1965Eddie FridayThe Blue RavensThe Sonics
19/10/1965Ready Steady Go ClubZoot Money and his Big Roll Band
23/10/1965Eddie FridayDean Lord and the GaylordsThe Nightbeats
29/10/1965Eddie FridayMistral TuacThe Quantum
6/11/1965Eddie FridayThe Barron KnightsJames King and the Farinas
9/11/1965John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers
10/11/1965The Small Faces
13/11/1965Eddie FridayThe SymbolsAlan Wade and the Hawkers
16/11/1965Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds
19/11/1965Bucks Ass of Youth Clubs / Eddie FridayThe CameosThe Ravons, The Justice League
20/11/1965Bucks Ass of Youth Clubs / Eddie FridayThe ShindigsThe Mantas
23/11/1965Ready Steady Go ClubThe Hollies
27/11/1965Eddie FridayWashington D.C.sThe Associates
4/12/1965Eddie FridayBilly Storm and the FalconsThe Vivas, The Unchained
11/12/1965Eddie FridayJohnny Anger and the Wild OnesThe Neutrons
14/12/1965Eddie FridayDutch College Swing Band
18/12/1965Eddie FridayThe CameosThe Vibrations
21/12/1965Ready Steady Go ClubThe Nashville Teens
24/12/1965Eddie FridayShirley and Johnny (hosts)Lynn Cordette and the Countdowns, The Dark Ages

1964 rock in Aylesbury

1964 brought changes on Tuesday evening with Aylesbury Bluesville presenting rhythm and blues in the shape of acts such as The Animals, The Yardbirds and Manfred Mann – see here for details.

Saturday evenings at the Borough Assembly Hall continued to be promoted by Eddie Friday. Highlights included two further appearances by Gene Vincent (February – see below – and July) and three more by the Barron Knights (July, October and December).

Gene Vincent BAH 1964

Gene Vincent Feb 64

Appearing for the first time during the year were the Swinging Blue Jeans (two appearances in February and November), Unit Four Plus Two (in May and September) and The Applejacks. With the winding up of the Aylesbury Jazz Club, Eddie Friday also too k the opportunity to present some jazz artists, such as the Terry Lightfoot Jazzmen and the Dutch College Swing Band.

The Swinging Blue Jeans appearance in February caused a stir. The Bucks Advertiser reported:

It was the biggest night at the B.A.H. for many seasons, of that there was little doubt. Promoter Eddie Friday shut the doors tight at 8 o’clock, just as the dancing started. Inside were as many people as he dare alow. The fans had waited for a long time – two girls started their vigil four hours earlier.

Swinging Blue Jeans review

Other promoters brought Alexis Korner and his Blues Incorporated and the Graham Bond Organisation. The Graham Bond Organisation included Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker who, with Graham Bond, had left Blues Incorported to form this new group, and Dick Heckstall-Smith. Despite their reported hostility to each other during their time with Graham Bond, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were later to form Cream with Eric Clapton – Cream played in Aylesbury in February 1967. Before this Bruce left the Graham Bond Organisation, joining John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, which included Eric Clapton, and then Manfred Mann, playing on “Pretty Flamingo”.

One unsolved mystery is a possible appearance by Marianne Faithfull. In her book Faithfull: An Autobiography it shows that, as part of her schedule for November 1964, Marianne Faithfull appeared at the “Barrow Assembly Hall” in Aylesbury on 23rd November 1964 – but this was a Monday night when wrestling was taking place at the hall. No other details can be found about this – can you help?

List of gigs at Borough Assembly Hall:

DatePromoter NameArtist 1Artist 2
4/1/1964Eddie FridayJohnny Milton And The CondorsThe Apollos
11/1/1964Eddie FridayShane Spencer and The CasualsThe Trackers
18/1/1964Eddie FridayRoy Starr and the CherokeesThe Crusaders
25/1/1964Eddie FridayThe GhoulsNeil Landon and the Burnetts
1/2/1964Eddie FridayJohnny, Mike And The ShadesThe Rhythm 3, The Journeymen
7/2/1964The Chris Du Maurier AgencyShane Fenton and the FentonesThe Kossaks featuring Johnny Kaye
8/2/1964Eddie FridayGene Vincent & The ShoutsThe Apollos
15/2/1964Eddie FridayDave LaKaz and the G MenThe Bullets
22/2/1964Eddie FridayThe KubasJohnny Anger and the Wild Ones
28/2/1964Alexis Korner and his Blues IncorporatedThe Impulsions
29/2/1964Eddie FridayThe Swinging Blue JeansKen Gordon and the Dynamic Down-Siders
7/3/1964Eddie FridayRuss and the SabresThe Cavaliers, The Rave Ons
14/3/1964Eddie FridayThe Cherokees featuring Roy StarrThe Apollos
21/3/1964Eddie FridayMike Berry and the InnocentsJohnny Carr and the Cadillacs
28/3/1964Eddie FridayShane Spencer and The CasualsThe Phantoms
4/4/1964Eddie FridayThe FlintstonesThe Strangers
11/4/1964Eddie FridayJohnny, Mike And The ShadesThe Craymen
17/4/1964Graham Bond Organisation
18/4/1964Eddie FridayWee Willie Harris backed by The RocketsThe Redcaps, The Rave Ons
25/4/1964Eddie FridayPeter Andersen and The MidnightersJohnny Anger and the Wild Ones, The Preachers
2/5/1964Eddie FridayUnit Four Plus TwoThe Classmates, The Sound Trekkers
9/5/1964Eddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsCliff Adams and the Twilights
16/5/1964Eddie FridayGrant Tracey and the SunsetsThe Corvettes
18/5/1964Eddie FridayShane Spencer and The CasualsThe Whispering Four
23/5/1964Eddie FridayThe RedcapsThe Telstars, The Chessmen featuring Jeff Reed
30/5/1964Eddie FridaySteve Francis and the HigradesThe Rebels
6/6/1964Eddie FridayPat Wayne and the BeachcombersThe Storms
13/6/1964Eddie FridayKing Size Taylor and the DominosTony and the Stranglers
20/6/1964Eddie FridayThe Plus Four featuring Erky GrantRoy Powell and the Offbeaters
27/6/1964Eddie FridayShane Spencer and The CasualsKen Gordon and the Downsiders
4/7/1964Eddie FridayThe Barron Knights and Duke D'MondThe Silhouettes
11/7/1964Eddie FridayThe Wackers featuring Terry AntonJohnny Anger and the Wild Ones
18/7/1964Eddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsThe Chessmen featuring Jeff Reed, The Rave Ons
25/7/1964Eddie FridayGene Vincent & The ShoutsThe Apollos
1/8/1964Eddie FridayThe HustlersThe Cavaliers
3/8/1964Eddie FridayThe NiteshadesThe Whispering Four
8/8/1964Eddie FridayWashington D.C.The Leon Boys
15/8/1964Eddie FridayShane Spencer and The CasualsTony and the Stranglers
19/8/1964Eddie FridayTerry Lightfoot Jazzmen
22/8/1964Eddie FridayThe DeaconsJohnny Anger and the Wild Ones, The Journeymen
29/8/1964Eddie FridayThe ApplejacksGeorgie, The Rave Ons
5/9/1964Eddie FridayUnit Four Plus TwoJohnny Carr and the Cadillacs
11/9/1964Music Management PromotionsSnowballsThe Soundtrekkers, Scrooge and the Misers
12/9/1964Eddie FridayJimmy Nicol and the ShubdubsThe Reasons
18/9/1964Music Management PromotionsThe Other TwoThe Herd, Evergreens
19/9/1964Eddie FridayThe Mike Cotton SoundThe Storms
26/9/1964Eddie FridayKing Size Taylor and the DominosTerry Judge, The Barristers
3/10/1964Eddie FridayThe Migil FiveThe Cavaliers
10/10/1964Eddie FridayMal Ryder and the SpiritsShane and the Shane Gang
17/10/1964Eddie FridayThe Barron Knights and Duke D'MondThe Apollos
21/10/1964Eddie FridayThe Papa Bue Viking Jazz Band
24/10/1964Eddie FridayThe WranglersThe Dolphins
30/10/1964The Grange Youth ClubThe Mistral TuacsThe Berries
31/10/1964Eddie FridayJohnny, Mike And The ShadesThe Whispering Four with Pam Cordell
7/11/1964Eddie FridayDave Curtis and the TremorsTony and the Stranglers
14/11/1964Eddie FridayBuddy Britten and the RegentsThe Trolls
21/11/1964Eddie FridayThe Swinging Blue JeansGeorgie, The Rave Ons
28/11/1964Eddie FridayThe CloudsThe Koalas
2/12/1964Eddie FridayDutch College Swing Band
5/12/1964Aylesbury Young ConservativesThe Mistral TuacsThe Penny Blacks
12/12/1964Eddie FridayThe FenmenThe Storms
19/12/1964Eddie FridayThe DownsidersWashington DCs
24/12/1964Eddie FridayThe Barron Knights and Duke D'MondThe Reasons
26/12/1964Eddie FridayJohnny Anger and the Wild OnesThe Sneakers

1963 rock in Aylesbury – and the opening of the Borough Assembly Hall

1963 saw the closure of the Grosvenor Ballroom for refurbishment, re-opening as the council-owned Borough Assembly Hall. During its closure, the Walton Hall stood in, with weekly rock concerts.

The Grosvenor Ballroom closed at the end of April 1963, initially for three months – but the date of the re-opening was put back a number of times, and eventually to October 7th.

For a list of gigs during 1963, please see below.

During the first months of the year, Eddie Friday continued to promote rock gigs at the Grosvenor on Saturday evenings. Among the artists appearing were Emilre Ford and the Checkmates, Eden Kane, The John Barry Seven, Eric Delaney and his Band and the Vernon Girls.

Tony White in the Bucks Advertiser was particularly impressed with Eric Delaney and his Band. Eric Delaney was a drummer and bandleader, and Herbie Goins was the vocalist. Click on image to enlarge:

Eric Delaney review

Walton Hall

The closure of the Grosvenor caused some concern – the Editor at the Bucks Advertiser received a letter on behalf of “A Group of Aylesbury Teenagers” – see below. It was announced that Alan Wallis and Stan Wyatt, who had promoted gigs at the Town Hall before the fire in March 1962, had booked the Walton Hall for 19 weeks, to start when the Grosvenor closed. The first night at the Walton Hall was on 11th May – and the run eventually extended to 21 weeks, ending on 28th September. Click on image to enlarge.


Borough Assembly Hall

In September it was announced that the new name for the Grosvenor would be the Borough Assembly Hall – not popular with many, including Tony White in the Bucks Advertiser:

The Borough Assembly Hall. Look at it. Read it. Let it roll around your tongues for a while. You will probably agree with me. It sounds horrible! Believe it or not, this is the name Aylesbury Borough Council – new owners of the Grosvenor – have decided to call that popular centre of entertainment in the corner of the Market Square …

For goodness sake, why not leave it as it was. The Grosvenor is well-known over a large area either through the jazz club or the Saturday night dances that used to be held there until it closed. “The Grosvenor” is short. “The Grosvenor” is an appropriate name for a building that is to be the venue for the type of entertainment to be offered there.

And I say this. I’ll bet my whole collection of long-playing records that “The Grosvenor” is how it will continue to be known, no matter what the new owners like to call it.

The Bucks Advertiser also published a useful potted history of the venue (click to enlarge):

Potted history

Grand re-opening

The grand re-opening took place on 7th October, with a charity ball in aid of the Mayor’s Freedom From Hunger campaign, with Joe Loss and his Orchestra and Johnny Thunder and the Thunderbirds.

One of the singers with Joe Loss was Ross MacManus (who also played trumpet); Ross is the father of Elvis Costello (Declan MacManus). He also composed and sang the 1970s “I’m A Secret Lemonade Drinker” TV ad for R. White’s lemonade.

Joe Loss ad

BAH opening

Ian Samwell

Also of note is that during the year Ian “Sammy” Samwell presented record nights in Aylesbury on Wednesdays – initially at the Grosvenor Ballroom and then, after its closure, at the Walton Hall – see report below.


Ian Samwell was a member of Cliff Richard and the Drifters and he wrote “Move It”. He was later a record producer for artists such as Sounds Incorporated, Georgie Fame,John Mayall and The Small Faces. Later he was in-house producer for Warner Brothers in London, bringing artists such as Linda Lewis and America to the label, producing the first America album and the hit “A Horse With No Name”.


Pete Frame writes about Ian Samwell in the Epilogue to his book The Restless Generation. Ian had moved to Sacramento, California.

Sometime in late 1991, suddenly and unexpectedly overcome by breathlessness, he had collapsed and woken in hospital, where he was diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy. If he didn’t have a heart transplant, he would die, doctors told him – which was a bit of a bummer because he had allowed his medical insurance to lapse only six weeks earlier and the procedure was going to cost in excess of a quarter of a million dollars …

“There was no way I was going to get that sort of bread together,” said Samwell, “so I accepted I was going to die … I phoned a few friends, including Robert Allen, my lawyer in London, to ask him to bring my will up to date, and then fell into a deep sleep.”

When he came to, a hovering nurse came over. “Who are you?” she asked. “Samwell, Ian Samwell”, he replied, nodding toward the case notes at the end of the bed. “Yes, I know that,” she said, but who are you? The phone hasn’t stopped ringing. All these people have been calling with offers of money – Pink Floyd, Cliff Richard, Led Zeppelin … who are you?”

As soon as he had put the phone down, Robert Allen had got on to Jeff Dexter, the DJ / producer / manager who was Ian’s principal sidekick throughout the sixties and seventies, and Dexter phoned everyone he knew … Sufficient funds were gathered for an operation to replace his heart … and it pumped efficiently for another 11 years.

Ian Samwell eventually died on 13 March 2003, aged 66. Nicest guy you could ever meet. And he wrote Move It.

Ian Samwell obituary The Independent

DateVenuePromoter NameArtist 1Artist 2
5/1/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayEmile Ford and the CheckmatesMike Sagar and the Crestas
12/1/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayJohnny Carr backed by Mel Turner and the MohicansDave Seaton and the Leons
19/1/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayEden Kane backed by the Rhett Stoller GroupThe Lee Atkins Combo
26/1/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayJohnny, Mike and the ShadesBobby Patrick Big Six
2/2/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayPeter Nelson and the TravellersThe Tartans
9/2/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayThe John Barry SevenJohnny Anger and the Wild Ones
16/2/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayJohnny, Mike and the ShadesDru Harvey and the Jokers
23/2/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayDoug Sheldon backed by The SceptresBobby Rio and the Dominators
2/3/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayEric Delaney and His Band with Herbie GoinsThe Lee Atkins Combo
9/3/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayThe TartansPaul Dayton and the Deputies
16/3/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayRuss Sainty and the Nu-NotesMark Douglas and the Prowlers
23/3/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayThe Original CheckmatesRicky Marino and the Stormbreakers
30/3/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayThe Barry James Show featuring The Strangers with Gary and LeeMike Sagar and the Crestas
6/4/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayThe Black ArrowsPaul and the Hustlers
13/4/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayPeter West and the EmbersPaul and the Hustlers
20/4/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayThe Vernon GirlsMark Douglas and the Prowlers, The Noel Francis All-Steel West Indian Band
27/4/1963Grosvenor BallroomEddie FridayThe Fabulous FlintstonesRicky Marino and the Stormbreakers
11/5/1963Walton HallAlan WallisJohnny Milton and the CondorsThe Twistettes, Nick Troy and the Trojans
18/5/1963Walton HallAlan WallisGolli-Golli ShowJohnny Shadow and Danny Gavan, Paul and the Hustlers
25/5/1963Walton HallAlan WallisRay PilgrimTony Vince and the Minutemen, Colin and the Champions
1/6/1963Walton HallAlan WallisJet Harris's Original JetblacksTerry Judge and the Waders
8/6/1963Walton HallAlan WallisRicky Brown & The Hi-LitesMike Harper & The Cerveza
15/6/1963Walton HallAlan WallisRobb Storme and the WhispersThe Cavaliers
22/6/1963Walton HallAlan WallisThe Barry James Show with Gary and Lee and The StrangersTerry Judge and the Waders
29/6/1963Walton HallAlan WallisKevin Scott & His KinsmenThe Strangers
6/7/1963Walton HallAlan WallisJohnny, Mike and the ShadesMick Barber and the Travellers
13/7/1963Walton HallAlan WallisMike Everest and the Alpines Crazy Gang ShowThe Strangers
20/7/1963Walton HallAlan WallisSteve FrancisJohnny Anger and the Wild Ones, Apex Group with Colin York
27/7/1963Walton HallAlan WallisDave Dee and the BostonsThe Cervezas
3/8/1963Walton HallAlan WallisThe GamblersRoy Powell and the Off-Beaters
10/8/1963Walton HallAlan WallisJet Harris's Original JetblacksThe Cavaliers
17/8/1963Walton HallAlan WallisThe Federals
24/8/1963Walton HallAlan WallisLaurie Jay ComboGerry Temple, The Cervezas
31/8/1963Walton HallAlan WallisJohnny, Mike and the ShadesTerry Judge and the Barristers
7/9/1963Walton HallAlan WallisThe DowlandsThe Soundtracks, The Stranglers
14/9/1963Walton HallAlan WallisThe Ravin' SavagesThe Cavaliers
21/9/1963Walton HallAlan WallisThe Six CitizensDel Summers, Roy Powell and the Off-beaters
28/9/1963Walton HallAlan WallisBrian FisherThe Raiders
7/10/1963Borough Assembly HallGala OpeningJoe Loss and His Orchestra with Rose Brennan, Larry Gretton and Ross MacManusJohnny Thunder and the Thunderbirds
11/10/1963Borough Assembly HallStanley Wyatt PromotionsRay Piligrim and Minute MenThe Phantoms
12/10/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsJohnny Anger and the Wild Ones
18/10/1963Borough Assembly HallStanley Wyatt PromotionsRay Pilgrim and Minute Men
19/10/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayTroy Dante and the InfernosThe Delta Five
25/10/1963Borough Assembly HallStanley Wyatt PromotionsDanny Storm and StrollersThe Strangers
26/10/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayJohnny, Mike and the ShadesRuss and the Sabres
1/11/1963Borough Assembly HallStanley Wyatt PromotionsThe CitizensThe Apollos
2/11/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Barron Knights with Duke D'MondJohnny Anger and the Wild Ones
8/11/1963Borough Assembly HallStanley Wyatt PromotionsRobb Storme and the Whispers
9/11/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayUnit 7The Jimmy Ritchie Combo
16/11/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsEddie King and the Chequers
23/11/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe RedcapsJimmy Richards and the Javelins
30/11/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayRockin' Henry and the HayseedsThe Pagans
7/12/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe Eric Delaney BandDale Curtiss and the Blunotes
14/12/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayJohnny, Mike and the ShadesJohnny Anger and the Wild Ones
21/12/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayThe GamblersThe Coasters
28/12/1963Borough Assembly HallEddie FridayJohnny Carr and the CadillacsCliff Adams and the Twilights