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Easter Parade

1966            10 April

The Easter weather was terrific and the Birdcage fans will have enjoyed the return of the Vagabonds on the Saturday while other Birdcage visitors around then included Georgie Fame, Cliff Bennett, the Paramounts and the Cat. American soul singer Arthur Alexander (“You Better Move On”, “Go Home Girl”) appeared on the Sunday after Easter and the club ran its first two all-nighters with the Vagabonds and Graham Bond plus the Clique.

1967            26 March

Simon Dupree & Big Sound were promoting their new single “Reservations” with local record store appearances. They attracted a big crowd to a Portsmouth Youth Organisation dance at Clarence Pier and BBC screened their documentary on 17 March – they played also at “Heatrave” at the Savoy with the Inspiration. The folk scene was busy: Malcolm Price returned to the Folkhouse Club and American Hedy West came to the Ballads & Blues Club – she was perhaps one of the most underrated of the young American singers of the time, recording three albums for Topic Records in Britain in the period. In mid-March Jon Isherwood played the Pomme D’Or, Talbot Hotel and Folkhouse over four nights. Wizz Jones & Pete Stanley brought bluegrass to the Folkhouse and Jo Ann Kelly her Memphis Minnie-style blues to the Railway Hotel. Jazz became more regular at North End’s Oasis again with Tia Juana Jazz Band and then Ken Colyer. Easter was lively at the Birdcage where Chris Farlowe and the Academy played the latest all-nighter. Academy, “very popular” at Manor Court, were generally attracting good reviews including an appearance at the opening night of “Unliteabsorbing” – a new club or “Audio Visual Environment” underneath the Birdcage – a sign of the looming ‘summer of love’ and shift to psychedelia following Pink Floyd’s appearance at the Birdcage earlier in 1967. John Vivash opened two clubs locally with the Informers at Milton’s Oyster House and the Vogue in Havant.


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Dick Beattie?


This is the programme for the first league match I saw at Fratton Park in November 1959. In some ways this particular story has a sad element. I had been taken in the spring by a mate’s dad who got the weeks wrong and we saw the reserves. So I missed by one week seeing Pompey in the (old) First Division. Also this match was the first missed by Peter Harris the last great local-born Pompey player who then retired with a serious illness. So I missed him too.

Still at least I saw Jimmy Dickinson – and DICK BEATTIE (see Dave Glass’s comment below). Dick came from Celtic and played in 1961/2 when Pompey won Div 3 (pic below) but had a poor game on Easter Saturday, was dropped, never played again and was transferred to Peterborough. SO by the time that pic was published in Topical Times Annual he’d left and I never did get it signed – I still have it but Dick died 20 (ish) years ago.

In between times (to complete DG’s comment) he was prosecuted and jailed for match-fixing after which he returned to the Scottish shipyards (look it up on Wikipedia). And if you’re not interested in the footy at least the adverts are great huh?

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An Easter Bonnet

1964            29 March

During March, the Beatles found themselves simultaneously at numbers one, two and three in the American charts. In Britain, the Government were concerned about the ‘pirate’ radio stations and explored the possibility of the south coast as the site for an experiment in local broadcasting. It came to nothing. The Easter Rendezvous ‘special’ with the Animals supported by the Midnite Ramblers attracted 600 fans. Ricky’s opened the Portsmouth Modern Jazz Club with the Dougie Wheeler Quintet. Frank Kelly & the Hunters new release was “Some Other Time” – Frank was at South Parade Pier, the Classics at Lee Tower Ballroom and the Vigilantes with Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers at the Savoy.

1965            18 April

In Bognor police kept moving on hundreds of youths as the Mods & Rockers holiday ‘fun’ reached its climactic year. For those in search of innocence, Mary Poppins opened at the Odeons. The Arthur Ward Band and the Coastliners were at Clarence Pier, Manfred Mann and Dave Berry at the Guildhall while on Easter Monday Pompey’s greatest player Jimmy Dickinson appeared on the Fratton Park pitch for the last time (see team pic below, centre seated). In the evening, Downliners Sect and Stormsville Shakers were at the Rendezvous. At the Birdcage (Thursdays only and at Kimbells) the T-Bones appeared on Maundy Thursday and the Paramounts (later to be Procul Harum) the following week.


Another Easter Egg


(Pompey – Div 3 Champions, Easter 1962)

1962            22 April

Easter brought the John Barry Seven to the Savoy for the first time while Humphrey Lyttleton was at the Downbeat Club. Johnny & the Cutters, the Jaguars and Crusaders were at Kimbells and on Easter Monday, Americans Johnny Burnette, Gary US Bonds and Gene McDaniels joined Mark Wynter at the Guildhall, hours after Pompey beat Watford to clinch promotion to Division Two.

1963            14 April

The Beatles played the second of their three Pompey gigs at the Savoy on the Sunday before Easter (with Mike Devon & the Diplomats). On Easter Saturday the Guildhall offered the Max Bygraves Show with Scottish folk singers Robin Hall & Jimmy McGregor and guitarist Bert Weedon. Brian Poole & the Tremeloes were at Kimbells on Easter Sunday supported by Johnny Devlin & the Detours. Gosport’s Thorngate Hall offered another mixed bill on Easter Monday with a “Trad, Twist and Modern Ball” featuring Mike Cotton Jazzmen, local favourites the Classics and the Ivor Gordon Quintet. At Easter, the main national news headlines concerned the annual CND march to the Atomic Weapons centre at Aldermaston, and the Christine Keeler/Profumo scandal.

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Saturday Fun – for a good cause

News from John Roberts:

A great event in a good cause – to raise money for research into Children’s

It’s FREE ENTRY but give generously please! …

10.00-12.00: The fun starts here! Side show games running from 10 a.m. until
early evening.
12.30-13.30: Robin James Hurt – fine singer/songriter and brilliant
guitarist all the way from Dublin!
14.00-15.00: McGonagall (partly my old band, Father Jack , so possibly some
cutlery capers will be called for wirthg this great Celtic band)
16.00-17.00: Victory Morris Men (they’ll almost certainly perform outside)
18.00-19.00: Wood, Wire and Words – a fine bluegrass band
19.30-20.30: Dan Ogus – superb singer and guitarist with eclectic tastes!
21.00-22.00: Walker Broad – blues at it’s best from Andy Broad and the
lovely Sandy Walker
22.30-23.30: The Jellyrollers- good time blues – and all points north, south
east & west!
SEE YOU THERE! – and bring your money, honey!!!!

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Easter Eggs

Over Christmas I extracted some pieces from the longer histories, published in “Here Come the Sixties” and now also on the website (“year-by-year”). I’m doing the same over Easter, adding the precise date for each year of Easter Sunday. A few were quite late but nothing as late as this year (24 April) and I doubt whether any were as sunny

1960            17 April

Pompey’s Ballad and Blues Folk Club started up, Easter traffic was heavy in the area and Gosport’s Downbeat Jazz Club held a packed festival

1961            2 April

The Matador Coffee Bar in Fratton Road featured in a court case involving a youth apprehended with a knife. The police described it as “frequented by hooligans and persons of the usual criminal type”. The council heard that 60 deck chairs had been slashed along the seafront along with other “wanton damage” and another headline suggested “Coffee Bar Cowboys Give Motorcyclists Bad Reputation”.

(see Pompey was always ahead of the game, even with its Easter hooligans – mods & rockers? Hah!)