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Modern Jazz comes to Pompey

It’s around 1960 and here is a brief extract from a long email just received from South Africa. The writer (no relative) is the promoter Jerry Allen, whose name appears regularly in the pages of the Theatre Royal booklet,  “Here Come the Sixties”:

“The Sunshine Inn at Farlington turned out to be a good move and with the more conducive surroundings attendances increased to the point where we were able to have guest artists down from London once a month. Don Rendell was the first I believe. From there it went from strength to strength with Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Scott, Bill Le Sage and Ronnie Ross and many others appearing there. However, quite a number of our members were getting married and raising families and were no longer in weekly attendance. Not wanting the club to close I started serving behind the bar up in the public bar six nights a week, Saturday and Sunday lunch-times as well to bring in a little extra cash.  But alas R&B, Rock and Roll, Pop Music, whatever, was now more attractive to the youngsters and those clubs were popping up all over town. Hoping to catch at least a few of these up-and-coming youngsters we moved back into the city. The White Hart at Kingston Crescent was slap bang in the middle and the Bill Cole group took up residency for the club.”

There will be more …


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Vinyl Tap

We’re back at The Crown this coming Friday, 31st January and so If you’d like to listen to some great Beatles, Eagles and a few classic Shadows numbers, please come along.  There’s usually a very supportive crowd and the atmosphere makes it one of our favourite places to play.  The food and the beer is excellent too, so you can fit in a meal if you want before we start at 9pm, until midnight!

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‘Duggie’ and David Reid

From Nigel:



“Duggie Reed who I think was the groundsman at Fratton Park, lived in Yarborough Road, I lived round the corner in St. Edward’s Road. In 1963/64 his son David had a red Li 150 series 3 Lambretta that I envied whenever I saw it, one day I saw it for sale secondhand in Seal’s shop at Eastney, so I bought it. I kept it until 1966 when I sold it to a garage in Copnor Road for £50, which was the amount of money I needed to buy a secondhand Mini.”

Nigel is absolutely right about Duggie being the groundsman but only after he retired, He was Pompey’s centre forward in their greatest years when from 1948-1950 they won the first division (the real first division) in two consecutive seasons. Duggie and his wife also ran the hostel for young players and his son David played for England at amateur level

Below is a photo of some of Duggie’s young men on a night out in Pompey (maybe Kimbells?). Bill Williams on the right also played bass in local groups around 1960. On the left is Jeff Hodgkins (I think) and next to Bill is Bob Smith – the pair of them and Brian Yeo all moved to Gillingham with Freddie Cox. Bob Smith returned to Pompey and I see him regularly, he lives close by and still supports them regularly home and away. I don’t know the names of the other two.

BS15 Boys night out


Mike Devon & George East

Welcome to ‘Hot Rod’ George East – a well known Pompey character. He’s added a comment to a post about Mike & the Diplomats at the Savoy but since it’s way down the Blog history I’m repeating it here. I don’t know whether George will remember me but back in the mid 1970s he did a great rock & roll show on the original Radio Victory and for a few months while jazzman Tim Colwell was away, I did a blues show – we used to swop stories about favourite music as most of the DJs were a bit ‘pop’ oriented. Here’s George:

“I did not know my dear old friend Mike Beacon ( stage name Mike Devon) had left the stage. He lived around the corner from me when my parents had a general store in Frensham road, Milton. Mike used to come up to my room snapping his fingers and signing the latest hit- Reet Petite I remember in particular. I made a guitar which collapsed and then got one from Christmas, which was an incredible thrill. I formed the Hot Rods and the Rhythmic Five and was sort of manager and agent, but only allowed to play in the band if my guitar and mike were unplugged! I often wonder about Colin W and all the boys in the various bands in which I was involved. I knew Tony Nabarro and Colin Quaintance had left us but not Mike. He was a lovely man and we last spoke over a decade ago I guess when he was rehearsing in the barn at the Milton arms.”

And more – this time ref Alf and Linda’s conversation about snooker clubs and Mr East (snr)

“Hello All. It’s East The Younger Here. Just to clear things up- which I think you have done anyway. My dad owned the North End Snooker Club when we lived in St Edward’s Road in the mid 60’s. Then he and Mum bought the Craneswater Club at the end of the decade and I ran it for four years from 1970-74. I then went on to Radio Victory, which I ran from 1977-80, when I quit. It is so good to hear nice things said about my dear old dad. He was a good man and a good man of his time. We often forget that the world changes and what is seen as patronising or sexist in retrospect was not then. I should know. BTW, I would be very grateful if anyone knows of any more photos of me in the rock’n’roll days as it would be great to use them on my website and for future PR stuff. Thanks. …and Keep On Rockin’…”

George – there may be more pics on the websites (Pompey Pop OR Mick Cooper’s)