Intriguing Question


The websites that Mick and I run occasionally attract unexpected contacts and questions and the one below which arrived yesterday is a good example. I think it’s unlikely that anyone out there will be able to help but it seems worth a try. The closest ‘Pompey Pop’ link I can come up with is the national success of the Johnny Lyne Band (and Johnny as soloist) in the 1953 Melody Maker competition but maybe someone out there has some info … Meanwhile I’ll dig through a few back copies of Melody Maker to see what I can find. Here’s the query:

“My grandfather was 20 when he entered and won a competition at Hornsey Town Hall (London).  He says it was called “The All London Singing Competition”.  He was born in 1930 so I assume it was 1950 when he won, but I guess it could have been a year or two either way.
He won a silver cup and a contract to sing with the resident band, and he says it was reported in the Melody Maker.  Whenever I can, I go to the British Library to look through the archives but it’s not often I can get there and so far I haven’t found the article – or, in fact, anything about this singing competition.  I’ve contacted Hornsey Town Hall a couple of times too but have never received a reply.
I’m wondering if the contest he entered was a regional round for the All-Britain Championships – I was google-ing this when I came across your website.  I am finding it difficult to tell whether these contests were for vocalists, or just for bands, so I wondered if you might be able to shed any light?
Perhaps I am on the wrong track entirely, and he may be misremembering the info he’s given me, but if you have any further information about the contests that might be helpful, I’d be thrilled to hear.”

Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

3 thoughts on “Intriguing Question

  1. Having been a resident of Crouch End where Hornsey town Hall is located for many years all I can suggest is that he contact the Entertainment Dept at Haringey Council,High Rd,Wood Green London N22
    This is because the borough of Hornsey as was is now part of Haringey and although Hornsey Townhall houses part of Haringey Building Services, I think Wood Green is probably the best bet of where there might be some kind of archive

  2. Thank you Mr Greedy, that’s a very useful tip – I have now contacted them so fingers-crossed I get somewhere!

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