The Good Old Days


The Portsmouth Evening News from 1 August 1960 (Bank Holiday Monday) carried a juvenile court story about a 14-year-old girl who said she went to a rock ‘n’ roll club every night. Her Probation Officer told the court that her mother “was going around with coloured sailors in a fairground”. The court found that she was “in need of care and protection … and was placed under supervision for three years”, including a nightly curfew of 10.15pm.

The same edition carried the headline “Beaulieu Back to Normal After Jazz Riot” and carried a photograph of “bearded beatniks” among the fairground debris after the ‘riot’ on the previous Saturday night. That came about because the ‘Trad’ fans got bored by a modern group, the Jazz Five, and then had to wait for the television cameras to prepare to broadcast a performance by Acker Bilk’s Paramount Jazz Band.

On Sunday, Bank Holiday visitors to Beaulieu were apparently “content to be amused by the antics of ‘beatniks’, ‘weirdies’ and ‘ooblies’”. On Thursday, the ‘paper carried a letter from Ernie Sears, promoter of Portsmouth’s Rendezvous ‘Trad’ Jazz Club and Secretary of the Portsmouth Area Jazz Federation, who explained but did not condone the riot and suggested the need in future to segregate the “various jazz idioms”.

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

9 thoughts on “The Good Old Days

  1. We have 5000 American sailor in Portsmouth next week, that should be fun for some, and more for the reporters and news print, I think I’ll stay out of town!

  2. ………..69…………………..My favourite number……………..??????

  3. I don’t know what you’re talking about Phillydog !!

  4. We might be too classy eh ????

  5. Yes Psalm 69 is my favourite as well!! Tried to get into the exhibition today with Geoff. Turns out it’s closed this week. Something to do with school children.

  6. gotta give ’em a chance I guess…..Its ROCK CHALLENGE week , and the exhibition space turns into a storage facility…..That’s life !!!!


  7. I’ve been down to A A A today doing a bit of woodwork , and its spooky…all quiet and dark ,and looking like a furniture warehouse…
    Lots of enthusiastic youngsters enjoying the music making experience…..those were the days eh !!!!


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