Maybe they’re in a band?


From today’s local paper

“PEOPLE are being urged to report youths breaking into a derelict building. The casino on Osborne Road in Southsea is empty and police have had reports of young people breaking in. A spokesman said: ‘If you see this happening please report it to 101 as the building is in a dangerous state.’ ”

That Casino was of course Kimbells Ballroom, once upon a time


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

11 thoughts on “Maybe they’re in a band?

  1. Anyone remember an elderly lady that was a sort of manageress at Kimbells, a Miss….?? She was a real tyrant and would’nt take stick from anyone. Always gave a rollicking to the musos that didn’t pull the lift door shut correctly. That lift was a bit of history in itself….

  2. Like a raging Margaret Rutherford when she was in full flow- Christmas time was a joy when some poor punter sprayed string spray around the room “This is Kimbells ” she blurted “we don`t allow spray string in here” “What do you think you are doing” she shouted at some poor old chap who came in for an afternoon tea dance and spread French chalk (talc?) across the floor -seemed it enabled dancers to “flow” more easily. I once did an afore mentioned tea dance – only one – the fear stopped me doing another- I recall announcing , as one did, a Slow foxtrot – onto track three of my Victor Sylvestor “Dancing for All ” album I placed my new stylus with a coin on the top as the dance floor was sprung and the needle might have jumped up- no such worry -after three notes the record stuck- da da da da it was meant to be but da da da da da da da it went- One hundred dancers gave me “the look” it had ruined their steps and Miss Martin was not pleased -in her familiar slippers up she charged. All went well till it came to a “Paul Jones” (minus the acne!!)- round and round the dancer went till the then, from the bar, Miss Martin blared out to me “come on -do a progressive!!”- I was in Cromat at the Tricorn mode for a while and thought this was not the occasion to play Uriah Heep or Gentle Giant- I stood there with no idea what to do- it was explained to me that all dancers “progress” to the dancer in front of them to encourage a more social event. It was too late-they sat down , sulking, rubbing chalk of their trouser legs and enquiring of Miss Martin (a former Police Inspector) where was the king of the tea dance Steve Kingsley? An afternoon career move to present tea dances was short lived- if the young men who broke into then premises(re The News report) came across a smashed in pieces Victor Sylvestor album I hope they appreciated what an important part it played in Portsmouth Music History!!!!

    • If that had been Mr Kingsleys CD of “In the Mood”, that sounded like machine gun fire when it “jammed” up, hilarious stuff ! Poor Buddy had to restart 3/4 times before said item was duly dispatched to that great Frizby grave in the sky !

  3. Great story Pete! How would she feel about being the latest legend on Pompey Pop? M is for …

    • Miss Martin definitely a legend and a very large one at that!!
      Strangely she was always very pleasant and helpful with Jim and myself when we ran Basins there in 1984/5/6,even though she admitted that she didn’t really want us there!!!
      and we’re only there on her boss Johnny Millers say so!
      By the way what a shame that such a beautiful venue is being left to disintegrate!

  4. Don’t speak too soon, I heard a rumour that McCarthy and Stone had shown an interest and we all know what that means don’t we…?

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