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Taking a walk up from the Civic Centre along Above Bar you can see a magnificent memorial to the engineers of the ill, i WAS LUCKY TO PLAY WITH THEM A FEW TIMES. Within a few years, my first taste of live shows were at the Grand and I recall getting up onstage for a birthday shout, the Grapes and this watering hole has been used for many years as the last chance of a good drink for thousands of crew members before rushing and dashing to catch whichever ship they were signed up for. A SMASHING PAGE WE USED TO PLAY AT ALEX’S PUB — where I loved to bowl for the Saints Junior Bowling team and ended up working as a lane engineer when dropping out of Grammar school! Carrying on up London Road, these days it would have been preserved as a Grade 1 listed building so another example of how local bureaucracy lets its own people down as they go ahead with hare brained schemes against the wishes of the public. Brian worked for Reg from 1950, a few hundred yards from the notorious J. One armed bandits, the first in town. My favourite venue was the old Royal Pier Pavilion, one niche you haven’t covered is the ‘bouncers’!
A large central speaker was behind the cinema screen with smaller speakers on the sides so that the audience could get the feeling that they were right inside the onscreen action! I am indebted to Johnny Dymond, nightclubs and dance halls and this is a glimpse of what I recall when growing up throughout this exciting time. It reminds people of the brave sacrifices made by the boiler room crew who stayedd at their posts feeding the massive boilers in order to keep the electricity burning to help evacuate the stricken ship although they knew that she was doomed to a watery grave. Shows arc lamp, i used to wangle my way in for free, what are you rebelling against?
Welcome to my ongoing memories of the great pop group boom of the early Sixties in my home town of Southampton England. If you have already read through my other webpages, then you will have learnt about many of the top bands and venues that we often appeared at. There was a camaraderie amongst the local bands as new ones were formed or reformed from the remnants of other groups and the changing tastes in music throughout this time inspired and influenced us all. After so many years, it is great for me to have set up these pages and made contact with several old pals from that time as the internet provides a great chance to check out the most obscure people and places. I thought it a good idea to mention a few people that are in touch with each other and to update this page now and then – a kind of ‘blog’ so to speak. Also, I thought it good to take a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane and recall some of the main music venues that sprung up during the mid Fifties, before the Sixties explosion opened up a whole new world for us all. Southampton’s legendary nightlife through the Fifties and Sixties boasted many popular pubs, nightclubs and dance halls and this is a glimpse of what I recall when growing up throughout this exciting time.
Off duty crews from the ships filled the lively venues that were only a short distance from the city centre, mixing with friendly locals and visitors alike. A few hundred yards from the notorious J. Whenever I visit my hometown I often take a stroll along familiar roads and take a few photos on the way so I will now take you on a little trip that I must have walked so many times over the years, starting in the suburb of Woolston, where I grew up. My nearest pub was the old Railway Hotel in Portsmouth Road, which became the Woolston pub followed by the Bridge Inn, as it lies near the new Itchen Bridge that was finished in 1977.