First there was the Carnival,
then there was the Fair. I’ve written before about the Fair in Chelmsford’s Central Park. Now, in celebration of the Living in 1966 programme (BBC1 Wednesday 7.30), after you’ve remembered the music, the pirate radio ships, the mods and the rockers, you can read a chapter from the forthcoming Beyond the Beehive.
In this chapter Linda and Sandra are going the Fair together. Sandra is still dreaming of Danny, her bad-boy boyfriend. Linda is just looking forward to an exciting evening – the Dodgems, the Ghost Train, the Waltzers, and hearing some good music, including Dream Lover by Bobby Darin.
Read more about Beyond the Beehive here as you listen to Bobby Darin whose hair indicated that he was a bit of a rocker, but whose suits were really quite sharp (the song starts 46 seconds in).
Living in 1966. They say if you remember the 60s you weren’t there. But some of us kept a diary!
(a medical diary only in the sense that my uncle who was a doctor gave it to me – it is in fact full of handy tips about headaches and constipation).
Now the BBC has made a series of programmes about 1966, in all the local regions, BBC North, BBC London and so on, as well as BBC East, which involves Norfolk, Suffolk and … Chelmsford Essex, all to be shown at the same time on Wednesday 1 June on BBC1 at 7.30pm.
I was there in 1966, and I was there again in March 2016, when on a very cold, grey day in Chelmsford, I was interviewed by BBC Radio 6 Music DJ, Steve Lamacq for the BBC East programme. We started in the Saracen’s Head
and then went walkabout in the town, in the way we used to, best friend Christine and I, on a Saturday afternoon, when I had finished work in Wainwright’s Milk Bar.
We did hover for a moment outside the site of the Orpheus in New London Road – but there really is not much to see there now – although the barber was very thrilled at the thought and was very accommodating.
We finished up at the site of the Corn Exchange, the centre of mod life on Saturday nights – the Who, David Bowie, Georgie Fame, the Animals, the Yardbirds – all played there. Steve Lamacq is too young to remember the halcyon days of the Corn Exchange – his memories relate more to the Chancellor Hall round the corner, but we stood looking at the scaffolding of some more building work that is going on and shared our musical stories.
Patrick McGrady, the director, has sent me a DVD of the programme (securely stored on a pile of books on my living room table until transmission) and I don’t think I’m giving away too much if I say that the scenes in which I appear have a certain style – because of all the things I do so well, walking, reading, and to a lesser extent, dancing.
The programme also has clips of the Singing Postman and a piece about the pirate radio ship, Radio Caroline, and the two lads who set up their own radio station in their bedroom, as well as some great footage of the glory days of mods then and now in Great Yarmouth and Clacton.
Watch the programme on You Tube here