Looking back and looking forward
Chubby Checker’s “Lets twist again” was released in 1961. Perhaps young people listened and danced to it on Thursdays at the Battersea Town Hall disc night.
"Disc Night" might be the origin of the term "Disco" - we don't know!
Elderly People’s Talent Contest
Talent contests are associated today with reality TV, but in the 1960s they were often seen a way of boosting morale and self-esteem rather than as a means of creating new star performers. This contest appears designed to encourage feelings of self-worth among the elderly residents of Battersea.
Prize money is offered here, but some contests presented other rewards, such as trophies. A concern not to damage the morale of losers is shown by the promise of ten shillings to all losing finalists.
The first prize of £7. 10s in 1965 would be worth around £140 today, so it was a contest worth entering.
Music Hall - Beryl and Bobo
Many of the performers are no longer familiar names, but the programme illustrates the variety of entertainment associated with the old music halls. The idea of presenting such an event may have been due to the success of the BBC’s The Good Old Days, which was attracting large audiences at this time.
Beryl and Bobo were Australian trampolinists, which is why they are described as ‘always on the bounce’. They also brought humour to their performances.
Tony Kaye may be the person of that name who, in 1968, became a founder member of progressive rock band Yes. In 1966, Kaye was performing with a musical covers and comedy showband, but his skill as a keyboardist would have made a solo engagement at Battersea possible.
Elisse Relnah was a pianist who had played in concert parties at seaside resorts in the late 1930s.
The County of London Orchestra had earned much admiration during the Second World War after it made use of the foundations of a bombed building to perform a concert for workers and children.
The poster includes a handwritten annotation "Presented", over text "Produced", with reference to Wandsworth Corporation. In 1965, following the Local Government act of 1963, Battersea Borough Council ceased to exist, and Battersea came under the local governance of the borough of Wandsworth. Edward 'Ted' Dobson - was the Entertainments Officer for Battersea Borough Council and, laterm Wandsworth Corporation and a life-long devotee of music hall entertainment, so he would have overseen this and other arts events in the Town hall in the 1960s. His son, Graham Dobson, kindly donated his father’s archive to us in 2012, and it now forms part of our archive collection.
Fleetwood Mac performed in the Lower Town Hall in 1968. We had this poster up in the old office at BAC. Unfortunately, it may have been lost in the recent fire, in 2015.
So at present, all we have is the digital image on this platform. If anyone finds it, or finds any other documentation of this gig, please do contact us!