Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Jokers Wild in Cambridge

Jokers Wild were a Cambridge based band which performed from 1964 to 1966 and included Pink Floyd's David Gilmour as a band member.

Below is a list of the full band and some of the locations they performed.

Band Members

David Gilmour – Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica
David Altham – Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
John Gordon – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Dick Perry – Saxophone, Trumpet
Tony Sainty – Bass, Vocals (Left the band in Early 1966)
Clive Welham – Drums, Vocals  (Left the band in Mid 1966)
Peter Gilmour – Bass Guitar, Vocals (Joined the band in Early 1966)
Rick Wills – Bass Guitar  (Joined the band in 1966)
Willie Wilson – Drums  (Joined the band in Mid 1966)
Some of Their Performances


14th October – Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge,


13th, 20th & 28th January – Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge,

30th January – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge,

13 February – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge, 

19th February – Valentine Ball - Caius College, The Guildhall & The Corn Exchange, Cambridge,

22nd February – Old English Gentlemen, Cambridge,

24th February – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge,

26th March – The Racehorse, Cambridge,

5th , 12th & 19th May - Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge,

2nd June - Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge,

5th June – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge,

15th June – Peterhouse College May Ball, Cambridge,

30th June - Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge,

3rd July – Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge,

6th July - Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge,

1st & 8th September - Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge,

12th November – Bassingbourn Village College, Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire,

19th November – Victoria Ballroom, Cambridge,

26th November – Comberton College, Cambridge,

Their only releases were a privately-pressed, single-sided album catalogue number (RSLP 007) and single (RSR 0031), of which only  fifty copies were made of each. The recordings were made  at Regent Sound studio, in Denmark Street, London.

The album featured the five songs: 

                                                      "Why Do Fools Fall in Love"

                                                            "Walk Like a Man"

                                                             "Big Girls Don't Cry"

                                                              "Beautiful Delilah"

                                                     "Don't Ask Me (What I Say)"

         The single was  "Why Do Fools Fall in Love".backed with "Don't Ask Me (What I Say)"

These articles may also be of interest: Pink Floyd's Cambridge Roots  
                                                                The Beatles in Cambridge 

Monday, 14 January 2013

On The Buses in Cambridge - The Early Years

On the 15th April 1905 two companies began the first motor bus service in the city, not only were they in
Market Hill -1905
 Possibly on the first day of service.
competition with each other, but also the tramway service. The Cambridge University and Town Motor Omnibus Company Limited ran a 25 horse powered Straker Squire - Number CE299, the bus was light blue. Their rival company was the Cambridge Motor Omnibus Company and they operated two double - decker Thorneycroft buses.

On the first day of service The Cambridge University and Town Motor Omnibus Company Limited carried about 1,705 passengers between 4:30pm and 9:30pm, with a fare of one penny.

A Ortona bus in Regent Street - 1914
( Note the tram riding pass)
In those early days there was no set stops and you had to wave at a bus so it would stop and you could get on. It was also becoming clear the companies were holding poor safety records and were causing damage to kerbs, lamp posts, and other objects, even one ticket person was killed and this led to both companies having their licences to operate withdrawn in 1906.

In August 1907 James Berry Walford began the Ortona Bus Company and promised to make it a success, despite the set backs of the other two companies.
It is said that James Berry Walford got the name Ortona from a cruise ship he had been on. The buses were leaf green with red wheels and body trim. The buses ran every 15 minutes from 8am - 9:35pm daily except on Sundays.

By the start of the 1920's Ortona had rival firms, first with Whippet in 1919 and the Burwell and District Bus Company in 1922. A new bus station opened in 1925 at Drummer Street on land taken from Christ's Pieces.

There had been a battle between the council and the Town's people because the new bus station would take land from Christ's Piece. A mass protest which included about 3,000 people took place because the council had started work before approval had been given. Protesters were carried in carts to the Mayors house, with the horses being replaced by supporters.

A 1980's advert for Cambus
The original bus service, before Drummer street bus station had been built, ran from the railway station to the Post Office, at the top of Petty Cury, and carried on to the Chesterton terminus.

On the 11th July 1931 Ortona was taken over by Eastern Counties Omnibus Company, which had been based in Norwich. The Green Ortona buses changed to the red of Eastern counties.

Eastern Counties ran until 1984 when it became Cambus after a national restructure. In 1986 it was brought out by a management team.

The Victoria Cinema

The first home of the Victoria was built in 1897 as the Victoria Assembly Rooms on Market Hill and in 1911 became the Electric Theatre Picture House. In 1915, after refurbishment, it reopened as the Victoria Cinema and remained at the site until 1921. A new Victoria Cinema opened in 1930 in a building closer to Market Street.

The first home of the Victoria Cinema - 1916

The building went under a refit in 1952 and in November 1972 it held the first all-night horror film show. It was recorded that over 600 people came to watch the all night show which ran from 11:30pm to 8:00am.

The second home of the Victoria Cinema 

The Victoria Cinema carried on into the 1980s, but finally closed in January 1988. The site was took over by Marks & Spencer.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Beatles in Cambridge

The Beatles First Visit : Tuesday 19th March 1963, Regal Cinema

At 8pm on the 18th March 1963 the Beatles were performing at the Regal Cinema in Gloucester, but within 24 hours the Fab Four would travel over 105 miles and arrive in Cambridge for their first performance in the city.

Poster for the Concert 
It would be their 10th concert performance of 1963, but on this first visit to the city, and the Regal Cinema, they were a support act to Chris Montez and Tommy Roe.

Their playlist on this tour would include the hits: Love Me Do, Misery, A Taste of Honey, Do You Want To Know A Secret, Please Please MeI Saw Her Standing There. 

Also performing during this concert were Tony Marsh, Debbie Lee, The Viscounts and The Terry Young Six.

The following night they moved on to the ABC Cinema in Romford, it would be their only performance there, but they did return to Romford on 16th June 1963 to perform at the Odeon Cinema. The ABC Cinema was demolished in 1999 to make way for Gibson Court.

The Beatles Second Visit : Tuesday 26th November 1963, Regal Cinema

On Monday 25th November 1963, the day before their second visit to Cambridge, The Beatles were at the Granada Television studios in Manchester recording for a show called 'The Late Scene Extra'.

The boys were involved with singing along to their forthcoming single 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' and it's B- Side 'This Boy'

Here are the performance of 'This Boy' recorded for the show...

This Boy

The boys were also interviewed for the show by Presenter Gay Byrne. They were joined by Ken Dodd as guests.

When Beatles arrived in Cambridge the following day for their 21st Concert performance of 1963, they were now the headline act. 
People lined the street outside the Regal from about 10:30am and the boys had to be smuggled down Downing Street by police escort. Records show over 4,000 people were in the audience.

Ticket from the performance

The following day the Beatles took their final trip to the Rialto Theatre in York. They had performed there three times before on 27th February, 13th March and 29th May.

These articles may also be of interest: Pink Floyd's Cambridge Roots 
                                                                Jokers Wild in Cambridge