Looking back on musical heyday
0:00am Fri May 01, 2009
Mr Mick Duckmanton today and (above) playing guitar in the early 1960s with The Marksmen, later The Shapes. The picture was  taken during a rehearsal at Newark Congregational Church.
Mr Mick Duckmanton today and (above) playing guitar in the early 1960s with The Marksmen, later The Shapes. The picture was taken during a rehearsal at Newark Congregational Church.
Dennis and The Rockets, The Concords and Henry J. and The Pacifics — they sound like bands from a long-gone era, and that’s because they are.
r Duckmanton, left, is with Mr B. Shields, Mr Peter Mayall and Mr Colin Edge.
Mr Duckmanton, left, is with Mr B. Shields, Mr Peter Mayall and Mr Colin Edge.
They were among the Newark bands remembered fondly by car dealer Mr Mick Duckmanton, who was part of the town’s vibrant music scene of the 1960s.

Mr Duckmanton, who owns Triple Three Car Sales, Queen’s Road, recalls the 1960s as Newark’s heyday.

“There was live entertainment without too much cost,” he said.

“There just seemed to be a different atmosphere than today.”

Back then Mr Duckmanton (65) of Baines Avenue, Balderton, was one of many rock n’ roll musicians in Newark.

He was a guitarist who started playing with friends in the early 1960s and eventually formed The Shapes.

They had an agent in Lincoln and played at village halls in Lincolnshire when bookings in Newark began to dry up.

He said: “It was just vibrant in the 1960s. All the pubs were full but there wasn’t much trouble. The village dances were the best — there was always a village dance.”

As well as rock ‘n’ roll, the 1960s saw the birth of the Mod movement, with many of its followers owning scooters.

Mr Duckmanton said motorcyclists were always in the Market Place or taking a round trip down Wilson Street, Middlegate, Kirkgate, and back.

He recalled how the Bowling Green nightclub, Appletongate (now Premier Health and Fitness) was the main meeting place in the 1960s and 1970s.

Dances were held at Newark Town Hall on Saturday nights and there was a dance hall above Burton’s Menswear, Stodman Street, known as The Elite.

Oldham’s Blue Rooms, off the Market Place, was another popular club, and there was one on Cartergate above what was recently Cash Generators.

Well-known Newark firms of the time such as Cafferata and Co, Beacon Hill, later British Gypsum, and Ransome and Marles, had their own clubs.

Beaumond Café, a transport café at Beaumond Cross, attracted motorcyclists with its juke box, and was also a stopping-off point for pop stars on their way up the old A1 from London. Billy Fury and Marty Wilde were among those seen at the café.

Many up-and-coming stars performed at the Corn Exchange or the Palace Theatre, including Cliff Richard, Screaming Lord Sutch, and Shane Fenton and the Fentones, who later became Alvin Stardust.

Newark had three cinemas —The Savoy, now the Halifax on Middlegate, The Bug Hutch on Barnbygate, along with the Palace Theatre.

There was a roller-skating rink, and an open air swimming pool.

Nearby, the miners’ welfares of Ollerton, Bevercotes, Cotgrave and Calverton proved the biggest draws, with about 200 people watching acts of the calibre of Shirley Bassey.

There were countless dances organised in villages by groups such as Young Farmers.

Yet despite Newark’s vibrant music scene, Mr Duckmanton said Saturday night was a Nottingham night.

He said they used to catch the bus to Nottingham from the old bus station behind the Robin Hood Hotel, before it moved to Lombard Street in 1964.

Mr Duckmanton, who collects pop memorabilia, remembers good bands from Newark who performed during the 1960s, such as Dennis and The Rockets, The Concords, Henry J. and The Pacifics, and Tony and The Trackers.

Another popular band was The Phantoms, whose drummer in the mid-1960s was Mr John Bird (65) of Lincoln Road.

He later joined the Classics Dance Band, which featured Balderton jazz guitarist Denny Goodwin, and also performed as part of a duo called Quantolira until 1980.

Mr Bird said: “There were lots of venues. None of these places were very big but because there was so much entertainment going on in the area you got 50 or 60 in a relatively small pub.”

“There was always an act somewhere throughout the week. It wasn’t just weekends.

“It obviously must have paid in that time or the landlords would not have put it on.”

Mr Bird said most bands performed covers of the music of the time, particularly the Mersey sound of bands from Liverpool, led by The Beatles.

Mr Bird said when the 1965 film, Ferry Cross The Mersey, was shown at the Palace his band performed the hit song that accompanied the film.

Although his band recorded a single it was rejected by record company Philips.

He said bands did not get paid much and did it more for the music.

Mr Bird, who worked at British Gypsum before retirement, thought there was still a desire for live music in Newark, but said most of those involved in the 1960s music scene had left the town.

Posted on 3:07pm Sun Feb 28, 2016

By Darylld123

The Beamond Cafe was not a transport cafe,The transport cafe that the popstars called into was called The M and M or Double M which was ssituated just off the A1 close to where Sainsbury's is now..

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