BBC Jazz Club, 1960. Just Reminiscing!

It’s my birthday today! Or, to be more precise, by the time you read this it will have been my birthday today. This time last year I gave my age away but this time this year that’s taboo!

One of my closest friends back in the 1950s/1960s era emigrated to Australia in 1968. Before that, along with our other chums, we spent hours together doing what teenagers did back then. Partying, pub crawling, club crawling, Young Conservatives crawling! Saturday nights started out at The Miramar Hotel in Beltinge, where Alfie challenged us to the “double or nothing” chance of free entry, and ended up either at The Marie Celeste Night Club in Herne Bay or at Sarre Court Country Club – all in East Kent.

Jazz Too!
Jazz too played large in the picture. I remember especially one late night party thrown by Bertie in his grand old Georgian Terrace house on Herne Bay sea front. Two jazz hits played over and over again that night still haunt me – Miles Davis’s “Lift To The Scaffold” and Lonnie Donegan’s “Seven Golden Daffodils”.

That too was the era of Acker’s “Stranger on the Shore” and Kenny’s “Midnight in Moscow” – bringing back, dare I say it, memories of my first “real” girlfriend. Sammy Rimington did the East Kent Jazz Circuit in those days and still does so this day, touring with his International Jazz Band’s Autumn tours. But his was and still is pure New Orleans Revivalist Jazz dating back to the era of his mentor, the legendary George Lewis.

But getting back to my “emigrated to Aussie” Chum, Roger and I stay in touch and I was delighted when he visited us for a very pleasant afternoon a couple of years ago. And again this Autumn when I got together with him during his latest visit to the UK.

Where is The BBC Today?
What’s the point of these reminiscences? Just that recently he emailed me a wonderful YouTube bringing memories of those days flooding back. So much so that I  couldn’t  resist sharing it with you all on Jazz&Jazz. And note it’s title, BBC Jazz Club, 1960. To view it, hit

So just where is the media –  BBCand ITV included –  today when it comes to jazz? I’ll get back to that very soon.

Meanwhile I couldn’t resist signing off my **birthday with this catchy, highly pertinent blues number a friend in LA just sent me: “Weary Blues”:

Jessie Fuller starred on BBC Jazz Club back then!

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  1. catherine says:

    Peter, I was interested that you could remember so vividly about what Alfie did during the Saturday night dances at the Miramar Hotel, where I lived during that period, it was such a great period for us living at Herne Bay.
    My brother has often taken me to some annual jazz events around where we live.


  2. Peter Butler says:

    Hi Catherine

    Wonderful to hear from you. I wonder if we ever crossed paths all those years ago. Yes, in so many ways those were magical times. Somehow things aren’t the same for the same generation today. Where do you live now and what jazz events does your brother take you to? Come to that, what is his name? Who knows, we may have met.

    Best wishes for 2014


  3. catherine says:

    My late father was Mr David, my older brother sometimes played the drums. Unfortunately Alfie took to the drink, as with most of his family, so died young, but did very well himself and finally settled in Cornwall. I could tell you loads that would bore you to bits!
    We are now on the borders of England and Wales, Mike has taken me to a jazz festival in Brecon, also a great church jazz festival not far from the lovely town where he lives.

    We are just off to the NZ for six weeks, to attend a marriage blessing of our younger son, they are already married but had to marry quickly for a contract in the middle east, so this time they are doing it the correct way, with a family reunion.

    If you ever saw me I would have been dancing with Alife!


  4. Peter Butler says:

    If only I could recall those days vividly enough to conjure up clear memories of you dancing with Alfie, Catherine. Yet I do conjure up vague visions of him dancing, so perhaps … … … !!! And he always chose the prettiest partners! It’s so sad he took to drink. He was a likeable rogue!

    Safe travelling and enjoy the wedding and family reunion.


  5. catherine says:

    You have put into nostalgia mood, reminding me of lovely, Acker’s, Strangers of the Shore,
    I have just played it on You tube as I often used to listen to that song while having a milk shake in Mackaries, remember the Italian cafe on the corner with the jute box?
    Mike was born in 1941 so loved the jazz period, he has also taken my old ma to listen to some jazz, as she also loves the music., despite being 96, Mike has told me she sings away in the car when they return!
    It was such a friendly hotel with the Irish staff, A man, who brought his family to stay twice a year, often enjoyed coming into the pantry and helping, you wouldn’t see that nowadays.

    I won’t bother you again Peter, if is so nice to hear from someone who remembers those days in Herne Bay.

  6. Peter Butler says:

    Ah! Makcaris!

    Surely I must have seen you there? It was almost our “local”! Bother me any time, Catherine, with such memories. But of course not until you get back from New Zealand.


    PS Are you by any chance on Facebook? If so, I have set up a Facebook Jazzers Group you could join. Mike might be interested in that.

  7. Donald Musson says:

    I’m interested to see you are talking about the Marie Celeste club in Herne Bay. My Grandfather owned this and my Mum worked here. I spent my childhood in the restaurant and club.
    I now live in South London.

  8. Peter Butler says:

    When precisely was this, Donald? Thinking back, I was a member of the club around 1960/1964. The owner was Ted Rabie (?) – was he your Grandfather? (sorry if I have his name wrong – memory lapses!). So please tell me more. Plus I would be very interested to know how you came across this post – are you a jazz fan?

  9. Jacky barker says:

    Very nostalgic reading about Macaris, Sarre Court , the Miramar and The Marie Celeste. A huge part of growing up. The Dave Bone quartet often played at the Marie Celeste and my husband, Bill Barker, sat in on the drums frequently. Friday nights were spent at Sarre Court dancing to the Peter Jon trio. Donald, you are obviously Vivienne’s son. I was at La sainte Union convent school with Vivienne and we both went to secretarial college in Canterbury. Is she still in France?

  10. Peter Butler says:

    I often wish I still lived in Beltinge. But Sarre Court, the Miramar and the Marie Celeste are all long gone. Only Macaris remains under different ownership. An no longer any Herne Bay Pier. All so sad!

  11. millie farrelly says:

    Hi Catherine I’ve just seen your message. I remember you and Joe your Dad. And of course Alfie. Do you remember Pat and Arthur Farrelly? I married his brother Peter and we had our reception at the Miramar.

  12. millie farrelly says:

    Peter do you remember Pat and Arthur Farrelly. I marriedhis brother Peter in 1963 and we had our reception at the Miramar.

  13. Peter Butler says:

    No, sorry Millie. It was so long ago that many names from the past escape me.

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