Rockers Reunion 2008
19th January 2008
Rivermead Leisure Centre Reading
the 25th Rockers Reunion
as seen in
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Reunion 25th Winter Party Dance
is an old saying, that old rockers never die their leathers just get tighter,
and on Saturday January 19th there was more creaking leather to be
seen than you can shake a dead cow at, there were enough teddy boys and girls to
have a right royal picnic as well.
it really be 25 years ago that the Rockers Reunions Dances Started at the
Clarendon at Hammersmith. Originally it was the brain child of Len Patterson,
who wanted to relive the rock and roll dances, and see old friends from the era.
never made the first but saw the review in an early BSH and it was pencilled
into the diary. One year on and your fresh faced reporter and a mate were at the
Clarendon for the second dance. The headliners then were the superb rockabilly
group, Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers, the best thing to come out of
they were known as Piss ups but now called Winter Party the piss up tradition is
upheld by many
in 1984 the Clarendon Hotel never quite got the hang of catering for hundreds of
thirsty rockers and ran out of beer, and we were forced to drink lager, and
worse than that from cans, a fact my mate berates me to this day about and for
those that worry about rally toilets obviously never tried paddling up the
stairs in the Clarendon to the gents.(Len Patterson happily retold this story
and how everything leaked upon the bar below) My
one other memory from then was being stopped by police staggering home as the
sun was coming up, still humming rock and roll songs.
the years the Dances have been held in Hammersmith, Wimbledon, and then a long
run at Battersea town hall, all venues with a certain old world charm and with
various artists. By now the milling throng could drain a small brewery of ale
and Youngs the local brewer would ensure there was an ample supply, the dance
also started to attract big name artists from overseas as well.
these formative years there would be pre run dances at places such as Bonnies
near Catford (where I waltzed with Screaming Lord Such and the English version
of Dwarf throwing was born) and the sadly lost St Helier Arms.
the mid nineties the Dances moved to their regular venue of the Rivermead centre
so we reach modern day and once more this reporter still with youthful good
looks, but an expanding waistline, but with the same mate in tow head off to
party. Sadly I have missed several of the dances, but there was still the same
great feeling as we headed off
suppose the best way to describe the venue, is similar to an American gym style
dance, think Grease and you are there.
stalls catering for all your teddy boy and rocker whims.
word reunion is very much the operative word, and the smiles on the faces of old
friends as they meet again is infectious. With folk also travelling from abroad
year live acts came from Johnny Powers, Furious, Paul Ansell’s number nine,
Mean Streak and to top it all Crazy Cavan and The Rhythm Rockers. And real ales
by local brewery are the queue for the bar was something else.
Patterson was there to celebrate as well, though half of the reunions have been
organised by Ian Wallis, ably assisting and rewarded on this evening were
Cat Pete, Pete Bruce and the two Stu’s.
live music is not enough, the two Pete’s kept the music flowing from their
“stack of wax”.
Bruce was presented with a plaque for stirling work, and some fool gave len a
mikle to say a few words, will they ever learn after the first do’s Len can
chat for England.
Cavan hit the stage, they hit it running, it was superb, and it was not long
before a bevy of young ladies joined them on stage. and then seemingly half the
Rockers, Greasers whatever you want to call them, happily danced the night away
the wee small hours, tired and pissed folks wended there way home, another
must go to Len for the original dances, and for Ian and crew for continuing a
fine tradition, here’s too many many more.
to the next 25 years