NOSTALGIA: Rocking out with the ‘Qou at the Cromat Club for just a few bob

You could see the five-piece Status Quo for just 25p at the CROMAT Club in The Tricorn
You could see the five-piece Status Quo for just 25p at the CROMAT Club in The Tricorn
Clarence Pier pre-1936. ''Another view of Clarence Pier, this time from where the trams terminated at the end of Pier Road, Southsea. 'Picture: Robert James Collection

NOSTALGIA: Portsmouth pier through the ages

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I wonder how many of you can remember the CROMAT Club that took over the Tricorn Club on a Tuesday night back in the early 1970s?

It was formed by now-Angel Radio DJ Pete Cross and band manager Ricky Martin.

Winston Churchill in his position of First Lord of the Admiralty was received by officers of the RFA at Hilsea Drill Fields Picture: Robert James collection

Winston Churchill in his position of First Lord of the Admiralty was received by officers of the RFA at Hilsea Drill Fields Picture: Robert James collection

It soon became the place to be for young people of the period.

All of the top bands of the time appeared on stage.

On the opening night, January 19, 1971, Rod Argent was star billing for just 30p.

Pete Cross told me: ‘Between 400 and 500 people crowded into the club including many students from the Portsmouth Polytechnic.

Drings cardboard factory girls, 1950. Clockwise from top left,Doreen Tisson, Phyllis Durrant, 'Pat Meyrick and Alice Whittle   Picture: Wendy Clement collection

Drings cardboard factory girls, 1950. Clockwise from top left,Doreen Tisson, Phyllis Durrant, 'Pat Meyrick and Alice Whittle Picture: Wendy Clement collection

‘We had all the top groups down there including Alex Harvey, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Uriah Heep, Slade, Colin Blunstone, The Sweet, and Thunderclap Newman.

‘Radio One DJs also appeared on stage, including John Peel who had a residency and whispering Bob Harris who made guest appearances.

‘Status Quo appeared on January 25, 1972 with a fee of £100 pictured right.

‘They were absolutely deafening, so loud.

Cricket team at Front Lawn recreation ground, Leigh Park

Cricket team at Front Lawn recreation ground, Leigh Park

‘The entrance fee was just 25p or, as we said back then, five bob.

‘One night we had drummer Ginger Baker with a 13 piece Afro-rock band. They were a little more expensive for the time at 60p.

‘Marc Bolan, who was to become lead singer with the glam rock band T.Rex, visited the club one evening and was invited on stage where he was booed by the audience.

‘It appears he was a soft rock musician at the time and not appreciated at the heavy rock club.

I expect there are many who once worked at Drings cardboard factory located along the Portsmouth Airport Service Road. It is still called that many years after the airport’s demise.

Sent in by Wendy Clement we see some of the girls who used to work at the factory way back in 1950, below left. To the top left is Doreen Tisson who was Wendy’s aunt. If anyone else has photographs from the factory I’d love to see them.

Last Monday I published the photograph, below, of a team of cricketers at Front Lawn Recreation Ground, Leigh Park.

I have received an e-mail from Janet Pond, the daughter of the late Les Pond, telling me who the team were.

They are, back row from left, Boll Fowler, unknown, George Clay, Les Pond, then all remain unknown. Front row from left, Stan Massey, Ken Hope, George Gadsby, Ron Thompson.

Can you help me fill in the gaps?

In May 1914, Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty, arrived at Hilsea Drill Field by biplane and was received by officers of the RFA.

Robert James collection