Saturday, October 28, 2006

Llandudno pier Pavillion

I found this wonderful photo of the Pier Pavillion, Llandudno on this website The theatre was built around 1884 and it was a wonderful old building, unfortunately they stopped using it in 1990 and a few years later it burned to the ground. A very sad day for Llandudno and a great pity it could not have been repaired and saved in 1990.
I had many an enjoyable evening there listening to well known artistes and pop singers when I was young. When I was 15 years old, during my school holidays I worked at the Waverley Hotel, which was just behind the Pavillion.

The Waverley Hotel.

The proprietors were Mr and Mrs D Elias, I was given a choice of becoming a waitress or a chambermaid and I chose the latter as I was very shy. I used to help Mr Elias to peel potatoes, it was a lovely Summer and we sat on the step outside while we did this. I remember vividly one early morning listening to Sandy McPherson practicing on the organ in the theatre. The windows were open and I will never forget it. Sandy McPherson was very well known and had a radio programme called Sandy McPherson at the Theatre Organ'.

Sandy MacPherson
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Alexander "Sandy" MacPherson was a British theatre organist who achieved considerable exposure in the early week sof World War II when the BBC briefly switched to brosadcasting only light music. McPherson played up to twelve hours per day, also filling in anouncements and programme notes, until pressure from listeners and the press caused the BBC to recommence broadcasting a wider range of music.

During the blanace of the war MacPherson regularly broadcast on the BBC from the BBC Theatre Organ, located in Bangor, Wales, close to Macpherson's then home of Llandudno.

In the early 1930s MacPherson was the resident organist at the Empire Leciester Square.


Ali Honey said...

Great photos of the theatre ruins what a waste. Love the old seaside pier photo too with all the detail of fashions and the buildings at that time.
We have a Waverley in New Zealand ( probably named after your one )near where we used to live in South Taranaki. My Husband's Mother's family came from there.

David Owen said...

A story told by Terry-Thomas in his book Filling the Gap.
(It was well known that Terry was very keen of being given the hyphen in his name.)

Once during a ‘Music for the Millions' tour I was playing the Pier Pavilion Llandudno. I could see my name in huge letters from my hotel window.
There was no hyphen.
I complained at once to Sidney Piddington, the mind-reading chap, who at that time had retired from the stage and was Harold Fielding’s General Manager.
Sidney apologised and assured me that it would not happen again.
And it didn’t. Throughout the rest of the tour all was well.

But the next time I played Llandudno I looked across the bay from my hotel room and there again were the huge letters, Terry Thomas. No hyphen. Bad show! I was livid.

I left the hotel in a fury, got out my bike and pedalled madly along to the pier. Sidney Piddington was unabashed. ‘No hyphen?’ he echoed. You’re kidding! Of course there’s a hyphen. A bonza one. Come outside and look.

Well we had a look. There was the hyphen, large as life.
How was it done?
Just for a gag, Sidney had fitted up a cardboard flap over the hyphen and a man on the roof was working it with a bit of cotton.

Also at Llandodno Pier Pavilion

Terry claimed that he threw a man out for barraking.

What disgusted him was that he had just come on stage and had not uttered a word.

Terry says that he jumped the Orchestra pit and through the man out. Luckily the man was 5 ’4’’ to Terry’s 6ft.

R.I.P. To a very warm and well loved comedian.