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Alan gave a very entertaining talk on the above. We learnt how there used to be many Theatres at the end of piers, where novelty was the key i.e. wearing a metal helmet with a spike, doing cartwheels, with self taught conjurers & magicians.

He regularly did an Act at the Bankford Hotel, Bradford. His new wife Brenda encouraged him to give up his day job and be a freelance entertainer. He often worked at the Strickwell Puppet Theatre and later started Pavlov’s Puppets. He almost frightened the life out of one lady, when he produced a near life sized puppet of a Brown Bear!

He often worked at Holiday Camps in Great Yarmouth, but his first resident Summer season was at Margate, with Danny La Rue; then Scarborough with Tommy Cooper, Skegness with Freddy Davies , Great Yarmouth with Ronnie Corbett etc, but for the next 4 years he had no Summer season. Then had 3 seasons at Scarborough, with Freddie Starr, Ray Alan, Ray Charles, Charlie Brown and John Bouchier the Ventriloquist.

Later he worked with the Krankies at Ayr, where they had 2 shows per night, 6 nights per week with Sun off. He also worked with Keith Harris & Orville, Dick Emery & at Chatham with Norman Wisdom, Cilla Black at Sandown & Jimmy Cricket/John Inman in Aladdin at Wolverhampton & Charlie Drake in Cinderella. He also worked one night at The Pier, Cleethorpes with Rolf Harris, before touring round.

By 2000, there was no more of this type of show business for him. Pantomime run times & dancers/Orchestra numbers had reduced. However, Pavlov’s Puppets topped the bill at Leamington Spa for a 3 week stint. Now Alan tours round groups and societies enlightening us on his fascinating showbiz life.

Last Revised: 10 June 2007

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