December 1959

They're Just Wild About Cliff!

Gaumont CinemaNever have there been such "screaming scenes" in Dundee's Gaumont Theatre as those which greeted Wednesday night's performance of teenage idol Cliff Richard.

Two young women must have been really "sent". They lay on the road under the wheels of a private car that was blocking the rock star's intended hasty retreat at the end of the performance. The police, who saw their carefully planned schedule for Richard's exit coming to grief, had to clear a way for his taxi as others in the milling crowd dragged the two girls from under the private car.

During Richard's second performance six youths were taken out of the theatre after a scuffle with attendants in the stalls. One youth rushed towards the stage, but was turned back by stewards. He was taken to the exit when several more gathered in the aisle to block the way. Two policemen were called from outside and the youths were ejected.

And all during the show it was the same screaming story. Richard's 10 numbers were barely audible above the cries of girls who threw their arms in the air as Cliff stormed through "Here Comes Summer" and "Livin' Doll". His "Travelling Light" brought the audience from their seats and as they pressed forward the protective barrier in front of the orchestra pit bent under the strain. A girl had to be lifted bodily when she rushed to the stage.

Later crowds gathered outside the Royal Hotel where their idol was staying. Richard's taxi cruised around the city for half an hour to see if they would disperse, but again the police had to clear the way and in the melee a swing door was smashed.

Heroism of the Highest Order

By a "Journal" man at Buddon soon after the Mona Disaster
The facts were stark and simple - they always are in a disaster. The Mona lay on an even keel and broadside on to the beach at Buddon Ness. The last of the seven bodies of the lifeboat crew were being placed in a tractor trailer. The lifeboat's broken mast containing the radio aerial lay high on the beach. On the Mona a sou'wester lay on the deck, the chinstrap caught on a cleat, a navy blue woollen scarf tattered by the wind was entangled in the guardrail. Foam and spray was being whipped high and across the dunes. Eight men had died. In the background the sea still roared. Huge waves crashed and rolled onto the beach.

The shallow coastal waters were a boiling cauldron and, standing there on the beach, all of us - members of the volunteer lifesaving crew from Carnoustie, Arbroath fishermen who had come to offer assistance (they had known a like disaster only six short years before), policemen and onlookers - felt the mighty power of the sea. Futility? You could hardly escape that atmosphere. So many had come to help, but there was so little that could be done. But no men could have died more courageously. It had been heroism of the highest order.

Caledon Men's £300

About 1400 workers at the Caledon Shipyard asked the management to hold back part of their wages from their pay packets this week. The money, amounting to about £300, will be given to the dependants of the eight men who lost their lives in the Mona Lifeboat disaster.

For the disaster had a personal meaning for the Caledon workers. Four of their mates' driller James Ferrier, apprentice draughtsman John Grieve, and slingers Alex Gall and Ronald Grant - were all in the lifeboat crew.

An additional 10s from each of the 200 men in the boiler-shop will be collected for the families of Grant and Gall, who worked beside them. The shop stewards are to hold a meeting on Monday to decide whether to give the money to the official disaster fund or to give it as immediate assistance to the eight families.


Grand Holiday Reunion Dance
At the Palais, 31 South Tay Street, Dundee
On Tuesday, 8th December 1959
Dancing to Andy Lothian and his Band
Cabaret Floor Show
Buffet - usual facilities
Admission 5/-
8pm to 1am (no admission after 10pm)
Tickets obtainable in advance from the Ballroom and Local Agents.
Everybody welcome!
Bring your friends!
Meet your holiday hosts - The Butlin Redcoats -
And enjoy all the fun of a Butlin Dance.

Part-timer Again

Doug Alexander, Dundee's reserve left-half is to become a part-time player again. Manager Bob Shankley reluctantly agreed to this as his job is not to be kept open. Alexander became a full-timer to help him get back to complete fitness after being in hospital for six months with a spinal injury.

Popular "Cinderella"

With so much talk of TV affecting cinemas and theatres, it's unusual to hear of a musical society being forced to put on an extra performance to satisfy public demand. Yet that's what happened at the Palace Theatre, were this year the Downfield Musical Society is staging "Cinderella", from 21-26 December.

Booking began on November 21, and since then the demand for tickets has been so great that they are practically sold out. As a result the society's committee have decided to put on and extra performance. The date chosen is December 19 - two days before the panto was due to start.

Shopping Report

Here's the Christmas shopping report from some city shops:-
Meldrum's, Reform Street - "Things are a wee bit slower than last year. We can't say yet whether the indications are for a light or heavy Christmas."

Smith Brothers - "It's been long in starting, but we are under way now and things at the moment are very much the same as last year. We've found from experience that a late start indicates a heavy finish".

Draffens - "We've got off to a good start and we're expecting sales to be fully as good as last year. No one line in selling better than the other at the moment."

McGill Brothers - "It's been a slow start, but we're selling a lot of the bigger type of toy, such as tricycles."

Websters (The Toy Shop), Whitehall Crescent - "Things are very much as they were last year. A latish start but every indication of it building up. Railways, for instance, are very popular."

J.M. Ballroom

New Year's Week Dances
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - 8pm to 11pm
Hogmanay - 8pm to 11.30pm
New Year's Day - Late Dancing Carnival 10.30pm to 3am.
So make it a date for the
J.M. Ballroom, North Tay Street.