Bron Parker, Drummer with The Strangers

Does anyone have memories of Yarmouth 60's groups the Strangers, The Millionaires, the E types or Milton and the Continentals? Or have you any photos or Mercury articles from that time? Share them with us....

By Bron Parker

I played drums with the Strangers back in the Sixties at the Floral Hall, Goodes Hotel Gari, and many other Venues.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bron Parker, Drummer with The Strangers' page
Photo:Practicing at the Silk Mills Pub

Practicing at the Silk Mills Pub

Bron Parker

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bron Parker, Drummer with The Strangers' page
This page was added by Bron Parker on 18/09/2012.
Comments about this page

Bron Parker's photo and brief article about "The Strangers" remind me of this group's special talent in the 60's. Pete Pease was the lead guitarist, who was Brian Roberts cousin (the lead guitarist in The Millionaires at about the same time)... Pete and The Strangers inspired me to give singing a go, which led me to audition for The Millionaires when they too played the Gari, The Brit, and various other venues up and down the coast. Where are you now Pete? Other groups were the E types, Milton and the Continentals, and we all dreamt about making the big time, as we were often used as supporting groups for the "stars" of that period. The Millionaires warmed up the theatres for The Who, Donovan, Tom Jones, Emile Ford and the Checkmates, The Applejacks etc, and although we never became stars, we certainly enjoyed being part of the special "training" we received thanks to exposure to these artists, some of whom are still going strong today... It would be nice to use Bron's page as a contact page for all those groups like The Strangers to share old memories of their special life experience of what it was like playing on stage, and to the dancehall crowds of the time. It could also provide a forum for old fans of all the Yarmouth 60's groups, who might like me, be wondering where they are now... Thanks Bron; The Strangers were certainly the top group of the period, which you modestly neglected to say... Photos or Mercury articles from this period would be well appreciated if any readers have any of these to share... Steve Dunn ex Millionaires singer French Alps

By Steve Dunn
On 23/10/2012

Thanks for your comment; I still see Peter and John Taylor who played with us as well as the Ramblers.  Rod Harvey our singer is still about but not too well, keep in touch.

By Bron
On 14/01/2013

Anyone know how Philip James is these days?  He was a founder member of The Strangers - probably back in 1961?  I worked with Philip (Sid) at Fine Fare supermarket in 1962-65 when he was the produce manager (fruit and veg) - he also worked night shift at Hartmans in 1967.  I also knew Rod Harvey when he worked on the blue buses in 1967/8; sorry to hear he's not too good.  Hope you get well soon Rod.  I remember you singing 'House of the Rising Sun' at the Floral Hall in 1964.  Also recall you singing at the AldermanLeachSchool in 1961 - accompanied by Frankie Howard's musical arranger Mr Bosomworth (school music master with the Humber limousine).  Best wishes

By Duncan Kirkwood
On 26/02/2013

Strange about Sid he never was a founder member he turned up at some practices (unannounced) got a guitar out of a case and polished it and never played it he even purchased the same stage clothes as us but never came to a gig I have still got my original premier Kit and just got another if anyone feels like forming a band for fun let me know email me on bronparker.designs@gmail.com thanks for the comments

By Bron Parker
On 24/05/2013

Hi, I'm still around, still playing mostly in jazz combos these days. The NJP Trio is my regular band with John Temple (sax), and Stuart Gooch (bass) - although we still do the occasional revival gig with whoever is still standing. The next one is Friday 18th October at the Kingfisher at Burgh Castle, to raise money for a hospital charity. Looking forward to seeing the TV film with Bron later in the year. Keep in touch.

By Peter Pease,
On 15/07/2013

So there you have it Bron-"Bron's blog" up and running for all those 60's/70's bands and band members who'd like to tell "Our Great Yarmouth" readers about their particular involvement in the pop/rock scene at that time... This will hopefully encourage musicians and fans alike to contribute their recollections of the period, and to share those memories of gigs and concerts Yarmouth groups performed during what was a really exciting time to be playing. What a buzz to discover that ex "Strangers" lead guitarist Pete Pease is still "sliding up and down the fret-board" after all these years, albeit a very different style of music. This information would never have been revealed if this blog didn't exist, and so thanks for the extremely important role "Our Great Yarmouth " plays in bringing it all together. Thanks to the medium of Internet I have been able to watch Pete play in his NJP Jazz Trio via Youtube, and can see and hear he's never lost the ability to get his old guitar communicating with his audience; just as he did when I first saw him play at the old "Bridge Hotel" on the Southtown side of the Haven Bridge. Ah, those were the days! You might like to know Pete that I am also still in a band called "Wantedgroupe" here in the French Alps-you can access our site on www.wantedgroupe.com but as the equivalent Musician's Union here in France is really strict, unfortunately you're not able to tap into our repertoire, which is essentially covers...Let's just say I've evolved quite a bit since the days of "The Mi££ionaires", and now share stage with my wife and daughter and three other musicians.My daughter did her first FrenchTV appearance last year, so who knows perhaps my original longing to be famous might one day materialise through her... In any case it's her inherited Yarmouth blood that contributes to her ability to put a song across in English, as her native tongue is of course French. OK, with this up-date on my info in response to Pete's contact- it's au revoir for now, until I can get to Norfolk to attend one of NJP's gigs in the not too distant future. In the meantime let's keep Bron's Blog turning...and what would life be like without music? Steve Dunn French Alps August 14th 2013

By SteveDunn
On 11/09/2013

Hi, You might also be interested to see the article by Joseph Harlow that has just been published on this site in the Leisure section.

By Colin Stott
On 11/09/2013

Hi Colin, Thanks for the reference to Joe Harlow's text which I found extremely interesting, and a real nostlgia trip. The above comments from Bron, Pete etc encouraged me to do a bit of research via Great Yarmouth Library concerning my own Group "The Mi££IONAIRES", to see if it could be possible to access their Great Yarmouth Mercury files of 1965 with a view to obtaining a photo of the group at that time. Not only did the library staff do this for me, but they did it with panache, scanning a photo of the group, just before its appearance with Tom Jones and Donovan at The Britannia Pier Theatre, along with The Who and David Bowie. Here is the photo as it appeared, (thanks to Great Yarmouth library's highly professional personnel) and as your readers can imagine it conjures up all kinds of memories of a very different Great Yarmouth, when shows were king, and up and coming artists like the stars mentioned above were given a kick start in their careers by theatres dotted along the Norfolk coast... Peter Jay of course contributed enormously to the promotion of the town in this respect, and special thanks are due to His Father Jack Jay, whose influence is still very much alive in the wings of The Hippodrome Circus-and the entertainment that Peter continues to bring to the Golden Mile... Through show-biz contacts Peter and The Jaywalkers of course had the edge on the rest of us musicians who could only dream of making it big one day, but this is not to take away the talent of the group, who at last count must have been supporting group for literally hundreds of big name stars all over the country, while we excitedly wallowed in warming up show- goers in the theatres "along the front". Still, at least we experienced performing in front of thousands of holidaymakers, which still very much remains ingrained in the pysche of all who experienced this very special privilege... Keep those memories coming in, and a special thanks to the volunteer staff at "Our Great Yarmouth" for making our contacts possible. Steve Dunn French Alps September 2013

By steve dunn
On 07/10/2013

Its me again, I have started Jamming with a sax player, keyboards and bass at Henstead craft centre - look at their webpage for dates.

By Bron Parker
On 14/10/2013

the BBC have just sent me a link to a film they made with interviews with Me and Peter Pease about the Gt. Yarmouth Music scene in the 60shttp://norfolkonfilm.tumblr.com/post/64862452378/great-yarmouth-the-1960s-music-scene-remember

By Bron Parker
On 12/11/2013

Bron and Steve - not sure if you'd be interested in this but it is a link to a Strangers photo posted on my group. Thing is - my contributor have identified Bron on the Drums and Peter Pease and John George ( father of the lady who posted the photo ) and obviously identified the band as the Strangers. But the Bass drum also has the words Les Merry painted above the word Strangers. I will post the link but not sure if it will work or not? http://www.facebook.com/groups/204183036306903/permalink/389338137791391/

By Martin Swann
On 22/11/2013

and I have just viewed your old posters so maybe that answers my question about Les Merry?

By Martin Swann
On 22/11/2013

This latest picture of the Mi££ionaires was kindly contributed by Steve Dunn.

By Colin Stott
On 22/11/2013

I bet Bron you couldn't have imagined the reaction your photos of "The Strangers" would have on all who have contributed so far to this blog. For my part I have been really happy at last to access references to 60's Yarmouth groups, which would otherwise have been lost forever. Thanks Bron for the BBC interview material with you and Pete Pease; (see Bron's note of 12/11/13). This interview formed part of an extremely important time for the Yarmouth Beat Scene, and illustrated the venues that we must have all played at one time or another: The Garibaldi, The Britannia Pier, The Hippodrome Circus, The Floral Hall, Lakenheath and Bentwaters US bases etc.etc. This programme was appropriately presented by none other than Rick O'Shea of The Ramblers, and really deserves a look to see what a buzz it was to be part of it all! By the way you guys still look the same as on your original photo of The Strangers-except Bron for your "mature-age" beard!!... Thanks also to Martin Swann for his comments re Les Merry and The Strangers, and his very nostalgic (for me) reference to John George, who also played with The MI££ionaires for a while...A really talented and competent synthesizer/organ player. Haven't had time to look at the photos yet Martin, but thanks a lot for this... Just an aside for those of you who may be interested: although my group didn't make the big time, my cousin's group THE SORROWS with Don FARDON did reasonably well with TAKE A HEART in the sixties; and of course Don went on to record INDIAN RESERVATION in the US, which brought in mega-bucks for him. My cousin Pip Whitcher formed The SORROWS, and there is loads of material on Youtube pertaining to his, and the group's success. He frequently spent his holidays in Yarmouth at our Aunt's guest-house in Walpole Road, and is perhaps evidence again of good old Yarmouth air " being instrumental " in bringing out musical talent! For the record I also doubled as The Sorrows Road manager in Italy in the mid sixties, where their Italian version of TAKE A HEART went to number one in the charts. Echoes of all those screaming Italian ladies still bring shivers down the spine! Ah! The glorious sixties... keep those comments rolling in, and cheers to all for now Steve DUNN

By steve dunn
On 27/11/2013

Hello All, Good to see you all getting in touch with each other and sharing your memories on the website. I am in charge of the oral history archives at Time & Tide museum and it would be great to record some of you talking about your experiences in the bands. If you would like to do this then please contact me at info@ourgreatyarmouth.org.uk 

On a seperate note (excuse the pun) my colleague is considering putting on some music evenings at the museum in August 14. It occurs to me that it might be good to get some of you together to play a "reunion" gig. It's just an idea at this stage but it would be good to know what you think. Thanks. Colin Stott

By Colin Stott
On 27/11/2013

Hi Colin; Count me in for a reunion gig (hopefully with Bron and Pete and others) in August 2014 if it takes off... Also, I'm interested in recording some of my personal experiences of Yarmouth band life in the sixties, whenever you want...After Christmas would be good for me, as my band is Gigging through December... Best regards Steve Dunn

By steve dunn
On 29/11/2013

Hi Steve, That's great we will be in touch shortly. Best Wishes Colin

By Colin Stott
On 29/11/2013

Hi Bron and Pete, I'll be flying over to the UK on 26/01 and will be in Yarmouth between 30/01 and 03/02/14 if you're interested in chatting over a beer or coffee together. Thanks Colin for all your encouragement. Looking forward to my visit to Time and Tide on 30/01 to record my 60's group experiences with Sue. Hope to meet you then. Best regards Steve

By steve dunn
On 20/01/2014

Thanks to you, Bron, for directing me to this page. It's great to read all the comments about the local groups back in the Sixties. I was lead singer with The Sidewinders at that time, and even substituted for Rod with The Strangers at a couple of gigs. I remember one time I had tickets to go to see The Rolling Stones in Norwich and was standing on the platform at Vauxhall Station waiting for my train. I heard a screeching of brakes and here came Pete Pease running along the platform to tell me that Rod was ill and to ask me to help The Strangers out in a gig at Wymondham College, which I agreed to with mixed feelings about missing The Stones! Anyway, the gig at Wymondham College went well, except that we only had about 30 or 40 people there. I guess everybody was in Norwich seeing The Stones! I kept asking the audience if anyone wanted my ticket. (I finally got to see The Stones in concert at The Astrodome in Houston, Texas in the mid-Eighties.)

By Martin Burniston
On 18/02/2014

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for contributing to this site; it's really good stuff! We have added a post to the Time & Tide Facebook page for local people to contribute and discuss. If you have Facebook, have a look and add us at Time & Tide. We would really love for our page to become a hub for the local community to reminisce alongside this site - Sam

By Sam Jinks
On 18/02/2014

Hi Martin and Sam, Great to have your contributions to Bron's Page. I recently came to Yarmouth to record my Sixties Group experiences at the Time and Tide museum. Sue Davies, the interviewer, really did a good job at extracting from me the essential impressions of what life was like for us musicians at that time-to be part of The Yarmouth Rock, Pop and R&B Scene. I thoroughly recommend you encourage any musician from the period to share their experiences as I have done; it really was an important time, as it coincided with us all wanting to be the next Searchers, Herman's Hermits, Beatles or Stones. Contact Colin Stott at Time and Tide to set up a recording session... Incidentally Martin, I've also been fortunate to see the Stones when they appeared at Lowestoft in the sixties, and later on a double billing with Bob Dylan in Montpellier,France. Magnifique!! Also Sam, I'm not a fan of Facebook. Is there another way I can access your "hub"? It sounds like a really interesting project. Steve Dunn French Alps 27/02/2014

By steve dunn
On 06/03/2014

Hello,

 I wonder if anyone can help me?

My name is Eddie Page and I am a drummer living in Berkshire. I am writing my second memoir of my time as a musician in the 1960s. I played in a band named Platform Six. We were also the backing band for girl singer Billie Davis. She had a hit with 'Tell Him' and she also had a well publicised affair with Jet Harris etc. We did a series of Sunday gigs around the seaside resorts; Torquay, Morecombe, Brighton, Isle of Man etc including Great Yarmouth on September 5th 1965.

I can't remember the name of the theatre and I possibly have the wrong date but we did play Great Yarmouth during that 1965 summer. It has been suggested that the most likely venue is the Aquarium or Royal Aquarium.

I notice from your excellent website that residents are contributing comments as to the acts in the sixties. 

Any help would be much appreciated.

Yours Sincerely

Eddie Page

By Eddie Page
On 10/06/2014

Greetings

In response to the question regarding Great Yarmouth's Royal Aquarium. The main part of The Royal Aquarium complex was a theatre where many well known stars appeared in summer season shows throughout the years. These days it is a cinema and has been for many years. The rear of the Royal Aquarium complex was mainly a live entertainment venue which has undergone several name changes over the years which are as follows The Dixieland Showbar, Stars & Garters, Rosie O' Grady's and The Residence. These days the venue has exceeded all expectations in more ways than one and reached new depths in which the venue has now become a lap dancing club for goodtime gals. And they say progress is a wonderful thing. As a drummer myself who played professionally for many years you might find some other interesting information in some of my own articles on this Our Great Yarmouth website in the dancing section titled Band Memories A Drummers Journey and Early days with The Cumberland Gap Trio. Another article in the theatre section also titled Band Memories was originally published by our local Great Yarmouth Mercury in 2009 under the original title If It Ain't Got That Swing about my life on the road. Here you will also find a photograph of myself backing singer Ronnie Carroll in the 1980's. Hope you find this information useful eddie. If you want any more information feel free to leave a message at the end of any of my articles on this website. All the best with the memoir have a nice life and keep swinging.

Joe Harlow

Gorleston on sea.

9/7/2014

 

 

 

 

By Joseph Harlow
On 15/07/2014

Hi, it's me again. I have now got a band together called Root 66. We are gigging - its a four piece Jeff Lake guitar vocals, Barry Osbourne Bass vocals, Graham Pickett Keyboards Harmonica vocals me Drums vocals check us out www.root66group.wix.com/group

 

 

 

By Bron Parker
On 27/07/2016

hello everybody,does any one know what happened to tony collier bass player with the millionaires ?, i worked with him in the 60s at h a holmes gorleston, where he made his first guitar. very fond memories.

david ward

By David Ward
On 25/09/2016

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