05 July 2013
Greta Yorke looks back fondly to her teenage years in 1960s Dunoon, when she fell in love with the Beatles, discovered espresso coffee and danced the night away in the Queen's Hall.
Greta Yorke looks back fondly to her teenage years in 1960s Dunoon, when she fell in love with the Beatles, discovered espresso coffee and danced the night away in the Queen's Hall…
Fifty years ago on 22 March, 1963, apart from it being my father’s birthday, and Cliff Richard’s ‘Summer Holiday’ being number one in the charts, The Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me was released. It went on to sell almost two million copies worldwide. My friends and I were quick to love it and learn all the songs.
As teenagers we had developed independence through going with friends to the pictures at the La Scala or Green’s Playhouse, the ‘Flea Pit’on Saturday afternoons and venturing into the local cafes Juno’s and The Rock on Sunday afternoons, after Sunday school and lunch. Then there was the exciting El Bolero at the pier end of the West Bay Promenade. There we discovered espresso, frothy coffee and atmosphere. The jukebox was very popular and a lot of pocket money went there.
The Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me was released. It went on to sell almost two million copies worldwide. My friends and I were quick to love it and learn all the songs.
In Juno’s European Café we listened to a variety of singers and groups including Cilla, Sandie, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, The Searchers, The Hollies, Gerry and The Pacemakers, Roy Orbison and Dell Shannon.
By 1963 Saturday nights meant dancing in the Queen’s Hall.
Our local group The Flutters was most popular but we were regularly treated to The Echo Sounds from Irvine and best of all, Glasgow’s Chris McClure Section. These groups sang all the chart favourites and we danced together in groups dancing only to the slow songs with boys.
There was always the distraction of the ‘talent’ that came to Dunoon at Glasgow Fair time and the September Weekend.
We wore black polos and black leather jackets like our idols. The Honey magazine was bought every weekend and scrutinised to discover the latest fashion trends, usually worn by Twiggy and Jean ‘The Shrimp’ Shrimpton. We would then source cheap remnants of material at The Sewing Bee in John Street on Saturday afternoons and create our own versions of the magazine styles to wear to the dancing the same night.
There were some amazing results and never a pattern needed!
Hair was back-combed and lacquered into fashionable flicks and beehives while with Clearasil spot cover was abandoned as faces were made up with Pan Stick, lipstick and dark eyeliner.
We were in the Queen’s Hall café on 22 November, 1963 and cried when we heard that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.