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More Shades-related memories

from The Southend Standard, 23 September 2005

More of Len Tís memories

 I note with interest letters referring to the death of Chris Blackman.  We held a service at the Shades on the day of the funeral.

 Chris was a budding carpenter and I have a sharpening stone that he left behind at the Shades, with a case he made for himself.  I never knew what to do with it.

 Perhaps Carol Newbury-Smith would like it as a keepsake.  We did run a Shades reunion at the Dickens about 20 years ago, run by Mike Brownlee, who, of course was the original drummer with The Paramounts.  This was a resounding success.

The Blonde Shirley and myself were guests of honour.  If a suitable venue could be found, I feel it would create a lot of interest among those taking part, and supporters (no crutches allowed!). 

The site of the Shades now houses a block of flats, but there must be a suitable venue somewhere to start the ball rolling.

I remember taking The Paramounts to the Cricketers and the Palace many times in my van.

I also worked on fitting out the Capri as a coffee bar and in later years, on fitting it out again as a storeroom for Rosehills [clothing shop], which was above.  I have not seen Denny Knott for a couple of years, I hope he is well.

Finally, our thanks go to Standard editor Tim Aves, for keeping the ball rolling on this subject.

Westbourne Grove

Reunion will be on Dec 2

Many thanks to the Southend Standard for being a truly local newspaper that focuses on local people and issues!   

Due to the response to the articles and letters concerning the Shades/El Capri and other venues from the Sixties, I have had more than 30 calls about a reunion.  It is now fixed for December 2, at the Ekco Social Club, from 7.30pm till late.  There will be a disco, buffet and band and Jenny Knott is going to bring her 81-year-old father, Denny, to the party.  Contact me for tickets.

Tel 01702 464383

Thanks, John; and Jill, for the typing

More about the Paramounts

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