Banham Dance 1960
First a little background. My name is Constantine Manos, but I go by the nickname ‘Connie’. I was in the United States Air Force and stationed at RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk from January 1959 through May 1962.
When I first arrived in Great Britain, I did not have an automobile, thus dependent on my fellow airmen for transportation and entertainment off post. One of the first places I was introduced to was ‘Banham Hall’ where dances were conducted every Saturday night. Usually, young ladies were transported by bus to the dance hall. Also, there were live bands and a small bar for refreshments.
The attached pictures were taken inside of the dance hall around June or July of 1960. The tall young lady is named Brenda Free. At that time, she was from Winfarthing. Of course, it’s been 46 years and did not maintain any type of contact with her. We never dated, but only met occasionally at the dance hall and danced. I do not know who the other young ladies were.
I noticed on the Business Services page of your web-site www.banhamandthebucks.co.uk the name ‘Richard Free’. I’m sure it’s a coincidence, but could there be a chance that Brenda and Richard are related? Wouldn’t that be something?
I think the dance hall closed in 1961, but I’m not sure. Hopefully, you or some of your friends may have some contacts with a few senior citizens who may be able to add to that particular piece of Banham History.
My wife and are planning a trip to the UK in September, 2007 for about a week. We’re going to stay in Woodbridge, but plan on renting a car so we can drive up to Diss and the surrounding villages for some site-seeing.
As a side note, a few of the airmen I was stationed with and I contributed pictures and money and had a web-site developed for the US Air Force squadron we were assigned to in the late 50s and early 60s. This site is at www.78th-bushmasters.org.uk. If you access the site, click on the ‘Then and Now’ link, then click on the ‘Manos’ link, you will see what I looked like in 1960. Picture was taken at Wheelus AB in Libya. I was an aircraft crew chief at that time. Also, there is a recent picture of myself and my wife Susan.Thanks for reading this and best regards,Connie, July 2006
Banham Dance (2)
Connie may be sad to learn that his old Banham haunt is no more. However as we have recently purchased a new property on the site of the old Pavilion Garage, which replaced the Pavilion Dance Hall, we would be more than happy to host Connie and his wife to some refreshments when they visit in September.
I attended a local WI event with my wife the other day and some of the ladies present remembered the dances very well (perhaps some shouldn’t even have been there). Wouldn’t it be great to find some ladies who were present in the 1959 to 1961 period to reunite and have a chat with Connie and his wife. Even if this is not possible, Connie and his wife would be welcome to pop in and at least get their bearings of what once was! I hope we will be able to fix up a date.
Best regards, Bernie and Lynne Morris.
Banham Dance (3)
I am thrilled to find information about my old haunt. I loved this place and myself and friends who all used to get the bus to the Saturday Night Dance there loved it. What great memories we have. I was 16 then in 1964 and my name was Brenda Reynolds, I used to got there with Carol Chandler, Doreen Kindlesides, Janice Ramsbottom, Sally and Wendy Humphrey’s.
I live in US for last 35 years but when I come home every couple of years we all get together to remonise and laugh. This was the highlite of our lives at the time. Loved to dance and watch the bands. We were all too young to drink but I remember also Banham Cider House ha ha. I still love cider. I have put messages out on web looking for any information this old building. I think it closed around 1966 or 67. I know we all went till 1966. Well thought I would share some of this and thank you for the web site. Must copy and send to my friends.
Regards Brenda Benjamin nee Reynolds from Bunwell Hill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dam Brigg 1967
I found an old photo of my brother and I from around 1967 at the ‘Dam Brigg’. I am the kid in the shorts. I found your contact from your web site, trying to look for some old photos for my wife.
We used to spend the 6 weeks holiday at my grandad’s house, which after his death became the telephone exchange. I think that the land was sold for about £2,500 at the time!!!!
My grandad’s name was John Land, and I believe his family lived at Banham hall at one point.
Regards, John Gregory, Feb 2006
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