The Cove or what you prefer to call it, became an entertainment centre part of the town. It had a large auditorium where a large orchestra (17 musicians) could provide classical and light music for listening in reasonable comfort.
A poster declares that the Holbeck London Orchestra was booked to entertain on one postcard, so it was attracting outside musicians. There were other groups that possibly also used the same venue as well. Maybe Herr Kants band in their military style uniforms or the Spiegler Band both sounding foreign but more than likely wholly English, 'with a Christian name like "Ken" it is not encouraging.
The two small 'Concert variety' of stages set into the rockeries seemed to be very popular and only a short distance from each other they attracted the Pierrot style of players like Stanley Goddard's "Entertainers", Hopkins & Haworth and the "Royal Court Players. A poster alongside on of the stages announced that performances were at 3pm and 8pm, which seems a long break so it must be assumed that there were others performing in between.
Charlie Goodman was well established on the sands near the Grand Pier and I am sure he would have made good use of space here to perform some time or other.
Clarence Park looks to have had only one resident set of entertainers, The Clarence Party, while the Grove Park must have put on some grand shows with Roy Cowls "Queries", Ben Lomans "Jovials" and others all well dressed for the part.
The rest like Jimmy Walkers "Merry folk", Hayworth & Hopkins, Charlie Goodman, and the Carlton Fredericks "Beach combers" shared the sands. No doubt they all exchanged or took the chance to try out new ground when it was possible. There was one last venue left at the Cove not covered - the Tea-room come Cove pavilion/Gaiety theatre and lastly Model Railway show. Once it was established for entertainment the Gay Sparks and later Will HAMMER/Michael KEBBY group of performers became the resident seasonal show people, it was while they were there that I now come to my second reason for my attraction to the area.
When I left school I had to find a job of work, I used to like painting and had an artistic tendency, but what was out there for me? I did not fancy being employed by the council as a painter. I struck lucky I found a vacancy with James Fredericks scenic studios and immediately took employment, the work was varied and interesting and did not pay that well, but it was work.
Having proved competent as a worker with the firm I was allowed to go out working with my fellow working companions, sometimes to the Knightstone Theatre or as in one case the Cove Pavilion. We were set the task of cutting out a circle on a backcloth to enable the performers to enter from the centre backstage, and then tidy up what we had done.
I had no further thoughts of what had happened on that particular day until at a Postcard fair I picked up a card that looked interesting, suddenly my mind flashed back to that day many years ago when we worked at the "Cove" for here before me was that same backcloth that we had worked on Will HAMMER & Michael KEBBY's "Sunshine Pierrots" Cove Pavilion dated 1951.
Since then I have collected two more, one dated 1954, the other without a date but the backcloth had been tided up and looked quite smart. I never thought that such a card would have been produced, but it had, and the memory of it all remains with me today. Soon I was to leave for my National Service and when I was demobbed I never went back to my old job, I had moved on and so it appears had the whole scene. The Concert parties and Pierrots long gone and the Cove now in decline. The entertainment was the Cinema at the forefront but not for long as Television was catching up fast. The Cove had been altered and there is only a modern Café now, I wonder sometimes was it for the good??
The parks around the town remain silent only visited by a few exercising and mostly with accompanying animals. It is only on the New "Grand Pier" live music is performed regularly and I did spend a while of recent times in Grove Park when the "Bandstand" was issuing forth some recorded music, albeit not too loud and the purpose unknown. I miss its memories of times past when entertainment was readily available and often free, then you will have to resort to postcard pictures of the past like me.
For those interested Carlton FREDERICKS, the father, ran the 'Beachcombers'. Jim his son, built up James FREDERICKS scenic studios which passed to his son Jim. When he died, there was little interest in the business and it closed. Wilfred, Jim's younger brother stands behind him, he was my boss within the firm. There was Enoch who was part of a trio Enoch, Ramsbottom and Me on Radio many years ago, and Delia made her name as a singer.
Jim wrote a biography on the family but I never got to see it, although I would love to read it for the small part I played.