Tag Archives: hilton hotel

Jimmy Savile (dead at 84) won me over.

29 Oct

His Leeds accent on Radio Luxembourg, and then on BBC TV, grated upon my ears, but, bit by bit, I was forced to admire his work for charity, and his kindness to terminally-ill people on his Jim Will Fix It show. Found dead in his flat today, the radio and TV presenter, Jimmy Savile, leads the TV News in UK tonight.

Tony Prince (another Northern DJ whom I used to scorn) explained on Sky News that Jimmy Savile got past the Musician’s Union (when he wanted to play records at the local dance hall) by paying the musicians to take the night off.

Before this broke, Jay and I were in the Costa (part of Premier, which is the same as Whitbread) off Reception in what pop stars in the Sixties knew as the Palace Court Hotel. The slope of Westover Road enables the bar to fit cosily into the space above three shops (including what is now Rafael).   

Jay also took video today of the combo down on the Square, two guys called Jezebel. Sometimes another person joins them (guy or gal, CD photo not clear) and they are then called The Borderlines… The guitar man asked Jay for a copy of the video, which Jay will supply on a DVD.

I was listening during the Summer of 1976, in Room 69 at the YMCA (next to Palace Court) on my multiple band radio, to the Fire channel during the forest and heath fires. North of this conurbation and south of the A31 Ringwood Road, one day, a fire threatened the Saint Leonard’s Community Hospital. From the road, today, looking south from the A31, you still cannot see the hospital for the trees.

Over the radio, I heard the fire fighter on the scene suddenly yelled “PRIORITY” and report a ten-metre-high front of flame rearing up suddenly in its advance nothwards towards the hospital. The Controller immediately gave the order for all units to withdraw, giving up on the giant weeds, and forming a new line of defence south of the hospital, in the actual hospital grounds.

The news of the fires was on national bulletins and Jimmy Savile heard it. He did a u-turn and headed his van down here to help. He was a voluntary hospital porter himself. Before too long, the patients found themselves on the highway, in  wheeled beds or stretchers, for the day, until it became clear that the flames were out, and that the ground was saturated, as the night came down…

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