60's Music

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Thread Topic: 60's Music
Topic Originator: Betty Haddon
Post Date May 7, 2016 @ 1:18 PM
 60's Music
  60's Music/John Hillyer
 60's Music
 60's Music
  60's Music
 RE: 60's Music
 60's Music/Ron Diggins
  60's Music
  60's Music

Betty Haddon
May 7, 2016 @ 1:18 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Not a band but who remembers John Hillier with his record player and large speakers- early DJ- he provided the music in village halls,Ketton Club,etc. He played requests  and had the latest records to jive to.He added a drummer,Ian, who added some extra beat, I think Ian went on to play in a local group. We would catch a bus to a 'village hop' often walking back or piling into a taxi,after the Drill Hall dances stopped we would go out of town to find some 'rock and roll'.Such happy days!

Dave Leishman
May 10, 2016 @ 1:27 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I sure did know John Hillyer circa 1960. He was doing his DJ stuff at Ryhall village hall. (the old one) when I approached him about getting a job at his shop on St Georges St. That's exactly what happened and I worked with him for a year or two. Later he hired another chap, Pete Seamer who married one of his daughters. I think Pete still has shop in Stamford selling mobility scooters atc for the aged and Infirm. Last |I heard John's wife Mary was living at Toll Bar Casterton.
As you say those were  pretty good days around Stamford and the villages.

Paul Walton
May 11, 2016 @ 10:20 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I remember John Hiller, tall bespectacled. Was he an electrical retailer/contractor ?

Dave Leishman
May 12, 2016 @ 11:50 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

John Hillyer owned a Radio and TV shop on St Georges St. It was opposite to the Coop butchers shop. The shop sold TV's Radios and small appliances. Servicing of all the products was done at first in a workshop above the shop. On site repairs and aerial installation was also done. Some pure electrical work was also performed like house rewiring and the like. John was a very savvy technician. His appreciation of Radio and TV theory was extensive and his ability to troubleshoot problems was excellent. I would say his RAF training and amateur  radio experience was a great asset.

Mike Laughton
May 18, 2016 @ 9:33 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Yes, John Hillier was the forerunner of what would later become known as disc jockeys and discos.
John would play music for countless weddings and 21st birthdays, anniversaries, all kinds of family parties.
He played all kinds of music for all kinds of age ranges from the latest chart hits to olde tyme dance and ballroom records. He must have had a massive record collection. All 78rpm. This was in  the days long before LPs.
He must have been  busy every weekend. Anyone who was organising a family party would turn to John as very few people could afford to engage a dance band.

Betty Haddon
May 20, 2016 @ 2:08 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

One group I knew well used to practise at the Legion Club, they played local halls + parties etc. The group was formed by brothers George and Lenny Bennet, Johnny Bryant and Ian (the Scots lad who played with John Hillier) . Johnny was very good at Buddy Holly covers and a good guitar player, he rode an Ariel motorcycle and is mentioned in the motorcycle topic. At the time I used to watch them the group changed their name a bit so I'm not sure what they settled on,this would be 1960-62 time. I know some of them went on to play in other groups.

May 28, 2016 @ 10:04 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I well remember John Hillier and his shop in St. Georges Street, and in particular his interactive window displays. He would attach a sensitive pad to the inside of the window and as you touched the outside it would complete a circuit making something work.

Back on the music side, does anyone remember a chap from Peterborough who was another early DJ? He was called Ron Diggins and he called his record player his 'Diggola'. People at the time said it would never really catch on !!

Apopular place for music at the time was the Malcolm Club at RAF Wittering, a haven for us underage drinkers. The last bus back to Stamford carried many a green face.

Mick Lynas
May 30, 2016 @ 9:03 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

We used to have lots of Saturday night parties at the tin hut when John Hilliyer was always the D.J. The parties were organised by a couple of people from either the High School or the boys school. Everyone seemed to respect him because he seemed to have control of the evening, including behaviour!
Ron Diggins went on to be probably the most popular DJ in South Lincolnshire especially Spalding Boston across to Skegness. He died several years ago, however there is a good description of his career atwww.djhistory.com/.../dig-this-ron-diggins-and-the-first-mobile-djs.

Dave Leishman
June 13, 2016 @ 6:41 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Interesting that you remember some of John's animations.
The one I remember with a touchpad (capacitive switch) on the shop window, was one he did at Christmas time about 1962. He built a model cottage and a Santa Claus with a sack containing a gift. When somebody pressed their hand against the shop window an action cycle was started. Santa ascended up to the cottage chimney and then would tip the gift down the chimney. Santa would then return to the base of the house and wait for another initiation of the cycle. The gift had actually slid down a chute to where Santa would pick it up again.
The mechanism was very reliable. I don't think there was ever a failure to deliver the gift. Children and grownups found the whole thing hilarious.
      Another display John came up with we dubbed it as the worlds smallest television set. People at the time were quite amazed and many believed it to be a true miniature TV. It was indeed a real television with sound and vision and it displayed the BBC programs. There was a bit of an illusion to all of this.
During the 1950's there were projection TV's being manufactured. These TV's used to project an image on to the rear of a translucent screen which was in place of the more common Cathode Ray Tube. The projection TV use a Cathode Ray Tube that had a picture face of only 2.5 inches, but was eleven inches in length. The picture produced in these tubes was magnified in an optical system before the final projection on the screen. The anode volts on these tubes was about 25,000 volts. Very high. The picture quality and focus were excellent. This particular TV had been a trade in, so the assemblies required for the project were removed from it, namely: CRT with scan coils.  The electronic chassis and speaker
Now for the illusion. John made a miniature TV cabinet with legs just big enough to accommodate the face of the Cathode Ray Tube. A step was made in the shop window so that the miniature TV looked like it was up against a living room wall. The length of the Cathode Ray Tube and Scan Coils were hidden behind this simulated living room wall. The chassis was hidden below the window display and the speaker was installed up against a pavement level ventilation grill so that the sound could be heard in the street. The whole thing was very effective and was enjoyed by many people. It was left on night and day without failure.
Thanks very much David. Anyone have a photo of John Hillier's shop window, or a photo of John himself? Send to kate@ancestorgateway.com for inclusion.