Their next P & O cruise was the Oriana.
They flew to Hong Kong, stayed in The Royal Garden Hotel, Kowoon and joined the ship the next day. They sailed to Thailand and then on to Singapore. The entertainment staff, indeed, all the staff they encountered were terrific especially the Cruise Director who was excellent.
It’s always sad to leave a ship just when you’re getting to know everyone, but they had to fly from Singapore to pick up the Aurora. Would you believe they were stuck in Perth (Fremantle to be exact) for three days in the sunshine waiting for it to arrive? Isn’t life tough!
This was an excellent cruise as they had a relaxing time crossing the equator and taking about eight day’s to reach Singapore.
The cruise director was great fun, even took us to dinner, recalls John. vHer name was Sally Sago and she had starred in the early episodes of ‘Eastenders'. A very talented lady
It was now time to go back and see Vince and all their pals at Brick Lane Music Hall.
Vince had been using the same supporting acts all the times they had been there so they had got to know them well. There was Peter John, who did music hall characters like the Barmaid singing “Stout & Bitter” or the "Fairy When She’s Forty". A very funny guy. Then there was soprano Jane Webster, a girl with a great voice who at the time was also appearing in The Sound of Music at the London Palladium.
April 1st saw the lads reunited with their good friend Jimmy Cricket who they had worked with many times over the years. The night was a sell-out and a lot of the credit must go to the organiser, Jim.
The summer seen them back at the North Pier Theatre, Blackpool for a series of one-nighters sprinkled throughout the season, followed by more shows for Warners. There were return visits to Scarborough, Bournemouth, and the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, which by now had become a second home. John’s memory of the year was being asked to appear on the Water Rats show at Blackpool Opera House on June 29th. This was the third show they would do for The Water Rats and John especially, a long serving Water Rat himself, considered it an honour to work with the great talents in the business and know it was all for charity.
Of all the cruises they did this year the one never to be forgotten was in September when they sailed to America on the Aurora.
Jonathan got to meet up with his sister Ann who lives in New York while Kevin got to see his idol Les Paul who at the time was doing a Monday night only show in a club on Broadway.
t really was a stroke of luck as Kevin had never been to America before, he just happend to be in the Big Apple for one day and he gets to hear the master.
Jonathan recalls they chatted for ages while I took photographs, and when it came time to leave, Les said “Kevin you made my night coming here.” Kevin replied “Les Paul you made my life”.
Les Paul died shortly after their meeting. He was 93.
The rest of the year was taken up with some fantastic cruises all for P & O, mostly to America and the Caribbean.
The Blackpool illuminations were now in full swing and for the first time John promoted their own late season. A series of shows at the Pavilion theatre in the Winter gardens, featuring themselves supported by Carnaby street, a 60s tribute band and Johnny Corrigan, a great comedy vocalist. It was a great success.
Their final cruise was on the Oriana which they boarded in New Orleans, and disembarked in Jamaica. This cruise took in some interesting places - Mexico, Tortola and the Camen Islands - and it was great to work again with Elaine Delmar.
It is more than worth mentioning that on the 21st of July an album was released called “I Believe, The Bachelors Greatest Hits”. It contained 23 original recordings, and it climbed to number five in the British album charts, out-selling many of today’s major artists
John had a quiet glass of Champagne, knowing he had at long last been proved right. THE SONGS DID STAND THE TEST OF TIME.
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