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Hemel Hempstead, The Pavilion c.1965

Neg. H255150


Caption for Hemel Hempstead, The Pavilion C1965

The foundation stone of the new Odeon Cinema was laid in 1959 by the actress Lauren Bacall. When the work was completed, the opening ceremony was carried out by the British character actor Leslie Phillips. The Pavilion (centre) offered 'Dancing every Saturday', and local teenagers were entertained by popular music groups such as The Kinks and their lead singer, Ray Davies. In the last few years, the cost of running the Pavilion has been prohibitive, and this once-proud venue has now been demolished.

Memories of Hemel Hempstead

My Upbringing In Hemel Hempstead

We moved in to a maisonette on Galley Hill when I was one year old and then moved to a semi detached house in Manscroft Road a year later. I have very fond memories of my childhood spent playing war games in the woods, playing cricket and football and fishing for minnow in the Gade and Gudgeon in the ...Read full memory


When I was about nine years old, the family doctor discovered a very bad case of tonsillitis. "Better have them removed as soon as possible." he tersely told my mother. With a brand new National Health in place, I was placed into Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. After a 24 hours of being spoiled by nurses, I was told ...Read full memory

The Equals

My name is WILFRIED and I live in Germany. In 1968 I was on school exchange in Hemel Hempstead for four weeks. I was there with a group of 40 boys and girls all at the age of 16 or 17 supported by two teachers. We were all living in different families in Hemel Hempstead. At that time I was very interested in popular music, especially the classic rock stuff and psychedelic music. One day I read a review about a concert of 'The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown' in a local paper. The concert took place in a club in Dunstable a couple of days before. I was very excited and I asked my guest parents if I could phone the club to ask them if Arthur Brown would perform again next weekend. (Which was very naive but what did I ...Read full memory

A memory of Hemel Hempstead

Those Gigs In The 70s

Like Steve, I've only just found your site - another year later - and would also like to know how the book is going. I haven't lived in the area since 1980 but have happy memories of my teen years. I used to go to the Pavilion often during the mid 70s and to St Albans' City Hall (as it was called then) with my school mates. I recall seeing: Thin Lizzy, Van der Graaf Generator, Richard Hell & the Voidoids (in the 80s), Mick Ronson, Wizzard, Hot Chocolate and maybe BeBop Deluxe - but that may have been in St Albans. I know there were many more - the money I earned at Kinloch & Anderson's chemists in Market Square (no longer there) was spent either buying vinyl or tickets for gigs. Favourite shops for ...Read full memory

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