THE Globe at Stockton is being reborn after decades of dereliction. Paloma Faith is the first big name to be announced to play at the famous venue next October when hopefully, please the Lord, we shall have put the pandemic behind us.

Memories 493 told the bare dates of history of the Globe – but so many people have personal histories connected to it.

Bill Robson’s story starts in the late 1950s, when his father got tickets for the pantomime through his work at ICI Billingham.

“My four siblings, my parents and myself went to the Globe by United bus,” he says. “I remember the bus stop we used when coming home was near a place called The Blue Post whose sign consisted of blue neon lights, and I recall being told by my parents that it was a place of ill repute.”

Bill, who lives in Hartlepool, saw Lonnie Donegan, Frank Ifield and, of course, Cliff Richard and the Shadows star in the Globe’s pantos in the early 1960s.

As Bill grew older, other acts appealed to him. “The concerts usually featured four artists,” he says. “I recall seeing Bobby Vee, Adam Faith, The Dakota’s (minus Billy J Kramer) and Billy Davis, who was a last-minute replacement for Dusty Springfield, who was reportedly sick, although rumours were rife regarding the real reason for her absence.

“My sisters were older than me, and I think I was only suffered at the behest of my father who funded the outings.

“One notable show that my dad wouldn’t fund was to see the Beatles in 1963, as he said we wouldn’t be able to hear the group as the girls screamed throughout their shows.

“I was certainly out of place both on the bus and in the theatre at the show, as the audiences consisted mainly of what I thought were splendid-looking girls in their mid-teens, dressed in the latest fashions available from Grafton’s catalogue, topped off by their heavily lacquered back-combed hair.

“My last visit to the Globe was to see Elton John. As I was working abroad most of the time then, just getting back for the odd weekend and I hadn’t heard of him, but my girlfriend had and loved his record Your Song.

“I remember it being an enjoyable the evening, enhanced by treating the young lady to a steak at the Metropole, just down the road, before the show. No buses were by then required, as I owned, a babe magnet: a Reliant Regal Supervan.”

“I ENJOYED reading the history of Stockton's Globe Theatre,” says a very kindly Keith Armstrong, “but there was one slight error.”


“The Everly Brothers didn't play the Globe. It was the Everly Brother. Don didn't turn up. Phil harmonised with a member of the backing group. It was a great evening's entertainment, though.”

JOHN RUSBY in Bishop Auckland saw the Shadows three times at the Globe, accompanied once by Cliff Richard.

“On another occasion, we had a trip to the Globe from my works around 1965 when there were 12 stars appearing, including our own Susan Maughan from Consett, with her one hit Bobby’s Girl,” he says.

Susan was indeed born in Consett, in 1938, into a family of publicans, and started singing at the age of three with her father backing her on piano. Age 10, she left with her mother for Berwick and then Birmingham, and she found immense success with Bobby’s Girl which peaked at No 3 in early 1963.

She never had another hit, but she didn’t need to. Bobby’s Girl was one of the most enduring songs of the Sixties, and she built her singing career around it: she appeared at Darlington Civic (as it then was) in 1989, and Mike Amos caught up with her back in Consett in 2000. She now lives in Eastbourne and may still, for all we know, be touring.

“Also performing that night,” says John, “was Rolf Harris. He was brilliant. He could make music from anything that was put in his hands. What a shame he disgraced himself.”

FOR Bob Woodhouse, the Globe article “revived a wealth of wonderful memories”.

He saw the Mammoth Star Show there on December 7, 1962, which featured Billy Fury and the Tornadoes, Mike Sarne, Karl Denver Trio, Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers, and his personal favourite, Jimmy Justice.

“After the show, I boldly made my way over the stage to his dressing room and chatted for about 25 minutes about his ‘hit’ records, Spanish Harlem, Ain 't That Funny and When My Little Girl Is Smiling,” says Bob.

Jimmy Justice’s real name was James Little, which isn’t really the stuff of pop stars, and he had three top 20 hits in 1962.

“On March 16, 1965, I saw Freddie Davis, Morton Frazer's Harmonica Gang and my own favourite Susan Maughan at the Globe,” he continues.

“Again, after the show, I crossed the stage and was greeted by her in her dressing room, where I explained that my Christian name is Robert or Bob.

“A real bonus on this occasion was that she agreed to kick off a charity match that I was involved with at Middlesbrough's Clairville Stadium a couple of days later.”

ROSALYN LANGLEY saw Lonnie Donegan, Ronnie Carroll (singer of Roses Are Red), Millicent Martin and Frank Ifield at the Globe. “I can remember being there when Cliff was on and a jet crashed,” she says. Can anyone tell us this story?

STUART BAINBRIDGE of Spennymoor went to his first ever panto, Babes in the Wood, at the Globe in 1964. It starred starring Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas. “At the end of the panto,” he says, “Billy and the Dakotas came on stage and performed live, so it was a great day for me – my first panto and my first live band!”

RAY LAND in Barnard Castle attended many concerts at the Globe in his youth, but one of his most treasured souvenirs of that era is the programme that he picked up in 1957 when Bill Haley was on his first European tour.

Haley was the first real rock n roll star, and his arrival in the North-East for two dates, at the Odeons of Sunderland and Newcastle, was a major moment, so these programmes are quite collectable items.

“The first half of the show was performed by Vic Lewis and his Orchestra and the second by Bill Haley and his Comets,” says Ray, 92, who in those days lived in Bishop Auckland. “Everyone was dancing in the aisles and this was undoubtedly the best show ever seen.”