OFF to the Globe in Stockton, which is celebrating its multi-million refit after a couple of decades of dereliction by announcing a star-studded post-pandemic season: Paloma Faith and Diversity are the first acts announced for a year's time.

Everyone, though, it seems has a memory of the Globe from yesteryear.

Stuart Johnson, of Belmont, who lays claim to the title of the world’s fastest drummer, went to the Globe on April 2, 1965, with his friend Hughie Pannel, to see the Tamla Motown tour.

It was the first Tamla tour of the UK, with the bill headed by the Supremes, who’d just had a No 1 with Baby Love. Also appearing were Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and Little Stevie Wonder, who was only 14. Surprisingly, the tickets, which were expensive for the time, didn’t sell well, so homegrown Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames were added.

Stuart and Hughie arrived in good time for the show, but got their directions wrong.

“We went in through the artists’ entrance, realised our mistake, turned round and in coming out, we squeezed passed the Supremes who were coming in,” he says. “Aargh!”

TIM BROWN of Ferryhill writes to say that in the early 1950s, before there were television and rock n roll stars, the acts appearing at the Globe would have been radio and film stars. Jimmy Edwards, who sported an extravagant moustache and had made his name in Whacko, appeared there as did comedian Norman Wisdom – both of them stayed at the Hardwick Arms in Sedgefield.

As TV created new stars, a young Bruce Forsyth starred with a ventriloquist's dummy in a show compered by Terry Scott, who would later find fame in his own TV series with June Whitfield, Terry and June.

“Shows destined for a summer season at Blackpool used the Globe as a dress rehearsal venue each spring,” says Tim, “and the late 1950s became the era of American Rock and Roll visitors. In 1958 Buddy Holly starred there, and then two years later Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran.”

That show, which also featured the Barron Knights and a compere fresh out of the Butlins holiday camps called Des O’Connor, was on February 24, 1960. The final night of the tour was in Bristol on April 16, after which Vincent and Cochran were in a taxi which crashed into a lamppost. Moments before impact, Cochran threw himself across his girlfriend, to protect her. The impact forced open the door and he was thrown out, head first onto the pavement. He never regained consciousness.

“I WAS very interested to read about the Globe as it brought back many memories of my teenage years,” says Les Earnshaw. “As a 14-year-old, I saw Bill Haley and His Comets - we were dancing in the aisles, no social distancing then.

“After that, we’d go on the bus from Darlington to see Conway Twitty, Freddie Cannon, Duan Eddy, Johnny Preston, and Wee Willy Harris. Fabulous nights!”