Were you part of the Hartlepool 50s jazz band scene

The Heortnesse Highlanders competing in 1956.
The Heortnesse Highlanders competing in 1956.
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Wonderful names such as the Heortnesse Highlanders, Legionaires, East Side Toppers and Gilberti Guards have their own fond place in Hartlepool’s history.

In 1956, they were all jazz bands in a flourishing scene. Who remembers them?

Everything went with the precision of a military tattoo right from the start when the swinging Wallace tartans of the Heortnesse Highlanders drew gasps of delight from the crown of more than 5,000

Northern Daily Mail reporter

That year, they competed in the Friends Challenge Cup at Hartlepool Greyhound Stadium. It was no small event either.

More than 5,000 people watched it all and the Northern Daily Mail had a colourful report.

“Throughout the evening,” said our reporter. “The Lancaster Road district echoed to the rolling of drums and the blaring of kazzoos.”

The event was presented by the Friends of the Hartlepools Group of Hospitals and the proceeds from the entrance money, at six shillings a head, went to help the health profession.

There were categories for the smartest drum major, and the band that provided the most military-sounding music.

The drum major contest was won by Joan Leighton from Rovers, just pipping Kathleen Richardson of the Legionaires. The Legionaires and Rovers tied for top spot in the music competition and the overall contest was also won by the Legionaires.

Our reporter added: “Everything went with the precision of a military tattoo right from the start when the swinging Wallace tartans of the Heortnesse Highlanders drew gasps of delight from the crown of more than 5,000.”

What are your memories?

Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk