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Clifton Hall

Issue: 1 Updated 1st October 2017

A nostalgic visit walking guide to Clifton Hall once home of 'The School of Rock n Roll' on the 9th May 2017

Reg Calvert was without doubt a hard working canny businessman, not afraid to get his hands dirty, with wife Dorothy embarked on a number of enterprises including running a Sweet Shop, a small printing firm & selling Popcorn at County Fairs

Reg dabbled on the piano too, so the invasion of music from across the 'pond' in the late 1950's spawned a number of British artists who unashamedly modelled themselves on the Americans

Reg Calvert on stage

1. Reg Calvert on stage introducing one of his acts

In the days before Offshore Radio with hardly any pop music on radio or television, kids went to local hops to see the few bands play in village halls town theatres

Given that background Reg Calvert ever the entrepreneur wanted part of the action

Living in Southampton he set about managing a number of local groups encouraging them to mimic their American idols

Clifton Hall in the early 1960's

2. Clifton Hall in the early 1960's (Calvert Family Archive)

Reg & Dorothy Calvert in deck chairs with a three piece group practicing on the terrace, with Roger Scarrat, Roy Young & Glen Dale behind the Lawnmower

With an expanding roster of acts he moved his operation to the original Clifton Hall at Clifton-Upon-Dunsmore just outside Rugby, which he bought in 1961 & opened his 'School of Rock n Roll'

Most of his groups 'lived in' when up to speed were put out to play local dances the better ones 'Package Tours'

By the early 1960's the most proficient began recording, some group members 'hopped' from group to group with hopes of making the big time

The most notable were 'Screaming 'Lord' Sutch & the Savages', 'The Fortunes', 'Pinkertons Assorted Colours', 'Danny Storm & the Strollers', 'Robin Hood', 'Buddy Britain', 'The Downlands' & 'Eddie Sex'

British Beat-Chics Publicity Photograph

3. The all British Beat-Chics Publicity Photograph

Other bands that were known to be associated with Reg Calvert include: 'The Rocking Berries', 'Wayne Gibson & the Dynamic Sounds', 'The Beat Chicks' & 'The Hullabaloos', there were more but their names have been lost in the mists of time

Hullaballoos 'I Won't Turn Away Now' Record Sleeve

4. London Band the Hullaballoos 'I Won't Turn Away Now' Record Sleeve


Audio

Beat-Chics & Hullaballoos sample

When Radio Caroline launched swiftly followed by Radio Atlanta in 1964, Reg & David Sutch set about making an elaborate radio publicity stunt

Early Radio Sutch Car Paper Car Sticker

5. Early Radio Sutch Car Paper Car Sticker

But 'stunt' backfired, with two young daughters Reg was quick to realise the potential of a radio station for teenagers thus Radio Sutch became a reality as it took over the ex MoD Army Towers on Shivering Sands

Tender Harvester II

6. Skipper Fred Downs on the Shivering Sands Tender Harvester II viewed from Southern G1 Gun Tower balcony

Reg by now was running the Kings Agency with Terry King in London's Music Hub 'Tin Pan Alley', buying out David Sutch he launched his own Radio City from their offices at 7 Denmark Street

Not without problems from day one, America's Radio City Music Hall objected to the use of their name, although nothing came from the complaint, the rest is recorded in earlier parts of this feature

The walk from the Oxford Canal

The new Clifton Hall

7. The new Clifton Hall (Google Earth)

Don't get confused the new Clifton Hall is a public venue not far from the original hall on Hillmorton Lane

The original Clifton Hall The original Clifton Hall

8 & 9. The original Clifton Hall (Google Earth)

Oxford Canal Bridge 69

10. Oxford Canal Bridge 69, the canal passes under Hillmorton Lane

Walk or motor on, it's a shorter more interesting & less dangerous walk from Bridge 66 ...

Chart of the Oxford Canal

11. Chart (Map) of the Oxford Canal at Clifton-Upon-Dunsmore

Moor before Bridge 66 ...

Approaching Bridge 66

12. Approaching Bridge 66

Take the towpath ...

Towpath to Bridge 66

13. Towpath to Bridge 66

Walk to Bridge 66 ...

Bridge 66

14. Bridge 66

Pass under Bridge 66 ...

Bridge 66, return view

15. Bridge 66, return view

Clifton Cruisers from the towpath

16. Clifton Cruisers from the towpath

Bridge 66 steps up to road

17. Bridge 66 steps up to road

Take steps up to Bridge 66 ...

Village sign before Bridge 66

18. Village sign before Bridge 66

Bridge 66 walkway

19. Bridge 66 walkway

Cross Bridge 66 ...

Bridge 66 from walkway Bridge 66 from other side of road

20 & 21. View from Bridge 66 walkway side & from across Clifton Road

Clifton Road becomes Vicarage Hill at Bridge 66 ...

Clifton Cruisers road entrance

22. Clifton Cruisers road entrance

Walk along Vicarage Hill past Clifton Cruisers entrance ...

Rugby Road

23. Rugby Road

Pass Vicarage Hill on left, cross over the Road to the pavement ...

Rugby Road

24. Rugby Road

Continue on Rugby Road ...

Rugby Road

25. Rugby Road

Continue on Rugby Road ...

Clifton Upon Dunmore C of E Primary School

26. Clifton Upon Dunmore C of E Primary School

Pass the School on left in Station Road ...

North & South Road junction

27. North Road (left) South Road right junction

Continue over the North & South Road junction on Rugby Road ...

You could take South Road but it's a more pleasant walk continuing

Main Street

28. Main Street

Shortly Rugby Road becomes Main Street ...

Thatched Cottage across from Allans Lane

29. Imposing Thatched Cottage across from Allans Lane

Continue walking along Main Street ...

The Bull Inn

30. The Bull Inn

Continue to the road junction or stop for a 'livener'? ...

St Mary's Church

31. St Mary's Church

Just after the Bull Inn take Lilbourne Road on the right before the Church ...

Robertson Close on left

32. Robertson Close on left

Continue on Lilbourne Road ...

Clifton Manor

33. Clifton Manor

Pass Clifton Manor on the left ...

Lilbourne Road, Hillmorton Lane junction

34. Lilbourne Road, Hillmorton Lane junction

Go right onto Hillmorton Lane ...

Hillmorton Lane

35. Hillmorton Lane

Continue walking along Hillmorton Lane ...

Hillmorton Lane with South Road on right

36. Hillmorton Lane with South Road on right

Past South Road ...

Meranti Lodge

37. Meranti Lodge

You're almost there!

Clifton Hall entrance driveway

38. Clifton Hall entrance driveway

Take the driveway on the left just after Maranti Lodge ...

Long Driveway to Hall

39. Long Driveway to the Hall

Walk along the driveway ...

Clifton Hall

40. Clifton Hall from the driveway

Clifton Hall is a private dwelling ...

Side aspect of Clifton Hall

41. Front & right side aspect of Clifton Hall

A front room was where the bands rehearsed

Use the public path around the rear of the property ...

Rear aspect of Clifton Hall

42. Right side aspect of Clifton Hall ...

Rear aspect of Clifton Hall

43. Right side & rear aspect of Clifton Hall

... where the bands rehearsed as shown in photograph 2 earlier

44. ... At the rear the single story Billiards Room

Public document on Planning at Clifton Hall

Retrace your steps back to the village or your vessel

Back to the narrow boat on the Oxford Canal

45. Back to the narrow boat on the Oxford Canal

29th September 2017 - Hi Bob I enjoyed reading about your walk to Clifton. I spent a year in the village school when we first moved there. A big difference from a city school, I was even in the choir at the village church. But thank goodness we moved to London - Candy Calvert-a-sari

Barnacle Bill Keynsham

46. One for the Red Sands Radio' Team!

Memories of Radio Luxembourg's Horace Batchelor infamous Infa-Draw method too spelling out K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M

Radio City Postcard Susan Calvert-Moore's Popcorn to Rock n Roll Book Cover

47. Radio City Postcard
48. Susan Calvert-Moore's Popcorn to Rock n Roll Book Cover

We suggest you look at Radio Sutch & City - Part 14 for more on the life of Reg Calvert

Susan Calvert-Moore's books give a family in sight & is available from Amazon Paperback : Kindle

Radio City Paper Car Sticker

49. Radio City Paper Car Sticker

There were a number of Radio Sutch & City stickers plastered on the walls of the Transmitter room on Shivering Sands

Thanks to our Radio Engineer David Phillips for his help in making this feature

For all the Radio Sutch & City features navigate from ScrapBook Index

For a brief history of all the Thames Estuary Forts see Fort Fax

For the range of documentary CD's in the Offshore Radio "Roaring 60's" collection, the Sealand VCD, go to Offshore Shop

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