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
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
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'
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
4. London Band the Hullaballoos 'I Won't Turn Away Now' Record Sleeve
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
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
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
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
8 & 9. The original Clifton Hall (Google Earth)
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 ...
11. Chart (Map) of the Oxford Canal at Clifton-Upon-Dunsmore
Moor before Bridge 66 ...
12. Approaching Bridge 66
Take the towpath ...
13. Towpath to Bridge 66
Walk to Bridge 66 ...
14. Bridge 66
Pass under Bridge 66 ...
15. Bridge 66, return view
16. Clifton Cruisers from the towpath
17. Bridge 66 steps up to road
Take steps up to Bridge 66 ...
18. Village sign before Bridge 66
19. Bridge 66 walkway
Cross Bridge 66 ...
20 & 21. View from Bridge 66 walkway side & from across Clifton Road
Clifton Road becomes Vicarage Hill at Bridge 66 ...
22. Clifton Cruisers road entrance
Walk along Vicarage Hill past Clifton Cruisers entrance ...
23. Rugby Road
Pass Vicarage Hill on left, cross over the Road to the pavement ...
24. Rugby Road
Continue on Rugby Road ...
25. Rugby Road
Continue on Rugby Road ...
26. Clifton Upon Dunmore C of E Primary School
Pass the School on left in Station Road ...
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
28. Main Street
Shortly Rugby Road becomes Main Street ...
29. Imposing Thatched Cottage across from Allans Lane
Continue walking along Main Street ...
30. The Bull Inn
Continue to the road junction or stop for a 'livener'? ...
31. St Mary's Church
Just after the Bull Inn take Lilbourne Road on the right before the Church ...
32. Robertson Close on left
Continue on Lilbourne Road ...
33. Clifton Manor
Pass Clifton Manor on the left ...
34. Lilbourne Road, Hillmorton Lane junction
Go right onto Hillmorton Lane ...
35. Hillmorton Lane
Continue walking along Hillmorton Lane ...
36. Hillmorton Lane with South Road on right
Past South Road ...
37. Meranti Lodge
You're almost there!
38. Clifton Hall entrance driveway
Take the driveway on the left just after Maranti Lodge ...
39. Long Driveway to the Hall
Walk along the driveway ...
40. Clifton Hall from the driveway
Clifton Hall is a private dwelling ...
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 ...
42. Right side aspect of Clifton Hall ...
43. Right side & rear aspect of Clifton Hall
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
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
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
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
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
Return to the ScrapBook Index