Sefton Park "Concert."
Does anyone remember "The Concert" which ran in Sefton Park in the summer for many years? It was a varied programme of childrens entertainment, singers, magicians and even a strong man. Best of all was the Talent Contest, where kids would be invited up on the stage do do their little party piece. Heats were held over the weeks and eventually a winner was announced and the prizes distributed. Not bad value for threepence, even better if you waited till it got started and the lady who collected the money disappeared. Then it was easy to jump the fence and mingle with the paying customers. I can't remember when it finished, mid sixties at a guess. There's no trace now of the building, which stood near the cafe, and I wonder if anybody out there might have a picture of it.
I went to the concerts regularly as a kid. The performers would be judged as a bit past their sell-by date nowadays but to us, it was magical. I remember one of the acts was a magician with a lady assistant, who was getting on a bit and he used to lock her in a big cabinet on castors. The he'd hand round four big swords, so we could see they were real, and then shove them through the sides of the cabinet. After spinning it round for a bit, so we could see the swords and build up the suspense, the assistant would emerge unscathed. Fifty years on, I still haven't worked out how he did it.
hi any memories? how long have you got?
the fat lady taking the money wore a purple overcoat,apparently made of moss,way down below her knees,even in the height of summer. maybe she was not fat.
there was a family of acrobats stayed for a week in a caravan behind the little wooden theatre, and i became friendly with them and then obsessed with acrobatics. i was heartbroken when they left.
one sketch i remember was of a man listening to a radio programme on how to make and bake a loaf.he popped out,someone came in ,switched the radio to a programme coaching football skills.the man comes back and following instructions,throws the ball of dough in the air,heads it,dribbles it round the floor etc. i know. you had to be there.
the talent competition involved the compere standing behind the competitors in turn and holding his hand flat above each head,the volume of applause deciding the winner.the more friends you had in the audience,the better singer you were.!
there were magicians,with little black velvet bags and disappearing ceramic eggs ,bunches of flowers springing out of their sleeves, a young ballet dancer i can still see clearly, stilt walkers,tap dancers by the boatload with metal plates on their shoes and out-of-scale bows in their hair.
it was the best bit of summer holidays;entertainment in the fresh air and sunshine,free for those who lined the railings, fourpence for the wealthy,communal, and lord knows how many imaginations and distant dreams were sparked by it.it is instructive to work out in how many different ways it could not happen today. we are poorer without it. i send a posthumous thank you thank you thank you for all that enjoyment to its providers.
aged 8, i got up one day and sang the wild colonial boy,but brian epstein was not in the audience that day.
By johnreppion in forum Liverpool Folklore and Oddities
Last Post: 08-06-2010, 11:40 PM
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