THERE was a moment in mid-1962 when the musical culture of Britain and the western world changed forever.

Four mop-haired lads from Liverpool crashed onto the world stage with Love Me Do and She Loves You.

One thing which quickly took root in 1962 was rock and roll dances on Fridays and Saturdays in village halls all over Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset.

Richard and Marion Firman, who at the time lived in Salisbury and who now live in Fordingbridge, built a reputation for their rockin’ weekend dances, which attracted young people from great distances at a time when cars were still a luxury for most people.

The couple have now decided to build a scrapbook of the key dances they helped organise between 1963 and 1965, and they are appealing for your memories.

Marion said: “We operated under the name of Richard Bruce Promotions, which was our registered name for our Theatrical Employer's Licence. We ran dances and also acted as agents for bands.

“It brought back wonderful memories for us looking back at the arrays of advertisements which we had inserted in the local press.

“Over that period we engaged about 40 bands, some from places such as London, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Blandford, Andover, Bristol and Swindon and many more from the local area.

“Among the venues we used were those at Whiteparish, Downton, Winterslow and Alderbury and we also ran some charity dances at Wilton. Some dances attracted capacity crowds of up to 400 people, probably many more than would be permitted nowadays under health and safety regulations.

“We also ran a few dances for youngsters on Saturday mornings at The Palais in Wilton Road.

“All this work and memories got us thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice to read contributions which Journal readers might have on the bands that appeared?

“Any personal memories of these occasions would be fantastic.

“Maybe couples met and went on to marry? Maybe some of the artistes went on to do great things?

“We did engage The Troggs, who went on to pop greatness, and maybe other individuals also found success. If anyone has photos of the actual events that would be great too. Even recent photographs of artistes would be much appreciated as these could perhaps feature in a ‘Where are They Now?’ section.”

So for those readers who were in at the start of rock’n’roll history in the area…the floor is yours!

Here are some of the bands who graced Richard’s and Marion’s stages through the years. Maybe you recognise some of the names or played with them.

The Troggs  The Hummelflugs  The Soundsmen featuring Johnny Fortune and John Damon  Mel Allen and the dynamic Bluestreaks  The Bunch  Danny and the Detonators  Barry and the Square Four  The Sceptres  The Flamingoes  Vince Stacey and the Castaways  The Rebels  Steve Zane and the Azpecs  The Courtelles  The Sandstorms  The Strollers  Folk Blues Incorporated  Ricky Dean and the Vigilantes  The Spartans Mark and the Unknowns The Satellites  The Ivy League  Rod Young and the Raiders  The Scorpions  The Truetones  The Midnight Strollers  Ricky Vernon and the Pathfinders  The Astrals  The Aliens n Memphis Four  The Beatmakers  The Hollytones  The Kingfishers  Chris Noble and the Noblemen  Peter Stroller and the Drifters  Tim Fane and the Images  The Mexicans