20p admission was a lot of money back in 1963

Cookson Country
Cookson Country

TWENTY pence to get into a venue to enjoy an evening of live music would have you asking, these days: “Where’s the catch?”

Fifty years ago, there was none - but then, of course, 20p was a substantial amount of money, if you were a teenager with limited pocket money.

It’s been lovely to hear from readers in response to my note the other day on local North East bands of the 1960s, such as The Invictors and The Answers which evolved out of them. Several readers got in touch on-line with memories of buying records during that era from Saville’s old music shop in King Street.

But one, Banished, blanched at the mention of four bob admission to the venue.

“Four shillings in 1963!” was the response.

“I was 16 then, and earned £1 5s - £1.25 - delivering newspapers morning and evening, Monday to Saturday, and on Sunday mornings. My mam took 15 shillings (75p), to help with the family finances, so I had 10 shillings (50p) per week. I don’t think I ever went anywhere as expensive as 20p, just to get in. I do remember the names of the bands, however.”