Friday, 4 May 2018

Buddy Watkins and talent shows I wished I had seen at Woolwich Town Hall

I went looking the other day for Earlswood Street.

It is off Trafalgar Road and it is somewhere I haven’t been for over forty years.

Back in the late 1960s I worked there in a camping shop and later travelled past it on the way down to the Tunnel.

But this time I was more interested in Earlswood Street because it was here that Buddy Watkins lived or at least used as an address on his business cards.

He was “Buddy Watkins, Rythmn Pianist” and leader of the Buddy Watkins Boys which performed at dance competitions and concerts.

Now I never knew of him or his band but they bounced into my life while I was reading Woolwich Through Time by Kristina Bedford.

And like you do I am off on a search for what I can find out about Mr Watkins.  In the meantime I have his businesss card and a picture and that is a start.

The house is still there, although sadly many of the places he performed at will have vanished.

I guess that Mr Watkins is the chap standing by the piano but that is about it.

But there will be some stories here, and just perhaps people who knew him, saw the band and may even have performed with the Buddy Watkins Boys.

They did after all support those who were brave enough to "Dance, Sing, Act, or Croon" in the amateur
talent contest at Woolwich Town Hall.

All of which is a reminder that our present obsession with discovering would be hopeful stars is not new.

Pictures; Woolwich Through Time is at Woolwich, Kristina Bedford, 2014

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