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Memories of The Regal, Dereham Road, by Margaret Ketteringham

“I was born in 1936, and in the forties, after the war, my brother and I were allowed to go to the Saturday morning pictures at The Regal on Dereham Road. I remember queuing up outside with lots of other boys and girls. I saw a lot of cowboy films! I always looked away when the Indians came from behind the rocks, you knew that they weren’t far away.

“Around the corner on Barn Road was a cockle stall and if you were lucky enough to have extra money you could buy a plate of cockles or a half slice of bread for a half-penny afterwards.

“My mother and I would go sometimes on a Wednesday evening to The Regal. We saw great films. I’ve always remembered Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Loved those types of films. have never liked remakes!

“I am 78 now. Never go to the cinema but have such happy memories of those nights out with my Mum. We would buy chips at Dan’s Fish Shop nearby (he only did chips). We would eat them on the walk home and mine lasted until we reached Grant Street, near the cemetery where we lived. Oh, happy days!”


1 Response

  1. Malcolm Baxter

    The Regal became our Gang Hut

    I lived in Valentine Street almost opposite the Regal on Dereham Road. My uncle Hugho was the projectionist, and my aunt Marje was an usherette. Once a week, my mother and grandmother, with myself would visit, with complimentary tickets. I would also go to Saturday mornings with my friends.

    When it closed my friends and I found a way to get in, it became our gang hut! On our first visit I snuck away in the dark and found my way to the staff room. There I found an usherettes ice cream tray with it’s light still working. I crept back to my friends, switched the light on and called ‘Ice creams in the one and nines.’ To say it scared them would be an understatement.

    We used it but never damaged it. Vandalism was unknown to us. We were inside one occasion and we heard a lot of noise. We suspected it was the Police. We were right! We scarped to the plain outside Valoris chippy and watched the beams from the police touches, flashing in the upstairs foyer. In the countless times we had gone to the cinema, never had we seen entertainment such as this!

    For several years we used to hang about outside of the front of the Cinema, in the evenings and listening to ‘Top of the Pops’ on a Sunday afternoon. As we grew older several of the lads acquired motorbikes, this in turn attracted other bikers. It become a popular stopping off point.

    The night the Regal opened as a bingo Hall, I was working part time for Cushy who owned the sweetshop opposite. He had me selling thick black pencils as lucky bingo pencils, to the the queue waiting to play bingo. I also had to don an usherettes tray to sell refreshments.

    I am now 71 and live on the mid Wales border, It was a long time ago and I am a long way away but it seems like only yesterday.

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