Phantoms fly in and revisit the stage of their 1963 gig
On Thursday 21st July 2016, 53 years after the original event, three members of The Phantoms band came to Selby High School, to see the stage where they performed all those years ago. The visiting band members included Mr Ken Houghton, Mr David Mennell and Mr Rob Gascoigne, all had been students at Read Grammar School. The visit was brought about by an article published in the Selby Times in June 2014. The article ‘Do you remember The Phantoms gig?’ retold the story of the original article published in the Selby Times half a century ago, and recounted a fundraising social evening for the ‘Save the Children Fund’; the dance and gig raised £17 10s for the charity. Charity fundraising is a tradition that Selby High School continues to this day.
The three band members met with today’s school Swing Band who were rehearsing on the school stage. Ken Hougton, who had not played drums for many years, was still able to show the students that he hadn’t lost his touch! In a conversation, the Phantoms revealed to our music department staff, Mr Heath Lanzillotti (Curriculum Area Leader for Music and Music Technology) and Mrs Laura Stephenson, how charity events at the school had been organised in the 1960’s and how their dance and gig was a rare opportunity for boys and girls to meet. They described how the teachers not only monitored the dance very carefully in the school hall, but also intermittently stopped the gig so that they could dance a Waltz or Foxtrot! The three band members could clearly remember the school hall, even with its new seating and stage technology, although somehow it now felt much smaller…
In 1963, the school was known as Selby Girls High School but it went through many changes during that decade, moving from an all-girls school’ to boys being admitted by 1964. In 1967 an official letter from the Education Department of the West Riding County Council refers to Selby (Mixed) Grammar School. The letter clearly states that the Drax (Aided) Boys’ Grammar School was ‘discontinued on the 21st July 1967 and the boys transferred to the former Selby Girls’ High School, now suitably enlarged as a mixed Grammar School on the 5th September 1967.’ The change from an all girls to a mixed grammar school obviously changed the identity of the school and the event recorded in the Selby Times 53 years ago accounts some of the early interactions between the two schools.
The Phantoms band, had very fond memories of the occasions they had visited the school all those years ago and during a tour of the rest of the school, they enjoyed seeing how education has progressed since the 1960’s, in particular they commented on the opportunities for music and ICT that are now available for today’s students at Selby High.
Then and now...
Ticket from gig held on Friday 12th July 1963
Article which appeared in the Selby Times on 19th June 2014
Article which appeared in the Selby Times in July 1963