Jim played drums on camp's opening night
PUBLISHED: 08:57 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:42 15 June 2010
THE last surviving member of the first band to play at Seaton's ill-fated holiday camp has fond memories of the centre's opening night. Jim Kendall, 86, of Honiton, was the drummer with Ken Dall, a 12-piece dance band, in the 1930s.
THE last surviving member of the first band to play at Seaton's ill-fated holiday camp has fond memories of the centre's opening night.Jim Kendall, 86, of Honiton, was the drummer with Ken Dall, a 12-piece dance band, in the 1930s.It was towards the end of that decade that Jim, his late father Bernard and 10 other musicians donned specially-made suits to take to the holiday camp's gleaming new stage.After hearing that Lyme Bay Holiday Village is to close on January 2 next year, Jim acknowledged the loss of the camp signalled the end of an era for Seaton.The centre, in Harbour Road, is being lost to a regeneration scheme involving a wider area of the East Devon resort. Tesco has bought the holiday camp site and aims to work with the community and East Devon District Council, which has made the regeneration of Seaton a priority."We were the first band to play there. It was on a Saturday night and the place was packed," Jim told the Herald."There were hundreds, if not more, there."It wasn't a ramshackle place; it was purpose-built. I remember it as Warner's."Jim walked out onto the stage wearing a grey dinner jacked with red lapels, black trousers, a white shirt and black bow tie. He was just 15, but remembers Ken Dall played the top dance tunes of the day."People often come up to me in the street and say they remember me from dances years ago," he said. "The thing was, I used to get so caught up in my music that I didn't really see individual faces in the audience."We were thrilled to be the first band to play at the camp, because other outfits were in the running."After the opening night, we were offered a contract to perform every Saturday night."Unfortunately, for Ken Dall, there was no repeat performance."We only ever played there once, because war broke out," said Jim. "Everything was cancelled.