Rock and Rhythm Contest, 1962






Alan Freeman
Chief Inspector Deacon
David Spinks



1st - Staggerlees Rock Unit
2nd - Druids Rock Unit
3rd Manny Cockles Four     


Performers & Songs:                                         

Senators (St Austell)
Phantoms (Bodmin)
Black Shadows (Plymouth) - Czardas + one other
Echos (Falmouth)
Vigalantes (Newquay)
Drifters (Newquay)
Harlequins (Exeter)
Phantoms (Camborne)
Manny Cockles Four (Truro)
Druids Rock Unit (Redruth)
Midnights (Plymouth)
Kopykats (Penzance)
Electrons (St Austell)
Staggerlees Rock Unit (Redruth) 


Winners The Staggerlees at the contest




Here's how the Cornwall Gazette reported the event;


Staggerlees “Rock” to Championship.

It was standing-room only at the City Hall, Truro on Wednesday, when the largest ever audience seen there really let their hair down for a night of Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard-style mass hysteria. Nearly 1000 teenagers were rocking in the gangways for the 1962 Rock and Rhythm Championship of Cornwall, and had the time of their lives.

Alan Freeman disc jockey and star of BBC and Independent Television, made an express trip to Truro to help with the judging and make an appearance on the stage. Rhythm groups from nearly every principle town and some from Plymouth and Exeter, competed for the title 1962 Cornish champions. So many people crowded into the hall that the annexe had to be opened out and still crowds stood at the sides and back of the hall. Many of the groups had powerful modern amplifying equipment and the combined noise of electric guitars, drums and the sceaming, clapping and stamping audience raised a pandemonium the like of which can never have been heard before in the old hall. Ambulance men stood ready for fainting females. It was strickly a session for the young and healthly, with no room for tender ear-drums, even at the back.

Anyone who thinks that Cornish teenagers lack the spirit of get-up-and-go had an object lesson to the contrary that night. The Mayor of Truro (Mr. S. J. Sunley) and the Mayoress plumped for seats right in the front of the hall. Their courage can only be appreciated by those who went. Some of the groups on the stage produced professional standard rhythm and Alan Freeman told them afterwards . “Believe me, we have seen and some great talent here tonight. I think, I honestly think, that in a short space of time I may have the pleasure of presenting one of theses groups on disc”.

The disc jockey had made the 500-mile one-day trip to Truro for a worthwhile cause. Proceeds of the evening, sponsored by Truro Round Table, were £130 gross for the Truro Boys’ Club’s new building fund. One of the club’s members, Charlie Hodder, went on stage to hand a present to Alan Freeman collected by the members in appreciation of his visit- before he was rushed to Truro station to catch a train to London. As his co-judges, Alan Freeman had Chief Insp. J. C. Deacon and the assistant county drama adviser, Mr. David Spinks.

They had great difficulty in picking the winners and eventually decided that two groups, the Staggerlees Rock Unit, of Redruth, and the Druids Rock Unit, of Bodmin, were equal,. The two made a second appearance to decide the winners and the Staggerlees carried the evening with and instrumental medley including “Rock-a-Boogie Shuffle”, and “FBI”, and “Tea for Two” as the vocal item. Third place went to Truro’s top group the Manny Cockle Four.

An illuminated certificate was presented to the Staggerlees by Alan Freeman. He said that in the play-off it was the fact that the Staggerlees had allowed the singer to get through that decided the judges in their verdict. From the tumult of applause it was clear that they were popular winners.

The other groups taking part were the Midnights (Plymouth), the Phantoms (Camborne), the KopyKats (Penzance), the Echoes (Falmouth),The Senators (St.Austell), the Phantoms (Bodmin), the Black Shadows (Plymouth), the Vigilantes (Newquay Grammar Scholl), the Drifters (Newquay), the Harlequins (Exeter) and the Electrons (St. Austell). Mr.Peter Boggia was the compere, and the Chairman of the Round Table, Mr. Colin Fowler thanked Alan Freeman, the other judges, the audience, and everyone who worked behind the scenes to make the championship a success.

(From the Cornwall Gazette, Thursday, April 26, 1962)

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