MEMORY LANE: 30th anniversary of Harry Sanders tribute show at Grantham’s Granada

Granada, Grantham.
Granada, Grantham.

Local historian Stan Matthews dropped off some memorabilia at the Journal office to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a tribute show to the former manager of Grantham’s Granada Theatre/Cinema – Harry Sanders.

The tribute show was held at the Granada on February 20, 1987, with not an empty seat in the 910-capacity auditorium.

Harry Sanders

Harry Sanders

It featured top acts with Grantham roots – Vince Eager, Trevor Leeson, The Lee Robins Duo and, of course, The Kobalts. The event was compered by the town’s own music impresario Noel Wallis.

Vince’s original backing group, The Vagabonds, could not make the date, however, one member of the band, Roy Clark, was invited on stage by Vince to represent the group.

Money raised by the concert went to a charity nominated by Harry’s widow, Madge.

Harry, a Welshman originally from Maesteg, came to Grantham in 1937 to manage the State Cinema on the High Street, which later became part of the Granada organisation.

Harry began Saturday morning entertainment and film shows for the children who called themselves ‘The Granadiers’.

He also started a Sunday evening pop slot to which a full house of teenagers would be entertained by local singers and groups.

Stan said: “He did more than show films, he encouraged and presented local musicians and talented performers to the Grantham public.”

Famous acts to have graced the Granada stage included Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Sam Cooke, The Hollies, Manfred Mann and The Tornados.

Harry left the town in 1957 but returned two years later, before retiring in 1963.

+ The main photograph shows the frontage of the Granada shortly before its demise as a cinema in 1972, Vince Eager Trevor Leeson, The Kobalts, The Lee Robbins Duo and Vince Eager’s tour manager Noel Wallis, who compered the tribute show to Harry Sanders in 1987.