West Runton Pavilion & Cromer Links

North Norfolk's Legendary Live Music Venues of the 1960s, 70s & 80s


The 4th WEST RUNTON PAVILION AND CROMER LINKS REUNION took place on Saturday 27 September in the marquee at the Lighthouse Inn, Walcott, north Norfolk, by kind invitation of landlord Steve Bullimore. Around 200 music fans enjoyed a disco provided by MAGIC MOMENTS, recalling the many stars who had played at the venues.


                 Pearl and Razz from Magic Moments Disco

BO-NIDLE kicked off the live music with a blues set, featuring Harry Collins on bass, Garry Platten ('Gizmo') on guitar, Shane Randall (drums) and vocalist/harmonica player Dave Pentney-Smith. Harry Collins had played at Cromer Links several times in the early 70s with Spencer's People, supporting bands such as Manfred Mann, Thin Lizzy and Hot Chocolate, and later he appeared with Winner at West Runton Pavilion supporting the Vapors.  Harry and Gizmo were later part of another local band called Remould who played at Runton with Judas Priest.


Bo-Nidle (left to right) Garry Platten, Harry Collins, Dave Pentney-Smith and Shane Randall. 

Another popular Links support band from the early 70s was remembered when Neil Pitcher and Phil Buck took to the stage with their reformed band SHY FLY.  Shy Fly had been described at the time as 'One of the most popular support acts' and had appeared with Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore and Screaming Lord Sutch, amongst others. On Saturday they performed much of their original set of 70s rock covers by various bands including Status Quo, and were joined on stage by Billy Batchelor, vocalist in local band Raw Edge, for the classic Led Zeppelin number 'Communication Breakdown'.


Original Shy Fly members Phil Buck (drums) and Neil Pitcher (centre – guitar/vocals) are joined by Pat Rolph on lead guitar and Jo Rolph on bass.

Although they didn't play on the night, popular Runton support band SPINY NORMAN were at Saturday's event. Clive Tully (bass), Rob Seales (guitar), Mick Hudson (vocals), Ian ‘Fritz’ Wright (drums) and Brian Wise (guitar) reminisced about their gigs at Runton, including an appearance with John Miles in 1976.  Clive said 'It was really great to have the 1976/77 line-up of Spiny Norman all together under one roof for the first time in 31½ years!'


      Spiny Norman left to right Rob, Clive, Mick, Ian and Brian

Amongst those enjoying the event was guitarist and song-writer STEVE HACKETT. Steve was a member of the classic Genesis line-up with Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. He left the prog-rockers in 1977 to pursue a successful solo career and played at West Runton Pavilion with his band in 1979. Steve has fond memories of the venue and said, ‘What a great evening it was to play at the Pavilion and a very special memory for me and all my band.’ Chris Hare, who had taken several slides of the Runton concert, was delighted to meet his music hero.


       Steve Hackett (centre) with Chris Hare and Sue Mayes

Many thanks to everyone who came along, to the DJ and the musicians, and to Steve Bullimore for once again providing the venue.