Almost meeting Russ Conway

By Andy Gilbert

This pic is from a town fete held at Grays Field, Western Road, where Grays Infants School now is. I am the little cherub over by the ropes in the double breasted coat. (Everyone say 'Aah'!) I'm standing in front of my Grandmother, who had taken me along that afternoon. From the fact that I'm wearing a Southdown School cap, and am still knee-high to a grasshopper, I'd say that I was about 5, so the year is possibly 1962.

The fete had been opened by the star guest, Russ Conway, seen having a cuppa. I was already mad about music and a Russ Conway fan, so we were queuing up to get his autograph. A few moments later, I was stung by a bee. I can remember it hurting like mad! My Grandmother took me to the first aid tent, where I was seen by one of the District Nurses, Sister Fordyce, I think. She put something on the sting and sent me home to rest. Alas, I never did get that Russ Conway autograph, but I still like his music.

Does anyone remember the year. Or are you perhaps in the photo?

Photo:Russ Conway at the Newhaven Fete

Russ Conway at the Newhaven Fete

Unknown, possibly local press.

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 18/03/2008.
Comments about this page

The year is August 1961. I have a paper clipping with an advert on the reverse confirming the date. I am the lad behind.

By Ian Bishop
On 11/04/2008

Yes, Saturday 26th August 1961. I have a programme (price 6d) that I shall be displaying on the website a site I created in honour of the UK's most popular pianist. Russ took time out for the fete whilst appearing in Brighton Hippodromes Summer Show. If any one knows where I might obtain a copy of this picture to display alongside the programme, I would be most grateful. Do take a look at my site, although access is limited at present due to an update, and tell your friends too. Terry Horner, Worthing

By Terry Horner
On 25/10/2008

Thanks for the extra information Terry. I've since found out that the photo is from the Sussex Express and County Herald. 'Our Newhaven' has permission to use their archive photos, but you'll have to obtain this for your own use, of course. I'm sure they'll oblige. If you email me via my website,, I'll email you a hi-res copy of this.

By Andy Gilbert
On 27/10/2008

I'm sure the girl meeting Russ Conway, was my friend, Gwen Davis, she lived in Newfield road. Does anyone know where she is now?

By Margaret Andrews Nee Ingram
On 27/08/2010

I remember Russ's visit.  In fact I still have his autograph from that day.  He was a good looking chap I must say.

By Marie Harvey (nee Hills)
On 23/09/2014

Is my memory playing tricks or do I really remember Dr Gray used to do his rounds (coming up Gibbon Road) in a large Jaguar very slowly and followed by his boxer dog?

This was at a time when I used to sit on the kerb writing down number plates of passing cars (still don't know why I did it!)

By Tony Kingaby
On 19/08/2016

The doctors name was Dr O'Brooke Tony, and the car was a Mk 4 Bentley, his wife also use to take her turn driving the dog around on his daily exercise.

By Colin Holden
On 22/08/2016

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