THE SATURDAY MORNING TANNER RUSH
Featured in the August 2009 handbook.
Grandad was with Hannah, one of his Granddaughters, when she was playing with a Yo-Yo. “Can you do this Grandad” asked Hannah. “I used to be able to” said Grandad. “In fact the first time that I ever saw one of these was at the TANNER RUSH”. “What’s the TANNER RUSH” asked Hannah. “Well it was magic, when I was a little lad hoards of us kids, all over the country, went to the pictures every Saturday morning and it cost sixpence to get in, that’s not 6 pence as you know it, but 6 old pennies which is only 2½ of today’s pennies.
A Sixpence was known as a TANNER, so going to the “Flicks” became known as the TANNER RUSH. In fact most of us joined the club there. Ours was called the CHUMS CLUB, but they had different names for it in different towns. Some were known as the ABC MINORS club, and once a month they used to bring on an act or a TURN as they were called where I lived. Once we had this man who came on stage and did fantastic things with Yo-Yo’s. We all thought he was magic” “What else happened at the TANNER RUSH” asked Hannah. “Well, when you joined the club you had to fill in all your details, you know, Name, Address, Date Of Birth, then if it was your birthday that day, or that week, they called out your name and you went on stage and the manager gave you a present of a packet of sweets or something like that. The one time I was called on the stage, it was the same day that the Yo-Yo man was there and he gave me a Yo-Yo, I thought it was brilliant”
“What sort of things did you see at the pictures” Hannah asked. “Oh, we had Flash Gordon, The Bowery Boys, The 3 Stooges and we always had a cowboy film that went on over 6 or 7 weeks then at the end of each episode the main character was just about to fall over a cliff or get run over by a train, so you had to come back next week to see if he made it or not, but he always did” said Grandad. “What did you like best” asked Hannah. “Well there were lots of things I liked, for instance nearly every week the projector would stop working and the screen became a blank screen or it just flickered, when this happened we all started stamping our feet and whistling and jeering, then two or three ladies came round flashing torches and telling us to shut up, but this never worked, so the manager, who always wore a DICKIE BOW, would come round with his torch, when this happened we all shut up, and at half-time the ladies came out with trays that had ice creams and lollies and Kiora drinks, then all of us kids would form huge queues at each of the ladies to get our treats. Right at the end of every morning show they would show a picture of the Queen riding her horse and play the National Anthem, this was when we all had to stand up and not move at all and to make sure we did, all the ladies and the Manager who worked there would stand at the exits to stop us getting out and make us stand rigid until the National Anthem was over. We all tried to get out of the doors before they arrived on the scene and anyone who did get out was treated like a hero by the rest of us.
But the ones who became the biggest hero’s and were the envy of all of us were the two or three lads who got in first then ran down to one of the fire exits and opened them, which allowed dozens of the rest of us to sneak in. Sometimes we got caught, but the times we did get in meant that we had an extra TANNER to spend on ice creams and lollies which we then shared with the boys who had opened the door for us.
That was how we spent our Saturday mornings. It wasn’t just the films or the cartoons it was the whole thing of going there that made Saturday mornings really special. Right, where’s this Yo-Yo, let’s see if I can still do it”