The Tuppenny Rush

The Good Old Days

Back in those good old days before tele’s, video’s, computers etc our main source of entertainment was the ‘pictures’, cinemas, films, movies call ’em what you like, to us it was ‘the pictures’.

The highlight was Saturday afternoons when it was kids show time, tuppence down stairs – hence the title ‘tuppenny rush’, and threepence upstairs for the more well off kids – try not to sit under the balcony as you never know what might land on your head!

Three Cinemas

We had a choice of three cinemas, The Rock, on Skerry Hill, The Palace – better known as ‘The bug hut’ and The Ritz, at Clipstone. A lot depended on what was showing, and particularly ‘the serial’. This was always an important decision you had to make – which was the most exciting!

Exciting Films

There were the Cowboy and Indians, Tom Mix, Roy Rogers and so on. There were the Bowry Boys, the Dead End Kids with Mugsy McGunnis and his Gang, The Three Stooges, Laurel & Hardy, George Formby. Then the war adventures like Don Winslow of the Navy, The Mask of Zorrow and Flash Gordon, and only at the Palace, Crash Corregon in ‘The Undersea Kingdom’. It could be a difficult choice, but it was always exciting.

It might be Tarzan of the Apes, or Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, the Marx brothers or Danny Kaye, you could do an endless list of memories.

Projectionist at The Rock.

Another point of interest was that Billy Bugg who lived on the Second Avenue, Forest Town, was for a time projectionist at The Rock. One of his jobs was to wind open the curtains before the show started. When we saw him walk down the aisle we knew the show was about to start, so we cheered him all the way with much ribald encouragement.

Kids Antics

After the show had finished you could tell what kind of film it had been by the antics of the kids, if it had been a cowboy film we galloped home slapping our breeches and firing pretend guns [fist clenched with fingers pointing in front]. Or if it had been a ‘swash buckler’ we would be sword fencing with coats worn like cloaks all the way home. Of course with a war film we would be firing imaginary rifles, forming ambushes etc, it was all good fun.

Now there was one lad who could outdo us all. He could run faster, jump higher and do all kind of dare devil antics better than any of us. I have seen him walk all round the cricket pitch on the wire rope – tight rope wise! We watched him swarm up lamp posts, climb trees, run along the parapet of the bridge which was at the top of Pecks Hill. We always reckon he missed his vocation by not becoming an actor or at least a stunt man.

Now who was this lad of many talents, why it was ‘Patch’ Woolley of course what a great lad he was. Sadly Patch is no longer with us.

Growing Up

As we grew into young adults then we transferred our custom to the senior film shows but they never generated the excitement of the good old days of the Tuppenny Rush. The dreams, the hopes, the fun and the memories will live for ever.

This article first appeared in the Forest Town Crier Issue 17 – 2003





Comments about this page

  • Good page and perfect memories of those days going to the pictures. We often went to the Empire and Hippodrome as well. I remember the Tivoli also but think that was Shirebrook, someone will enlighten me no doubt. The interval comprised of screen advertisements of ‘Pearl & Dean’ fame – remember those?.

    We would even watch these amid the smoke from older patrons having a fag or two. Ash trays provided on the seats in front of course! Nipping in (or trying to) when an ‘X’ rated film was on must have been tried by most youngsters at sometime or other. Some will have had more luck than others no doubt. There was also the odd film to see in the Museum back then –  I remember going to see ‘Captains Courageous’ on one occasion, with the folks that is.

    Yes, all good stuff to look back on..

    By Steeve Cee. (14/09/2017)
  • Adding to G Burton’s comment, he must be considerably younger than me.I only remember those days as the tuppenny rush. Here are a few more memories of those days, in particular the serials which were addictive and you never missed an episode. You may also remember the stars of our early days, Flash Gordon —– Trip to Mars /Space Soldiers / Conquers the Universe with Buster Crabbe as Flash, Jean Roberts as Dale Arden and of course Charles Middleton as the Emporeror Ming. Gene Autry in Phantom Empire Johnny Mack Brown / The Three Mesquiteers with Ray Livingston, Bob Steele and Max Terhune (with the ventiriloquist doll ). In some of these serials John Wayne began his career. (My most vivid memory of the latter serials being three horsemen each riding the three roads and meeting onto just one road to sort out the villains. Other western serials which were abundant starred Gene Autry, Johnny Mack Brown, Ken Maynard and later Roy Rogers. Of course there were the Dead End Kids (later became The Bowery Boys ) and starred Leo Gorsey Billy Hallop and of course Huntz Hall. One other vivid memory is that after the show we would all race out of the cinema shouting ‘Bags I’m him in the White Hat’. It was very very noticable the hero or goodie was mainly wearing a white hat and the baddie a black hat ( I suppose it had a benefical effect watching Westerns as there was no Technicolour in those days )

    By Malcolm Raynor (22/09/2012)
  • Les and Mgr, great comments about former cinemas in and around the Mansfield area – what about the Grand cinema  which changed to ABC in later years? Yes, great cartoons, Laurel and Hardy, Flash Gordon(series seemed to go on for weeks and you had to back come the following week ) ,westerns, etc. ABC minors there must be some of you out there ,tanner rush every saturday - happy days.!!!!!!

    By g.burton(former wodus lad) (06/03/2011)
  • A great time was had by all todays kids don’t know what they missed. For me it was the Granada in the Morning and the Rock in the afternoon. At the Granada we were Granadiers and at the Rock a member of the Shirley Temple Club. A Great time was had by all if you want to relive some of those days there is an American company that specializes in the Films and serials from those days. Their catologue is on the Internet —– and they are cheap my favorites were obviously Flash Gorden, Johnny Mack Brown and The Three Mesqiteers with Ray Livingston and a very young John Wayne. Looking at that Site is a real nostalgia trip.

    By Mgr (26/10/2010)

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