I remember when the Rolling Stones came to Wilton Hall. We used to have a dance a week, and you got most of the big bands – The Animals, The Searchers, The Troggs. But when the Stones came, it was great - part of the wall actually fell down at the front! I couldn’t get in, and as all the girls came screaming out ‘cause the wall was falling down, we just walked in and the band carried on playing!
(Gordon Ridgway, LAMK 1995)
This famous night featured in the community documentary musical play, Bigger, Brighter, Better (1996), the show about post-war Bletchley. One Bletchley resident who recalled this when he was in his teens later became Chief Inspector of Police in the town:
Well, it was things like the Levi jeans you had to have, didn’t you? You had to have the Ben Sherman shirt, the parka, the scooters – I had two scooters! … On a Saturday, you went down to Makario’s coffee bar. You’d sit there with your mates, and someone else’d come in, and the table’d get bigger and bigger ... because your abiding interest was music, the Beatles and all that. You’d sit there forever over one cup of coffee…
… When I saw the Rolling Stones at Wilton Hall they were just beginning to make an impact. It was absolutely packed - it was all standing up there. I remember being down at the front, quite an exciting night for us, you know.
(Steve Flinn, LAMK 1996)
Neil Mercer was Musical Director for Living Archive theatre productions throughout the 1990s. His shows included Worker By Name, The Pride of Wolverton, Days of Pride, Bigger Brighter Better and The Fabric of Milton Keynes.
For the Living Archive Band Neil has been composer, musical director, playing guitar, mandola, trumpet and pipes. About composing for the shows, he says: ‘I read all the info from the interviews with local people and talk to the playwright. The Night the Stones Rolled into Town was a collaboration with Kevin (Adams). We thought, what kind of song do we want it to be? So when Rib (Davis) and Roger (Kitchen) were trying to think what angle to put on it, I remembered an American song called The Night Hank Williams Came to Town which was sung by Johnny Cash. In it, a guy describes in detail just one evening when he was younger, and I thought that would work for us too. Writing songs for Living Archive has been very satisfying. I’d always found it quite hard to write songs, because I never knew what to write about. The Living Archive resources give you plots, people, and key phrases, all ready-made.’
Images and interview extracts from LAMK archive
The song is featured on the Living Archive Band’s album All That’s Changed Vol 2 (LAMK)