Star in Southend Logo'Stars in Southend 1963'

Famous pop stars and artistes that appeared at Southend-on-Sea (and Romford) Odeons back in 1963!


There’s been a lot of interest regarding Derek Cross’s photographs. Here are just some of the news articles:

Interview on ITV’s ‘London Tonight’ with Lucy Cotter.



Unseen 1963 Press Interview

Also shown on ‘Meridian News’ & ‘Anglia News’

Picture (left to right): Derek Cross, Lucy Cotter, Gemma Creely (camera operator) & John Lidster from the Atelier Gallery.

Unseen 1963 Press Montage

Rare photos of 60’s stars on show.

‘BBC Essex online’ – Wednesday 18th November 2009


Rediscovered archive photos of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and other stars from the 1960’s have gone on display in Leigh-on-Sea.

Over 50 images by photographer Derek Cross form the ‘Unseen 1963’ exhibition at the town’s Atelier Gallery.

Most of the pictures were taken in 1963 at Southend Odeon, which at the time drew the biggest names from the world of show business.

The exhibition also features the likes of Cliff Richard and Roy Orbison.

The Searchers, Duane Eddy, Dusty Springfield, The Kinks, Frankie Vaughan, The Dave Clark Five and Bo Didley are also among the stars to have been caught on camera.

The photos, which had never been seen by the public before, came to light when the original negatives were rediscovered and passed to friend and local printer, John Salim.

“At the time were just part of his work and these were probably the ones he didn’t sell to Fleet Street’” said Atelier Gallery owner John Lidster.

“So he knew they were there, but just didn’t realise the significance of them.

“Derek was a professional photographer for the press, so he had access to them and a lot of the shots are very relaxed in the dressing room, or just off stage.

“He said he never bothered taking them whilst they were playing because he couldn’t hear or see anything because the crowds were going absolutely barmy !”

John explained he needed little persuasion to put the photographs on display when they offered to him.

“We’ve been very busy, we’ve had hundreds of people coming in, most of them local because the shots are Southend Odeon.

“Most people come to see the Beatles, they were the big name obviously and were just on the rise to fame in 1963.”


Reproduced with kind permission from ‘BBC Essex online’

My forgotten photos of the Beatles and Stones.

‘Evening Echo’ – 9th November 2009 by Emma Thomas  /  photo by Steve O’Connell.


For music lovers in Southend, 1963 was a very special year.

The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and the Dave Clarke Five all played at the old Odeon cinema in the high street.

The bands were all photographed that year by music snapper Derek Cross, but the pictures had been forgotten and lay undiscovered in a drawer until recently.

All the images are now the subject of a photography exhibition at the Atelier Gallery in Leigh Broadway.

About 55 images will now be displayed for the next three weeks, giving people a chance to reminisce about their memories of seeing the bands in their heyday.

Val Miller saw the Beatles in 1963 with three school friends who queued outside the Southend Odeon all night to get tickets.

She said “I remember I was in secondary school at the time, the excitement was overwhelming.

“It was absolutely amazing. When we got the tickets we were over the moon.

“They wore the grey suits with the round collars. My favourite Beatle was John Lennon.

“I just thought he was wonderful and I loved his voice. It sounded so good above the screaming people who were nearly all girls.

“At the time the Beatles were so refreshing and so different. It was really well organised and once we were in there, the atmosphere was electric.”

Gallery owner John Lidster said fans were delighted to revive the glory days of Southend’s music scene.

He said “There has been quite a lot of excitement. There’s a beautiful portrait of Brain Jones from the Stones and some really nice shots of the Beatles.

“The first time the Beatles played they were second on the bill to Roy Orbison.

But they were so popular, they headlined when they came back.”


Reproduced with kind permission from ‘The Evening Echo’

Unseen photos of the 60s stars revealed

Yellow Advertiser’ – 25th November 2009 by Karen Davis / photo by Mark Cleveland.


Did you rock on down to Southend Odeon to see the Beatles, the Stones or a host of other musical greats in 1963 ?

If so, you may have been caught on camera by photographer Derek Cross and feature in an exhibition called Unseen 1963 at the Atelier Gallery, Leigh Broadway, Leigh.

Derek, an ex-press photographer, stumbled across the pictures in a drawer and they now form an amazing glimpse into the past with candid shots of John, Paul, George and Ringo along with many others such as the Dave Clark Five, Jo Brown, Roy Orbison and Helen Shapiro.

Gallery owner John Lidster said: “It is an absolute pleasure to have people visit the galley to recapture moments from their youth and reminisce by looking at the photographs.”

The 55 photographs will be on show until Sunday and the display has already attracted many visitors.

Retired roofer, Jack Thompson, 66, of Southchurch, saw Johnny and the Pirates at the cinema, which used to be situated in Southend High Street on the corner of Elmer Approach.

He said: these photos have made the memories come flooding back.

“They are so atmospheric and I even recognised a few old friends in the crowd shot of the Beatles concert.

“I was amazed that there was even a photograph of Johnny and the Pirates – my first ever live musical experience.”


Reproduced with kind permission from ‘The Yellow Advertiser’

Pop Stars at Southend-on-Sea Odeon 1963

‘Professional Photographer’ – 17th September 2009


Atelier Gallery presents a selling exhibition of unpublished photographs taken at Southend-on-Sea Odeon cinema in 1963 by local press photographer.

The selection of black and white images consist of most of the ‘pop stars’ of the time who played at the Southend-on-Sea Odeon including six informal images of the Beatles, taken when they were ‘supporting’ Roy Orbison, a situation that quickly changed !

Other images include The Rolling Stones, Bo Diddley, The Everly Brothers, The Kinks and Cliff Richard.

High quality Silver Geletin copies will be available to order.


Reproduced with kind permission from ‘Professional Photographer’