Dinner dances, peashooters… and bedpans!

As plans for a new hotel on the site of one of Derbyshire’s most famous old hotels are approved, retired journalist and lecturer Gerry Kreibich, of Matlock Bath, recalls his stint on the piano at the Rising Sun at Thornhill over 30 years ago.

THERE was a rather nice baby grand piano on the stage of the Rising Sun ballroom and, for two or three years in the late 1970s, I was the chap who played it, as a member of the resident quartet. The band leader was one Ted Parkin, a miner from Sheffield. He wasn’t just a nifty drummer, he was also a great front man whose witty announcements often had the dancers chuckling. ‘Time to introduce the members of the band,’ he’d tell the crowd. Then he’d turn to me and ask ‘Who are you?’ In those days, each set of three waltzes, foxtrots or quicksteps ended with a call of ‘Next dance please’ . . . but Ted often called out ‘Bedpans please’ instead, with a wink at us…

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