Plans for a fixed reminder of historic rock festival Barbeque ‘67

Doug Kendall with Geno Washington. Photo supplied.
Doug Kendall with Geno Washington. Photo supplied.
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An idea is being put forward for a permanent commemoration to mark one of the biggest rock festivals in history - that was held in Spalding.

Doug Kendall, who attended the original Barbeque ‘67 where legends Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Pink Floyd and Geno Washington played, wants to see a commemorative board put up in Holland Market to remember the event.

He hopes it will help put Spalding on the map as hosting “something that went to the heart of our heritage.”

The venue for the infamous rock festival was the Tulip Bulb Auction Hall. Now demolished, it is believed the site of the hall was somewhere in the car park of Holland Market. Doug believes a board could detail the history of the festival and be of interest to visitors to Spalding.

A blue plaque was put up on the outside of the Red Lion Hotel in Spalding’s Market Place two years ago to say Hendrix slept there in 1967 - but Doug believes this does not do the festival justice.

He said: “It is nice to say Jimi Hendrix slept here but it was not Hendrix’s concert. Barbeque ‘67 was something significant, it was a genre, an era. It was much bigger than just Hendrix.

“It was the epitome of the post war generation and I think it goes to the heart of our heritage. It was about a new generation. You can say it started rock ‘n’ roll.

“No other town can boast this. There are towns that boast of a lot less.”

Fellow Barbeque ‘67 enthusiast Alan Barnsdale runs Uptown Vinyl Records in Spalding Lifestyle Centre, on Pinchbeck Road. He felt that more should have been done to commemorate Barbeque ‘67 at the time of the 50th anniversary this May.

He said: “I talked about this two to three years ago. I spoke to the Town Centre Manager at the time but people were not supported. There should have been more support from the district council and the civic society at the time.

“The Spalding Beer Festival did try its hardest but it was not going to attract people from Norfolk or Suffolk or further afield. We could have done something at the football stadium.

“Just recently Peterborough had Elton John at its football ground. With the music from Barbeque ‘67 people would have travelled from Holland and Germany.

“I feel our chance has been and gone. This was something massive and we have lost the chance.”

David Jones, chairman of Spalding and District Civic Society said: “We are interested in commemorating events that have taken place in Spalding. For instance, we are hoping that there will be a commemoration of some kind to the Abbey (Spalding’s ancient priory was linked to Crowland Abbey). We have looked at half a dozen sights in the town centre which have some history and Barbeque ‘67 could possibly tie in but perhaps not in the theory of blue plaques. Barbeque ‘67 was indeed special.”

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