Fab times at La Fabrique

Paul, John, George and the other one
Paul, John, George and the other one

Living in Maddiston as a young teenager, Joan Hermse looked forward to a Saturday night out all week.

For Mrs Hermse, nee Cockburn, the highlights of her weekend were a trip to the picture house in Brightons and the ‘record hop’ that was occasionally organised at the local church hall.

Mrs Hermse, who now lives in Grangemouth, said: “Nights out back then were over by about 10.30 p.m., unlike nowadays when nights are just starting then.”

In her mid to late teens it was quite an event to go to La Fabrique. Mrs Hermse describes what it was like: “The La Fabrique was the nearest thing we had to a nightclub at the time – no doubt some will remember this fondly or otherwise.

“When you look back, they must have been death traps as there was no fire safety regulations that anyone was aware of and with smoking and illicit drinking its a wonder we live to tell the tale. We thought we were the height of sophistication going to these places but, from a distance of 50-odd years, we were anything but.”

One highlight for the 66-year-old was going on a special bus to a theatre in Glasgow with the local Youth Fellowship to see The Beatles.

She added: “With this week the 50th anniversary of their first single release ‘Love Me Do’, we were very lucky to see them as they were beginning to be the phenomenon of the 1960s.”