DO you remember the Bay City Rollers playing a Skipton gig?

Skipton’s Roger Ingham says the recent death of one of the pop group, Ian Mitchell, at the age of 62, must surely have struck a glowing nostalgic chord for many from the Skipton locality who are now aged in their sixties and seventies.

Although the bass guitarist, Mitchell, had not joined the Edinburgh group when they were already on the threshold of world-wide fame at the time of them coming to Skipton in 1974, the profiling of the Bay City Rollers in the national and international media, as a result of Ian’s untimely death, brought the tartan-clad band back to the spotlight.

Mr Ingham, the town’s ‘Mr Sport’ said: “The Bay City Rollers were just one of a series of rising groups and individual stars to feature at Skipton Town Hall in the late 1960s and early-to-mid 70s, through the enterprise of Skipton-Craven Lions whose front-runner was a prominent local footballer-cricketer, Graham Jagger. Graham particularly touted up the Bay City Rollers, whom I had hardly heard of prior to their attendance in Skipton in 1974. However, that would soon change. Indeed I had a prelude to what was about to unfurl, when I arrived back at the town hall, at around 4pm after my working rounds on the housing estates, to be confronted by about thirty youths, mainly lassies, who were camped on the town hall steps. The Bay City Rollers being the fans’ reason for visiting, from places, far-flung - Wigan, Doncaster and Rotherham to name but three”.

“Proceeds of the Lions’ ‘gigs’ were on behalf of local charity and sporting organisations with Skipton Cricket Club being the benefactors on this occasion. And, myself helping the cricket club with events from time to time, and knowing just about every youth in the district, I gave them a hand at the door, and regaled everyone coming in with a jovial ‘Kilnsey Show-type’ welcome.

“It all therefore made for a terrific night, without the slightest hint of any trouble. Thus, after seeing the group eventually strike up, I went back home. It proved to be a terrific night too, on the housing estates for, with it being a lovely balmy summery evening and all the town hall ventilation parts open, the sounds carried superbly across town and many people were out in their gardens to rock the night away.

“The event had to be up there amongst Skipton’s best social nights of all time. Indeed, only a matter of a few weeks after their Skipton appearance, the band were swamped by thousands of fans wherever they featured. Skipton traders subsequently selling tartan scarves and Bay City Rollers long looped socks able to handsomely cash in.”