B&B welcomed Jimi, Engelbert and Cat Stevens

memory lane february 15'seaside stars''Jimi Hendrix on stage at the Opera House, Blackpool, on November 25, 1967
memory lane february 15'seaside stars''Jimi Hendrix on stage at the Opera House, Blackpool, on November 25, 1967
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WHEN the Seaside Stars spotlight fell recently on Jimi Hendrix and his 1967 package tour appearance in Blackpool, it brought a smile for retired landlady Jean Searle.

Not that she saw him on stage at the Opera House, or even the Odeon earlier the same year, but she did catch his reflection in her lounge mirror.

She explains: “I had a boarding house, the Mayfair, at 79 Dickson Road, and Jimi stayed with me, along with some of the members of Amen Corner. None of them bothered with breakfast and they did not roll out of bed until midday.

“One memory is of Jimi standing in front of the mirror which hung over the fireplace in the lounge.

“With his hair nearly filling the glass, he turned to me and asked if I would phone for a taxi.

“I said certainly and asked him where he was going, and he replied that Yates’s Wine Lodge had been recommended.

“I started to tell him it was only an eight-minute walk from the Mayfair and he looked at me with a serious face and insisted: ‘I don’t walk anywhere – call me a cab’ which I did.”

Jean, now of Raymond Avenue, says: “Because I was only 23 and naive, I did not ask for autographs or photos, not really realising how famous these people were going to be.

“But I still have my memories.

“Around the flower power time, I remember two young men arriving nicely dressed in smart suits who had booked by letter and sent a deposit.

Half an hour later, they came downstairs dressed in way-out clothing and I asked them what they were doing in my house, not realising they were the same two who had arrived in suits!”

Jean also recalls the Embassy Club opposite her hotel, and some of her neighbours who launched an unsuccessful petition to have the place closed down because of early morning noise from taxis.

She says: “I refused to sign because if you wanted a quiet holiday then you did not come to Dickson Road – you went far north or far south, away from it all. I was very popular with the Embassy Club because I used to recommend it to my guests.

“Anyone appearing at the club who needed accommodation was referred to me during the mid 60s. Among those who stayed at the Mayfair were Gerry Dorsey, who later changed his name and found success as Engelbert Humperdinck, and Cat Stevens.”