An audience with Geoff

A FAMOUS band leader who wowed audiences at Ye Olde Bell Hotel over two decades has made a welcome return to the hotel.

Monday, 11th July 2011, 11:30 am

For almost 20 years, Ye Olde Bell was renowned for its stylish dinner dances and was certainly known as the place to be every Saturday night from 1955 - 1972.

At that time the hotel was owned by Hans Neilson who recruited Geoff Oakley and his superb band to play every Saturday.

Geoff recently came over from Australia to stay at Ye Olde Bell, at Barnby Moor, to share his memories with guests at a special evening, called An Audience with Geoff Oakley.

Patrons who remembered Geoff and enjoyed the amazing dinner dances were all invited along to the event plus people interested in that era.

They all shared champagne, canapes and chatted as they reminisced together about the dances.

Geoff, together with another member of his band Basil Staveley, gave a fascinating presentation with incredible vintage film footage from the 1950s to 1970s of dinner dances and one Christmas Day at Ye Olde Bell, where Mr Nielson had guests serving the lunch because the staff wanted more money.

The evening was further enhanced with the presence of the Nielson family which consisted of his son-in-law Johnnie Gibson and grandson Christopher Gibson.

They had travelled from Hampshire to meet with Geoff and the guests.

A spokesman for Ye Olde Bell said it was also a great privilege and pleasure to welcome back the head chef from that era, Clive Pickering and his family.