Jimmy Savile, 5-pin bowling and IP contracts: some points of connection

The recent death of the TV presenter and disk jockey, Sir Jimmy Savile, has prompted several personal memories, which ultimately thread through to the subject of IP contracts.

Back in 1960, my father was working as the manager of the Bellevue Ballrooms in Manchester.  Bellevue boasted the largest ballroom in Europe, and many of the well-known singers of the day gave performances there.  Jimmy Savile was then my father’s main competitor in Manchester, as the manager of the Plaza Ballroom.  I hasten to add that my father was not a disk jockey, but in the pre-Radio Caroline, pre-Top of the Pops era, Jimmy Savile was a venue manager as well as a performer.

At around that time, my father was recruited by the Canadian Thomson Organisation (which subsequently purchased the Times newspaper) to be the manager of a new business venture in Scotland.  The Olympia Ballroom in East Kilbride, featured a Canadian innovation, 5-pin bowling, as well as a ballroom that could accommodate 1,000 people.

East Kilbride's not quite Olympic-sized swimming pool, the Dollan Baths

Regrettably, 5-pin bowling did not catch on in Scotland, although it is apparently still very popular in Canada.  My father moved on to another job with the Thomson Organisation, and we continued to live in East Kilbride during the 1960s.

Meanwhile, in a parallel thread of memory, in the late 1960s a young student called Dan Wright was working at his father’s butcher’s shop in East Kilbride, dealing with the accounts.  He remembers an account in the name of my mother.  He also has memories of the Olympia Ballroom.  Dan Wright’s father was the scoutmaster of the 1st East Kilbride Scout Troup, to which I briefly belonged. As a further point of connection, the Wrights lived in the same street as the Andersons, about four doors away from us.

A wonderful 1972 film, Why Scotland, Why East Kilbride (24 minutes) here, provides a dramatised account of a tour by two businessmen (one English, the other American) of the New Town of East Kilbride.  The film persuades us to set up our businesses in the town.

Four decades later, Dan Wright and I meet for the first time (as far as we know) in Oxfordshire to discuss an IP contract.  Dan is now the CEO of a high-tech company, Heliex Power Limited that is based in East Kilbride and is commercialising technology developed by one of our university clients.  In the course of our conversation, it becomes apparent that we have some amazing points of connection.

Jimmy Savile and IP contracts: not so far apart, after all…

2 Comments

Filed under Intellectual Property

2 responses to “Jimmy Savile, 5-pin bowling and IP contracts: some points of connection

  1. mine too,that means you’re my brother!! small world indeed and exciting times ahead for heliex I hope. Noticed an article about heliex and the technology in the sunday times today and thought I’d have a look to see if it had been picked up anywhere else when I stumbled upon this blog.

  2. Donald Wright

    Really strange how the world works eh? Just having a wee look through the pages related to heliex and this pops up, Dan is my Dad :-)

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