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Bromley bucked the trend on 'dullest day' of 20th century

PUBLISHED: 09:51 09 December 2010

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Archant

It was the day that Belgium held a general election, Oldham Athletic footballer Jack Shufflebotham died and the Bromley Table Tennis Championships took place in Sidcup.

Not surprising, then, that experts have just named Sunday, April 11, 1954 the most boring day of the 20th Century.

Archivists have now found, however, that it wasn’t all dull as dishwater in Bromley, as American singer Johnnie Ray played to hundreds of screaming teenage fans at the Guamont Cinema, Bromley.

The Bromley Times from the date said: “Hysterical girls swarmed everywhere — in the foyer, in the main street, outside the stage door and in the car park... There was confusion everywhere.”

It continued: “But worse was still to come. For after the second show Mr Ray had to cover several perilous yards from the entrance to his car. His first attempt failed and he dashed back into the foyer.”

Cambridge graduate William Tunstall-Pedoe came to the conclusion that April 11, 1954 was the dullest day since 1900 after feeding 300million facts into a computer programme called True Knowledge.

Head of the Bromley Library’s local studies centre, Simon Finch, said: “We decided to look in the Bromley Times to see if it was true here too. And for some of the girls attending the Johnnie Ray concert that evening it was probably one of the most exciting of their lives!

“I wonder if any of the girls are still around. They would be in their early 70s now.”

Inevitably the rest of that Sunday seemed to be as dull as the rest of the world. Elsewhere in Bromley, the Kent Border Car Club treasure hunt took place, with 45 members taking tea at the Old Oast Guest House, Otford and despite the holiness of the day, two men broke into Farnborough Parish Church and stole 5d.

Were you one of the “bobby-soxers” girls at the concert mobbing Johnnie Ray? Do you remember the excitement? Email tim.dickens@archant.co.uk

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