Million Pound Drum Contest

A scrap book clipping from Melody Maker

On Sunday, March 20th 1966 at the Wimbledon Palais, the prize was presented for the 'Million Pound Drum Contest' which had been announced in 'Melody Maker' on January 29th followed by daily promotion on Radio London until February 14th.

From an entry of 2,700, Carol Offord's 'suitable station announcement' was selected to win Dave Clark's multi-hit-making Rogers drum kit. Carol nominated her friend John Tillett to receive the prize.

John and Carol today


The hand-over from Dave Clark

This is Carol and John's story, with a very happy ending

What a thrill to be reminded of those memorable days in March '66 when I won the Dave Clark drum set with lots of help from Carol Offord.

Our story begins with Carol and her sister Rita bringing the letter from Radio London to my home in Barking (I was in the bath at the time!) confirming that we had won, and of course for some days up to the presentation in Wimbledon on 20th March there were constant announcements on 'Big L' – all very exciting for a couple of Eastenders!

Whilst never wishing to hit any great heights in the music world, I went on to play in several groups for a number of years, earning some valuable income, but most importantly, having a whale of a time in the working men's clubs, pubs, weddings and the like.

In 1971, I married Rita in Barking and we had 2 children, Gary who is 32 and Jennie, 29. Sadly Rita passed away in April 1993 and Carol, who had always been close to her elder sister and the children, ended a long-term relationship in the same year.

For a couple of years Carol would come to visit us in * DELETED * where I have lived since 1984 and I am delighted to say that since a trip to Florida in 1996 to see Carol's lifetime friend, Sue, that Carol and I are an item.

To finish, yes I still have the drums in my garage – a little faded as you would expect but I could not bear to see them go.

Any finally, the slogan:-

"If you're in trouble, pain or in debt, FACE THE MUSIC with 'Big L' on your set"

So there you have our little story and unbelievably, it's over 40 years since the writing THAT slogan.

Our very best regards, John Tillett and Carol Offord


Very many thanks to John, Carol and John's son Gary, for taking the trouble to share their great story and photos

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