By Andrew Atkinson
It’s almost 50 years ago that octogenarian George Stanhope hit the town of Benidorm with his wife Brenda – in a star studded champagne evening -that holds lifetime memories.
“It’s as if it was just yesterday when I was just 36 years old, living it up in Benidorm,” said George.
Ex pat George, who emigrated to Spain from Manchester 14 years ago, and his sweetheart Brenda, 77, moved to Los Montesinos, Alicante, in 2004.
“The trip to Benidorm in 1974 was to see Jose Montez, Spain’s famous flamenco dancer. The most famous in Spain at the time,” said George.
“The sweat used to fly off José – you got wet through!,” said George.
George and Brenda jetted to Spain from Luton airport to go to Granada, the now demolished night club in Benidorm, having been closed in the late seventies.
“Sitting at our table, with champagne on ice, was fantastic,” said George.
“Once empty, another bottle of champagne arrived, without asking,” said George.
Benidorm has changed dramatically over the years, reflected George: “In the seventies there wasn’t that many hotels.
“We stayed at the Rio Park Hotel, which is still there today. We walked from the Rio, through the lemon groves, down to the sea.”
George and Brenda, who visit Benidorm frequently, remain in love with one of Spain’s leading resorts: “It’s one of our favourite places,” said George.
Brenda said: “The flight to Spain cost £39, direct to Alicante, return. Easter, 1974.
“We were enjoying ourselves that much we missed our coach back to the hotel, and walked it back, returning at 2am.
“The reception weren’t that pleased. So we slept on the balcony!”
Today Benidorm Palace, which opened its doors in July, 1977, is the leading nightclub in Spain and Europe.
Turning the clock back, Brenda said: “There was topless dancers at the Granada, Benidorm, too!”.
“I don’t remember that!,” said George, with a twinkle in his eyes!