Crossing the Border
(Recalled by Robey Buckley)


Robey Buckley who wrote to Ivy from her native Australia came to the UK to join the band in 1952 and stayed with it for 16 years, by which time the Berlin Wall had been built, but even that was no obstacle for the Ivy Benson band making frequent appearances in Berlin and East Germany.

"Then we did a trip through to Berlin and we had to go through the eastern sector of Germany to get there and at that time it was the Cold War and the Berlin airlift was operating. They were holding some of the trucks up for about eight days and we had to get through for that evening or the next evening. I know we had a very short space of time to get through. We were sitting there at the border; they'd taken our passports into the office and we'd been sitting there for about two to three hours. Ivy said 'Look girls, we've just got to get through, get your instruments out; we've got an arrangement of "Dark Eyes" - the Russian tune; we'll play that". With that we got our instruments out and started playing Dark Eyes and all the guards started coming round the bus and started peering in until we finished.

There were no guards at the gates where they should have been, they were all up around the bus watching the girls. All of a sudden out of the office came this officer running down to the bus. He tore open the door gave Ivy all the papers and passports. He said 'Now here you are. Go through to Berlin and don't stop until you get there."

Return to Index