SMART 5 Report

Hot day at the White Rock Hotel for SMART 5. Gave us a chance first  to check out the new boards at the front of the Pier, giving a history of the Pier over the years and future plans. Good to see some new people again and everyone seemed positive at the future of the Pier and to watch it grow . Mick O’Dowd came along with a bag full of goodies to show, press cuttings, Carlisle posters, various cassettes including 4 A.M black & white, DIE LAUGHING no laughing matter, SAVAGE HEARTS cuts, EXPANDIS complete home and  PHIL THORNTON ‘S flying.  Also had a hand written EXPANDIS tape ‘Dungeons & Dragons’. Uppers On the South Downs Album and a signed copy of the MARS single by Mick Mepham.

Phil Gill unleashed the new and improved ‘STALLION’ CD ‘The Hard Life’ which has just been rereleased. Now has a coloured cover and an excellent booklet inside on the history of all the band members over the years and details of the different bands they played in. The album is dedicated to the memories of Tony Bridger and Steve Demetri. The last pressing sold out quickly so buy it now.

Subjects chatted about were The Hi Fi, Fiesta, Black Cat, Pam Dor, Carnival FM, The Exective Hotel,  Regent Hotel, Green Cardigan Festival, Factory, Tich Turner, Ray Fenwick, Muller, Town Council,  King Rod, Round Table Youth Club, Calvert Youth Club, recording studios, Phil Cordell, the future of music on the pier and more.

The website is going from strength to strength and getting a few hundred hits a week now. Discussed how to we get more people involved and very surprised by the number of people not on the internet.  Good time was had by all

Andy Qunta….Sounds really good, wish I could have been there! Thanks for the round-up of the subjects you chatted about – brought back some great memories!


CND Benefit Gig – Falaise Hall 1981

1239200_10151854080937594_1129650171_oposter Tony Ham

 Tony Ham….I seem to remember the girl in Smashed Duck was a huge Damned fan and ran Dodgy Vinyl in St Leonards.

Alan Esdaile Johnny Mason….Was it Melita that was in the Smashed Duck, as she was a huge ‘Damned’ fan and used to play in the Bouncing Dentists?

Tony Ham….That’s her, I remember going to Dodgy Vinyl after Brian James had left The Damned, she had a huge poster on the shop wall and his face was scribbled out.

Tribute to Sonia London – 2012 – The Record Shop Hastings by Tony May

“Behind every great man there is a great woman”

Tribute to Sonia London 2012 –

By Tony May for Hastings Town Magazine

Along with her husband, Jack, Sonia served behind the counter of  ‘The Record Shop’ in Queens Road for over 44 years (until Jack finally decided to retire (aged 76) in November 2006). No-one who knew either of them will ever forget the unique atmosphere in the shop, their idiosyncrasies or the way they always made you feel so welcome every time you walked through the door…

No, the words ‘customer service’ were invented to suit Sonia and Jack and even feeling as I am I can find a smile when I recall how many times you’d enter the shop and find two or three people standing around chatting with a cup of hot tea or some beverage or cake nearby to sustain them.

The times may have changed outside but life at ‘The Record Shop’ changed little. In fact, in later years I think it was this that enabled the couple to keep the shop open. Jack’s shop was never renowned as ‘Hastings most trendy’ place to buy your records and by the mid 90’s (at the latest!) it was clear that the ‘golden age of vinyl’ was over and that records and record collecting was in steep decline. Trendy or not, it would be Sonia and Jack who would have the last laugh. When on the 25th of November 2006 Jack London shut up shop for the very last time he and ‘Son’ actually turned the lock in the key of Hastings LAST specialist record shop outlasting ANY of their rivals by some distance…

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