Tesco first Hastings store, opens at 11 Wellington Place 27th June 1957 .

all supplied by Leigh Kennedy

Leigh Kennedy… First ever Tesco Store opens in Hastings, at 11 Wellington Place. The store would remain there for just over a decade until moving round the corner to a purpose built store on the site of the much missed Regency era Castle Hotel. Photo Circa 1963. Tesco far right

Alan Esdaile… remember going in there with my dad and couldn’t understand how people were allowed to serve themselves, having only known the corner shop previously. My job was to get a strong empty cardboard box from the front of the shop but soon learnt not good to go for the middle one!

Monica Bane… Yes I remember that little store!

Stuart Henry Disc Jockey – Aquarius 11th May 1974


stuary henry

Joe Knight… Use to go on stage with Steve Maxted, back in 68 at Catford London crazy but a great bloke.

Alan Esdaile… Just notice Titanic are a forthcoming attraction. A long forgotten track that I remember playing to death in Bonitas was the hit ‘Sultana’.

Tony Davis… I was listening to the Titanic track the other day and remember that I gave that a bit of a thrashing too at both the Astral and the Crypt.

1066 Music Blue Plaques for the Hastings area – Poly Styrene

facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/1066MusicBluePlaques/

1066 Music Blue Plaques is a group formed by three local music fans, Jim Breeds, Tony Davis & Andy Gunton. The group came together after a Facebook discussion regarding the lack of commemorative Blue Plaques celebrating musicians who used to live in the Hastings area, and important local music venues which have closed down. We decided to see if that situation could be corrected, and set out to explore the possibilities of getting some Blue Plaques erected. After contacting Hastings Borough Council and getting their approval and support for the idea, we are now in a position to move things forward. We are currently looking at a handful of potential sites for commemorative Blue Plaques, and are now ready to start fundraising for the first of those, being Poly Styrene in St Leonards, and John Martyn in Hastings. Suggestions for other potential sites are welcome, so please message us with your thoughts. We already have Hastings Pier, The Crypt, The Tubman, the De La Warr Pavilion & the Witchdoctor/Cobweb Club on our list by the way. Please bear in mind that all Blue Plaques have to have the permission of the building owner & possibly Planning Permission too, so not all are possible. All Blue Plaques will be funded by a separate Crowdfunding appeal, which will pay for the manufacture & fitting of each plaque. Yes, we know that the ‘1066’ name is both corny & overused, but it does encapsulate the area we are looking to place Blue Plaques in, and is easily recognised & understood. Stay tuned for news of our upcoming Crowdfunding appeals and how you can get involved to make those Blue Plaques a reality.

Andy Gunton… Exciting news! Our first Crowdfunder appeal, for a Blue Plaque to be put on Poly Styrene’s former house in North Street, St Leonards On Sea, will go live tomorrow morning (Saturday) at 9am! This is an image of what the finished plaque will look like. We’ll post a link to the Crowdfunder appeal page here tomorrow morning.

Pete Houghton… That’s great news

Andy Gunton… We’re now live with our Crowdfunder appeal for the Poly Styrene blue plaque. Please have a look & please donate if you can. Also, please share & let your friends know, so that we can reach as many potential donors as possible. Thanks for your support 😀 Update: We have already reached our £500 target! This means that anymore money donated will go directly to St Michael’s Hospice, as our costs have now been covered. Thank you.


Andrew Clifton… Will have to go and see it.

Paul Bryant… That’s fantastic.How about one for John Martyn who lived in Cobourg Place

Andy Gunton… Paul, That’s the next one on the list

Paul Bryant… that’s wonderful news.

Graham Sherrington… bloody hell she lived local!!!

Andy Qunta… Nice lady! I remember writing songs with her back in the ‘80s in my flat in London.

Tracy Birrell… I was born in 1957 also, and grew up in North Street. I never knew that…..we may have even played together.

Mark Rutter…Tracy, Poly didn’t grow up in the Hastings area, but in Brixton, London. Her mum is from Hastings though and they used to visit for family holidays. Poly moved to St Leonard’s in 2004

Jan Warren… Saw a documentary about Poly Styrene last week, very interesting, didn’t know she’d lived in Hastings.


The Gerry McAvoy Band – The Crypt Hastings – 11th May 1984

Paul Huggett… I was there, even had a wee chat with the man himself. One of my bass heroes.

Martin Richter… got a free signed 12″, never knew who he was

Barry French… Best known for being Rory Gallagher’s bassist from the early seventies up to the early nineties. A rock solid player who complemented Rory Gallagher’s virtuoso playing perfectly.

Candy Stripe – Mid 70’s



poster supplied by Paul Dove & photo supplied by Jon McCallion.

Nigel Dance, Jed Stacey, Paul Dove.

Jed Stacey used to be in the group ‘The Vampires’ and Paul Dove now plays in ‘The Beagles’

Paul Dove….oh man look at narrow guts Dovey with long dark hair,!!! great band and Jed best drummer i ever played with, were are those 2 now..!!!

Andy Knight… Can you remember the year – when did you join us?

Robert Searle… Both venues now gone.

Jane Hartley… Went to the Queens Head a lot!

Dave Nattress… Yes, the Granville, Bexhill, downstairs in what I think I recall was like a quite ornate ball-room with circular pillars – maybe the mind is wandering too far on the decor – always, a considerable amount of beer had been downed. There was a period in 1969 – 1970 odd when there were lots of bands. Suspect or Centrepage I’m pretty sure and I think Bexhill’s Cult. But, for me and the lads on the whole it was a very bleary-eyed time.

Peter Millington… JINKS played there several times in the 70/80s. I remember the columns well.

Jan Warren… Yeah, went the Queens Head and the Granville back then, there was usually a band or disco, I remember most of the local bands that played the circuit during that time and as Dave (Nattress) said, The Granville Ballroom was rather “Grand”, probably why it was later named “The Grand Hotel”!! – sadly it was demolished after a fire about 15 years ago!

Barry French… Saw Candy Stripe play at the Regent & the Silverhill Tavern. Great band.

Who remembers Exchange Travel in Parker Road, Hastings?

Leigh Wieland-Boys… I worked there for five years in the 70s! It was a great place to work!

Rachel Rayburn…Yes I also worked there for a while in the 70’s. Remember Jose Fernandez?

Leigh Wieland-Boys… very well, he was such a lovely man! When we’re you there? We’ve had a couple of reunions over the years. I was there from 74-78 Malta Admin then Secretary – who else do you remember? Fred Vines was Reservations Manager then

Rachel Rayburn… It would have been 1973/74 I worked in Reservations on the Malta section.

John Mcewen… Yep, lived in Parker road from 69 for 11 years. Mum’s still there.

Graham How… Apparently, I worked there too… but it was in the studio!

Terry Pack… It would seem that the real question is ‘Is there anyone who doesn’t remember Exchange Travel, and didn’t work there at some time or other?’

Chris Connell… My Mum worked in the canteen. She made cakes and scones and even helped with cooking the staff Christmas dinners.

Dave Nattress… Me Terry, Ha Ha!! One of those places, where so many worked like so many in and around – somewhat naturally I suppose, but I had many friends who did work there and knew of the place well. It was a very large operation. I suppose in a while it will be who did NOT work at Hastings Direct!!

Graham Sherrington… Ive been in the Airline Industry for over 40 years started in 1977 and I can tell you THOSE WERE THE DAYS!!!!

Jane Kilby also Burmingham… I used to work there from 81 until they went under!!! X

Bookham Ally… My old boss, John Kilroy, from my days at the Singapore Tourist Board in London was at Exchange.

Mandy Wright… I worked there from 1984 until the end , reservations, Bonanza and accounts. ( occasional we had such fun. Xx

Judith Monk… My Mum worked there Betty Hadfield.

Alan Esdaile… Pat, our late bookkeeper at Masons worked there for many years. I also looked round the empty building a number of times, as they were desperate to get rid of it  but with so many officers and limited head room it wasn’t suitable and too costly to turn into a warehouse. It’s now Ore Valley Sussex Coast College.

Peter Thomson… I remember it well as Parker Road was quite close to my home, but never worked there. While in IT Ops at Ashdown House, our ICL Support Engineers also covered for the computers at Exchange. Living in Peterborough, it rang a few bells when Thomas Cook went under last year.

Pete Banham… I worked there 1978-83. I drove one of the ‘union jack’ staff mini buses. I did a lot of running around for Gordon McNally and Sylvia. Used to drive his collection of lovely old motors about. It was a fun firm to work for.

Graham How… I did! Great times working in the studio with Cliff Brooker.

Anita Medhurst… I worked there too for 6 years with Graham How and Cliff Brooker for the first year and with Leigh Weiland as she was then. I didn’t appreciate it at the time but it was a great place to work.

Die Laughing rock The Carlisle 1st November 1980 & Melody Maker Rock Contest The Venue 1st July 1979

all posters supplied by Mick Mepham

Tim Moose Bruce… went to the venue for that one. the bit i remember was £1.70 for half a lager!. DL did a good show. went to the area heat final at the Marquee. that was a great nite. Bite the pillow won it. splodges came 4th i recall. dont know what came of bite the pillow afterwards.

Colin… My pals Bite The Pillow won. What a glorious night it was. We all bussed down from Glasgow and a wonderful celebration was had after this somewhat unexpected triumph. The band went their separate ways shortly after. Russell went on to become lead singer and guitarist with Positive Noise and the others formed Dance Walesa, which is when I joined them on percussion and string machine. We had a great time together and disbanded shortly after our last minute cancelled gig supporting Yazoo at Glasgow’s “Tiffany’s”. The disappointment was obviously too much for us and we did the honourable band thing and called it a day!!

Tim Moose Bruce… Max Splodge got best bum award after their performance of Michael Booths Talking Bum… And Die Laughing’s gig van didnt blow up its engine like it did on the area heat final a few weeks previously.

Harry Randall… Mmmmmm must ask Terry Corder about that?

Alan Esdaile… early heat…

John Bryson… Colin? Colin Clark? Chanced upon this random entry and thought “I was there too, and I know that guy” Or may be “knew” is more accurate. Probs not seen you since early/mid 80’s??? Hope you’re doing good.

Doctor Zhivago Film – Curzon Cinema St Leonards-on-Sea 9th May 1968

JS Bythesea… A great film

Monica Bane… One of my favourite films, with my darling husband!

Judy Atkinson… One of my favourites too, and the music is sublime. Anyone else read the original book?

Brigitte Lee… Judy, I have read it. Love the film and the music.

Judy Atkinson… I read a sequel novel a couple of years ago “Lara’s Child”, about what might have happened to her and Yuri’s baby after she disappeared. The most heartbreaking, dreary & depressing book I’ve ever read

Judith Monk… I went to every showing of this at the Curzon at that time. I wore a long string of beads the first night which broke as I twisted them with the tension and total immersion into the film….the cinema had a raked floor and these beads went pinging in all directions…people were slipping on them as I left red faced….but it is my favourite film.

Margaret Trowell… Loved it…I was still at school but Julie Christie was an old girl of the school so had to see it ….. countless times now

Nicola Dobson… Yes she was…regarding Dr Zhivago..they filmed some if it at Fairlight snd we went there after they left and found many things from the film on the beach. My parents took some half barrels for planters, we had them for years in the garden, dad painted them black and white

Malcolm McDonald… my nan adored Omar Shariff…which wouldve made him a toy boy anyway..

Tracy Birrell… I remember watching this at the Curzon.

Kate Recknell-Page… I went to see it at The Odeon at Hounslow West when it was first released – so long ago but Omar Sharif was a real heartthrob at the time x