Dray and Johnny Francis Road Show – Hastings Pier 2nd August 1975

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press ad supplied by Sarah Harvey and poster supplied by Andy Caine

Sarah Harvey….Aug 2nd, 1975 – Does anybody remember Dray – I seem to remember them being about in the 70s but cannot for the life of me remember ever seeing them.

Alan Esdaile…..Likewise I remember the name ‘Dray’ but can’t remember who they were. Remember Johnny Francis, always put on a good show. Sunday lunchtime at the Crypt if I remember rightly.

Ken Dengate…..How very spooky that you should mention Dray, Sarah. I was thinking of asking about them – and Duncan Dray himself – just a day or two ago. I recall that Duncan was the drummer (?), and at that time he lived in Harold road (or that area).

Terry Pack…..Duncan Dray was the drummer (hence the name). He had a LOT of tom toms, which gave rise to the ‘Incredible’ part of the name. I was accosted in Leisure Music in Silverhill in 1973 or 74 by a young Andy Cunningham, who told me that he he had a friend who played the drums, and was I interested in joining a band. I walked up to Ore in the hope of meeting ‘The Incredible Dray’, but never did, until a couple of years later, he replaced  Kevin Hoad in The Hollywood Killers. He was a very nice guy, and we played together till I left the band to join The Enid. He now lives in Peacehaven and works as an electrician. I think that Ashley Pepper might have been part of it, too. Johnny Flamingo, too?

Andy Caine… One of my very first gigs, Simon Fuller was the promoter!  1975 I think. With Duncan Dray, Ashley Pepper and Chris Richmond. Found this in the back of an old art pad!

Pete Fairless… Just to be clear, it wasn’t ’73, it was ’75 and Simon probably wasn’t promoting at age 14!

Andy Caine…. He put the gig on, I’m sure. When we were at the caves,he was involved with promoting bands.

Darren Holmes… My cousin Ashley Pepper was a member of Dray, they used the practice round my Auntie Shir’s house!!!

Dave Nattress… Wow, more memories – Dray – a name I remember now. Where did that pop up from!! This site goes from strength to strength!! And Sarah, where have all these cuttings come from – you just keep drip-feeding us with them. Great stuff. Ittour days in Samisen I don’t recall you collecting these as you must have been doing.

Mick O’Dowd… Used to work with Duncan Dray at G.H. Brooker in Norman Road in late 60’s. He was then in a band called The Springbeats.

Kevin White… I went to school with Duncan Dray, we played together as kids. I don’t recognize him in this pic though. He used a Premier kit as I remember, not sure what brand that kit is either. He actually got me my first paid job as a drummer too! It was when Dray first formed in the mid seventies, probably 73, 74 we would have been about 15 or 16.It was a residency playing tea dances and ballroom dancing with the Sandhurst Trio in the ballroom at the Bathing Pool holiday camp, Bulverhythe. The two other guys were, a pianist and a sax player, both very good musicians, they were both well over 70 years old, possibly older bless ’em. The entertainments manager offerred to get me work on the cruise ships but only if i agreed to get a haircut. I only played there half a dozen times or so, then joined my first prog rock band called Skysteed. I must dig out the photo of me in a white dinner jacket, purple velvet bow tie, cheesecloth shirt, 36″ denim flares and 4 or 5″block soled platform shoes.

 

SMART Coffee Meet 56 – We’re Back!

Very pleased to say We’re Back! Hope you are all doing OK and keeping well. Our last meeting was back in February 2020 and looking forward to catching up with old friends and new on Friday 3rd Sept at The White Rock Hotel. A big thank you to everyone for keeping the website and facebook page going during these difficult times. Best Regards  Alan
Keeping the memories alive…

Anyone remember the Esterel Cafe coffee bar White Rock Hastings?

supplied by Dave Trodd

Dave Trodd… I wonder if anyone in the group is old enough to remember this place (see attached pic of the Esterel Cafe on Hastings seafront) which I believe was either the first, or one of the first, coffee bars in Hastings. I have told people about it before, but today I noticed that they’ve uncovered the name on the front. I used to go there with a crowd from the art school at the Brassey when I was about 16 (in 1957). I think it belonged to Chris Paraskiva who has since died. I’d be interested in any information anyone might have.

Alan Esdaile… All I could find Dave is that they had a branch in the memorial  in 1954.

Anne Murray… But before my time. I went to the Brassy as part of my art course at Hastings college of further education. We would go to the Fiesta cafe round the corner (or the pub!). That was the 1970’s.

Martyn Baker… I think I worked here in about 1975. It was “Le Flacon” by then (a French restaurant, run by Greeks who’d never ever been to France!)

Jim Breeds… The only reference I can find to a Café Esterel is at 4 Bank Buildings in 1953. (Proprietor Maj. Sims-Hilditch). Maybe he moved to White Rock later or opened another branch. But now I’ve found this in the paper dated 23rd May 1953, so there must have been two cafes with this name.

Simon Fraser… I went to Eastbourne college with Chris my mother Mary Fraser owned the restaurant next door and the shop next to it. I only know it as the le falcon.

Drew Barney… Nope. Dimarco’s for coffee. Jenny Lind for under age drinking.

Graham Sherrington… Old enough ow yes, and that shop near by that sold rocks and crystal. My wife still has a crystal from it.Had the Lighthouse in the side window.

Caroline Moor… Walked passed yesterday and my friend commented on how gorgeous it looks. xxx

 

Bikers – Westfield Lane, Hastings 1970’s. photo by Dave Trodd

photos © Dave Trodd

Graham Finch… Those were the daze

John Paul Veness… Think i may have owened the bike on the left in the 80s ,can’t quite see the full reg but FSD 52 seams to fit

Dave Nattress… Graham Jolly on the Left Gary Morris on the Right. This must be early 70’s.

Heather Carter… Yep that’s def Graham and Gary…..

Heather Sidery… Wow wow wow… Yep!!!!

Yvonne Cleland… That looks like Graham Jolley and Gary Morris! xxx

Pete Houghton… Yvonne, Hi that is Gary, I remember that Bike. I know he is Back in England around this area, as we were good friend’s Do you hear from him, I have tried the Chopper People

Yvonne Cleland… Gary used to like Bexhill.

Sara Day-jolly… Love this photo of my dad and Garry

JS Bythesea… I recognised them straight away. Hells Angels, Bexhill Chapter, I seem to remember. There was also a guy called Tony who had an Easy Rider style chopper. I went for a ride on it and still have a scar on my leg from the exhaust.

Pete Houghton… I used to go to a Youth club in Bexhill and Gary used to take Kids for a ride And we became good friend’s, when he moved to Wrestwood Road where I lived we used to chat. Then he moved to Scotland. When he came to Hastings Bikers meet we would meet up. I believe he is this part of the country and I would like to get back in touch, along with Clive Heddle

Huggy Leaver… Was that his 1000 Enfield?

Patricia Sheridan… The good old days

Mike Waghorne… The 2 bikers at the front look like Graham Jolly & Garry Morris people I new from the early 70’s

John Wilde… Graham and Gary. Very cool photo

Dave Nattress… Yes defo Graham and Gary. Gary lived down the road from me in Bexhill when we were youngsters. The Hells Angels chapter was “Branded”. A guy called Tony Miller? possibly Miller, who was a quiet guy always looked really smart and cool in full leathers he was from Hastings I think had the fantastic chopper like Peter Fonda’s in Easy Rider. There was also another Tony Miller in Bexhill who I think was connected to the chapter but didn’t have the colours. Had several other mates in “Branded”. Yvonne would have known them. Hezz, was Fred in Branded and Les Hughes! Great old mates!!

John Wilde… Dave, they were a great bunch of guys.

Willie Wicking… Looks like Gary Morris

Colin Norton… Great photo!

Willie Wicking… The 80s Gary hasn’t changed much met him & the later Swanny Carlton Swan in Belgium on route to a National chopper club meet in Holland

Sarah Day-jolly… Garry still looks the same. Great photo

Dave Nattress… Sure thing John! Great characters and great friends. Did you by any chance hang out with a bunch of characters in Bexhill, Vic Pinney, Dave Wise, Andy Towner and a few others – would be 1970 – 71. I remember Gary Morris built a chopper used trike one time.

John Wilde… yes Dave I knew them all. Great bunch of characters. Great days.

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Taking Some Time On – Underground Sounds Of 1970: 4CD Clamshell Box Set Various Artists

1970. A new decade and era had dawned. It was farewell to Peace & Love and all the Hippy Drippy trappings and hello to the emergence of ‘progressive’ & ‘heavy’ rock and the so called ‘underground scene’. Now it was the album that was the pre-eminent focus with bands putting their creative juices into creating ‘concepts’ & ‘progressive’ pieces with a new harder sound and an attitude to match. No more giving out flowers and burning joss sticks. Record Companies created subsidiary labels to cater for the new ‘experimental’ bands they fell over themselves to sign. Decca, that most established bastion set up Deram whilst EMI gave birth to the Harvest label & not to be outdone Philips joined the party with their Vertigo imprint. Now Esoteric Records have gathered together the cream of the offerings from 1970 on this new 4CD package showcasing bands many of us being of a certain age grew to love. Championing many of the artists featured on this compilation was my good friend John Peel whose Radio 1 Top Gear Show was essential listening & certainly the conduit that most connected with myself and my contemporaries. Many of the bands featured here became the darlings of the ‘University Circuit’ and i have fond memories of working with quite a few of them at Uni’s & Colleges all over the South Of England. It also changed my DJ work and i would play some ‘underground’ clubs where rather than putting on records to get people on a dancefloor, i would be putting on 20 minute album tracks to an audience sprawled on a College floor (usually with dilated pupils) getting ‘into’ the music. So who does this compilation feature to tantalise us and send us scurrying back down the time tunnel to those far off days. Disc 1 opens with everyone’s darlings of the scene ‘Barclay James Harvest’ with the title song to the compilation ‘Taking Some Time On’ before we move straight on to one of my all time favourite rock bands with Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac with the excellent ‘Green Manalishi’ & we are just getting warmed up. A band i worked with often when i did a regular gig in Canterbury feature next in Caravan with the wonderfully titled ‘If I Could Do It All Again, I’d Do It All Over You’, yes we are now definitely getting into the spirit of 1970! and now here comes Ian Gillan belting out ‘Black Night’ and i’m so back there i can smell it. We’re now cooling down a little with Newcastle’s finest Lindisfarne’s ‘Lady Eleanor’ by way of tracks from Van Der Graaf Generator, Gentle Giant & Al Stewart. Who’s this with the manic smile, balanced on one leg, well of course its Mr Anderson with his Folk/Pagan/Rock masterpiece ‘The Witches Promise’ (another great personal favourite). One of the most underrated bands of all time, in my opinion, are up next with Blodwyn Pig’s ‘See My Way’, Mick Abrahams is such a great guitarist (and a hilarious radio guest) & taking us towards the close of Disc 1 is one of the aforementioned college’s favourite bands the Edgar Broughton Band with ‘Apache Dropout’, so much better than the oft compiled ‘Out Demons Out!’. OK i’m now fully in the mood as we move on to Disc2 where you can find Kevin Ayres, Traffic, Rare Bird, Wishbone Ash & Yes. The perennial ‘party piece’ that Quo used to play at all their gigs is here with ‘Gerdundula’ sitting next to one of my favourite ‘lost’ bands Locomotive with ‘Rain’. Gentle Giant have their ‘Funny Ways’ & the glorious tones of Roger Chapman & Family have ‘A Song For Me’. Only half way through the set! and on to Disc3, 2 tracks from Dave Edmunds Love Sculpture, a hit from East Of Eden with Jig-A-Jig (i had a hand in promoting) and a move into more esoteric territory with tracks from Quatermass, Cressida & Affinity, a wonderful outing from Pete Brown & Piblokto! with ‘Things May Come And Things May Go, But The Art School Dance Goes On Forever’ (was there ever a better song title?). Emerson, Lake & Palmer & Hawkwind provide the heavy hitters. Disc4 and 4 hours in now, a couple of obscurities from bands High Tide & Stray before the more familiar sound of Curved Air with ‘Situations’ and praise be another of my favourite bands from back in the day Gracious ‘& ‘Heaven’ and that my friends is what its been, 5 hours of re-visiting prog heaven and some very vivid memories. There has not been space to detail every last track but i hope i have given you a taste of what to expect when parting with your hard earned…The whole lovingly compiled set comes in a sturdy clamshell box complete with an excellent booklet as is the norm from the ever excellent Esoteric Records. My head is fed and i am now lying down in a dark room. Enjoy.

for more information go to https://www.cherryred.co.uk
Til next time……stay safe……Colin

Paul Huggett… Cherry Red records do dig out good stuff

Colin Bell… P.s. I forgot to mention in my review for the benefit of my old friend Mick O’Dowd this compilation also contains one of his ‘favourite’s’ Ten Years After..’Love Like A Man’…..

Mick O’Dowd… Colin, that’s got to make it a must have. A really terrific floor-clearer is I remember!

Alan Esdaile… Edgar Broughton Band always put on a great show and I don’t know if you know Colin but Steve Broughton lives in Hastings.

Who had a paper round?

photo source:  Memory Lane UK https://www.facebook.com/Memory-Lane-UK-408060289608201/

Dennis Torrance… My paper round was for Mitchell s queens road hell of a round all weathers got papers of train first then the delivery s. So cold some mornings wet but Christmas time tips was amazing. I remember the carrying sack so heavy and bike ride home and school. I also remember my paper bag not water prove soaked papers sometimes papers soggy trying to push them into the doors falling apart lol and getting on my bike fast getaway. I did get many compliments lol. 18 shillings and sixpence a week I got and many a puncture in my tyres.

John Warner… one paper round, I had a morning paper round, an evening paper round, a Sunday paper round when I collected the money. I also had a shoe delivery round and a grocery delivery round. I was one busy kid.

Pete Prescott… 1968/69.Teynham in north Kent. It was dark when I started. I was so frightened. On my first day the wind took a lot of papers out of my hand am blew them across the front of several houses.i thought it was the end ! I got £1 per week. If I was out when I had collected the money on the Saturday it came out of my wages. One time I was £1.50 out so worked three weeks for nothing. It was a long round. I ended up In Lynsted lane. It took an hour and a half (In all weather’s) then I went to school. I ended up asking my friend Mick Deane to help. We got 50p each. If I then walked to school I saved the bus fare. I could then buy records or (gasp !) Levi jeans!

Lloyd Johnson… 1950s.I had a morning round ,an evening round and Saturday round for Gladwish’s in Ore,Hastings.The morning round was right out in Pett Village across fields over fences to farm yards and vicarages, lovely in the summer but the winter was awful and all before school.

Jeff Belton… My paper round was some of the roads in Blackfen / Sidcup Kent areas in the late mid 1970’s . Quiet along round. Sunday was the worst day , because mags and leaflets came with the papers so it made the bag heavy. Nice reward at the end of the year when I was allowed to pick an annual I would like. Was paid £10 for doing the round.

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Shelley – 1960-1968

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photo biog… supplied by Len Smith Eastbourne Bands from 1960 on

Witch Doctor gig – 30th April 1966

David Kirkwood… Hi, I met Andy Machecknie many years ago in Geraldton West Australia. He told us of his time in Shelley and their time in Norway. Is he back in England or still in WA? Would love to hear what he is up to.