The Happy Ballroom & more – 26th February 1966 by Andre Martin

Saturday 26th February 1966, was a normal Saturday for many, the weekend was underway and some were looking forward to the leap year possibilities ! Here in Hastings in the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, nothing moved not even a mouse, we were following the previous weeks of?????????- But my crystal ball tells me that we might have some news next week.
Our Friday nights entertainment had started with the ever popular trip to London via Rediffusion TV and this week’s screening of Ready Steady Go – the weekly look at the best of fashion, dancing and music, on this week’s show – from the U.S. the great Tory Troy, Bill J Kramer “Were doing Fine” and The Walker Brothers “ the Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore”
Back in Hastings on that Saturday Night we would have been treated to a really special show at the Witch Doctor with Headliners that night – Tony Rivers & the Castaways, a band that used to make many visits to the town during this great decade, and supporting Tony on that night The Blues Syndicate. The rest of the week’s entertainment was with Records –still not using Disco! – Both Tuesday and Thursday given over to the “Mad Man of Maidstone” Steve Maxted. Also we understand that Friday nights were to be back on the schedule shortly…..
Looking through the Radio Times for that weekend, the usual programmes are scheduled, on Saturday it would have been a mix of Saturday Club, with Brian Matthew, and this week’s headliners included Georgie Fame, Lulu, The Mike Cotton Sound, The Gamblers and Billy Fury. Jack Jacksons Record Show, Pop over Europe, Jazz Beat and a range of Old Time Musicals.
Sunday, very much as previous – Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce, 2 Way Family Favourites at noon, Al Read Show and Pick of the Pops. The Movie Go Round featured film this week was – “The Spy that came in from the Cold”, featuring Robert Vaughan David McCallum, Dorothy Provine and Rip Storm.
Television over the weekend, Saturday – Grandstand, Dr Who, Juke Box Jury with DJ and panel Scott Warker, Judy Geeson, Don Moss and Evelyn Taylor. In the evening The Bertram Mills Circus and the Black & White Minstrel Show. Sunday included The International Winter Sports, The Lucy Show, Pinky & Perky, plus the usual range of drams in the evening – Dr Finleys Casebook etc.
Over on the Pirate Ships – Radio Caroline despite transmission problems since the storm, was managing to put out the Top 20 at the weekend, and the line up this Sunday was 1 Rolling Stones, 19th Nervous Breakdown, 2 Nancy Sinatra, Those Boots are made for Walking 3 – Pet Clarke My Love, 4 Mindbenders – Groovy Kind of Love [NB Mindbenders had just split from Wayne Fontana and 5 – Chrispin St Peters You were on My Mind. Radio London was presenting the FAB 40, and for this weekend this was as follows 1- Sha La La La Lee – Small Faces, 2 –Uptight – Little Stevie Wonder, 3 –Barbara Anne – Beach Boys, 4- This Golden Ring -The Fortunes and 5 Jenny Take a Ride – Mitch Rider & The Detroit Wheels and just bumbling under Lightening Strikes –Lou Christie. { some great toons that we used to hear very regularly in the Pam Dor and at Thee Witch Doctor.
So there you have a very quick round up of 50 years ago, it was little like this weekend – cold and windy, but we had the spring to look forward to and perhaps something special on our Pier. Until next week you all keep warm and safe and enjoy these little trips down memory lane.

Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016

Gramophone – Rowan Atkinson in Not the 9 O’Clock News – Know someone like this?

Alan Esdaile… Have posted this before but still extremely funny.

Colin Norton… RIP Mel Smith

Len Smith… Felt like him yesterday when i went to Currys to replace my amp and was told dont sell them anymore, when I asked how do I play CD’s through my player without an amp was told that people dont play CD’s anymore they all down load!

Will Cornell… Know someone like that? Are you talking customer or the retail crew? This is hilarious….but unfortunately I’ve seen many retailers that are like that and they are the first ones to complain about how Wal-Mart steals all their business.

Alan Esdaile… I would be the customer Will. Still shop assistants over here that make you feel small, expect you the customer to know everything, when they should be the experts, speak to you in a language you understand and educate you.

Will Cornell… I’d recommend everyone search out a film from 2010 called “Sound of Noise”–a Swedish film. Artsy percussionist terrorists create havoc in a Swedish city. The cop who gets the case is from a musically gifted family but he’s the black sheep. Totally tone deaf. Since the terrorists leave a metronome at the scene of each crime, he starts combing music stores to find out if any clues can be had. First store he goes into, the owner/employee whatever is…you guessed it, barely paying attention to him, but deep in thought picking out a tune on guitar. He finally looks up at the cop/customer. “Do you sell these”. “No, we sell THESE!”, shoving a $30 Korg tuner/metronome at him, and going back to his guitar playing. The cop walks around the store and finds a shelf loaded with metronomes exactly like that he came in with. Should be mandatory viewing for every retailer the world over, esp those guitar shops that keep whining about the competition. Oh and by the way, the movie is really entertaining overall.

The Edge – around 1987



supplied by Barry French

The Edge featuring Will Powell, Neil Cartwright, Barry French and Paul Huggett.

Barry French… This was a real fun band to be in, minimal rehearsals, a few beers & good audiences (I think people may have expecting a certain Irish guitarist). Prior to playing with the Edge Will Powell played drums with a blues/rock power trio called Egorr, who played regularly at the Regent during the early 70’s. He later went on to play with Footloose who had great success around Hastings & shared the bill with Hat Trick on a few gigs. Neil Cartwright (One of my dearest friends) has played in loads of bands around Hastings (To many to list) but along with the Edge we shared the stage in the Dum Dum Boys & Mice On Ice (I have dated this Edge clip from the Hastings News around 1987, but I’m sure Neil will correct me if I’m wrong). Neil currently resides in France & we see each other regularly. I think that Paul Huggett is currently playing Bass with the Rhythm Doctors.

Cliff Wootton… I remember Will Powell being the drummer in Egorr when they played with us on a regular gig in the Regent Hotel basement.

Judith Monk… I know Neil Cartwright.

Mick O’Dowd… Yes Will Powell was in Footloose a brilliant band that seems to have disappeared in the mists of time.

SMART 26 coffee meet report

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Radio Luxembourg book supplied by Chris Saunders, Q Magazine supplied by Mick O’Dowd, photos supplied by Sarah Harvey.

Another great afternoon. Among the newbies this time were Dennis Wootton, Barry French, Justine Wood and Brian Adams.  Great to see the original members of the second Hat Trick line up from 1979 and 1st Emotion were all present.  Colin Bell had with him the new cd’s from The Honeycombs and The Three Degrees and will be reviewing these shortly.  Cliff & Dennis Wootton had some great photos of the very early Supersound Amps, which their father Alan Wootton made from premises in Kings Road and Mount Pleasant Road. They also had some photos of Eddie Ferret Hot Jazz, anyone remember them?  Barry French had poster from  Sixties Sounds gig on the pier in 1992 with the 6T’S, Soul Express, Ace Of Clubs and Project X and also  Rock N Roll charity dance at Falaise Hall with The Humperdinks.  Barry also had  some great photos and cuttings of First Emotion, Amethyst, Dum Dum Boys, Mice On Ice, The Edge and Grundy. Talk was about Factory playing back in town soon to coincide with the cd release (more info soon). Lots of pier talk as usual, a number of negative comments on line but most people agree with everything now coming together lets be positive about it. Mick O’Dowd had the CD box set of Chris Rea Blue Guitars and The Eurythmics Peace. I had a very early Radio Luxembourg book of Record Stars (thanks to Chris Saunders) which reminded Keith Day of when Adam Faith was at Hastings Museum.  Andre mentioned Carnival Radio is coming back in August and amongst his busy schedule of keeping Hastings memories alive, it looks like he will be on television in Europe. Sarah was talking about Hastings Rock Radio and the forthcoming music fest at Marina Fountain and everyones looking forward to Beatles Day on 3rd April 2016. This is just a small bit of what I remember, please feel free to post here any other interesting chat that I missed.

Geoff Peckham… Sorry to miss it, guys. In France just now. See you at Beatles Day if not before.

Jeanette Steve Jones… Wish l’d been there;-)

Andre Martin… Captured for ever ! great stuff Sarah

Peter Millington… Brilliant pics Sarah

Chris Meachen… Would have loved to come, but busy making stock for a train show..

Pete Prescott… Very frustrated. Hate missing them !

Yvonne Cleland… Awwww lovely pic on the newsletter of Chris x And you, Pete!  x

Jim Breeds… Sorry to have missed it! Is it on SMART +1? 😉

Lucy Pappas… Den and Cliff – did we have a band name when we played at St Helen’s Youth Club in the early 70s?

Neil Steadman… Is this a regular event? It sounds fascinating!

Alan Esdaile… Hi Neil, we have a get together about every 6 weeks and you are most welcome to join us at the next one. Once the dates confirmed I will let you know.

Tony Davis… Hi everyone, sorry to miss the meeting but have not been too well lately, Looking forward to more news about Factory gigs and the CD. See you next time or at Beatles day, whichever happens first.

Cliff Wootton… Another really great afternoon. Was absolutely chuffed to see my brother Den and our longtime buddies Baz and Roger. Topped off the day with fish & chips followed by an evening enjoying Rog’s bass playing at the Dolphin. Fab times. So glad to be reconnecting with my musical roots after I moved away from Hastings in 1978.

Battle Of Hastings 1964 – 2002 Exhibition – Hastings Museum with Adam Faith by Andrew Clifton

Andrew Clifton….Not to be confused with that historic ‘quarell’ of 1066….The Battle of Hastings 1964, when Mods & Rockers clashed on the streets of Hastings and other seaside towns during the Bank Holidays of that eventful year, was commemorated in 2002 with an exhibition at Hastings museum in Cambridge Road, where they now have a retrospective collection dedicated to those events

Colin Norton….This is great! Thanks for posting.

and in 2007…


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andy Gunton… I remember this well. I was asked to provide the background music for the exhibition, not the music played on the video by the way. I didn’t realise it was this long ago! RIP Adam Faith, nice guy 🙂


Sunday Club – Hastings Pier

Membership Cards copy 2

supplied by Mick O’Dowd

Mick O’Dowd… Here’s my membership card to the legendary “Sunday Club” on The Pier> I believe it started in 67 and Jimi Hendrix was one of the first to appear(and probably the biggest name). When did it cease to be. It was started to get around Sunday licencing laws because no alchohol and music was aloud unless in a club.

Andre Martin…..The amazing thing when looking at all these posters/adverts for the bands that appeared on the Pier and other venues, it was not necessary to stay up half the night – most shows were over by 11.45 except for special occasions, and Sunday licencing hours were even stricter for Ballrooms – usually 11.00pm and it had to be membership admission. Interesting how things have changed today

Alan Esdaile…..I think most of the Sunday clubs finished at 10.00, as I had school next day! You had to be a member but the membership was free.

Martin Richter….weren`t sunday clubs a way of getting round “no dancing” laws?

Andre Martin….Yes, because there was a no dancing law on Sundays, Good Friday and another day, I cant remember – and that dance venue ie Ballrooms had to have a local authority Licence for such activities – think it was an A licence and this also controlled the numbers allowed at any one time in the venue, To get round this law, and because clubs were exempt, what Ballroom owners ie The Pier had to do was create a club in legal terms for their Sunday Night activities, with membership cards etc. The law was very complicated in many ways, but as the local magistrates were the authority – these rules had to be followed. I think that it changed in the late 1970s.

Alex Chapman… I wondered what the Sunday Club was. Just found this from the 60’s.


supplied by Alex Chapman

Martin Richter… I believe you are right Alan 🙂 I *think* it`s part of a “section 67” license (the laws governing nightclubs) – since repealed? I think it was the “dancing” that was the problem?