Happy Christmas and very best wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2017


Painting by Derek Esdaile

We are nearly at that time again. It has been a very difficult year with the loss of some special friends and family and a number of people we didn’t know personally but played a major part and still do in our love of music. It is a sad time for many but I hope some of the postings keep the happy memories alive. Thanks to everyone for the amazing support but we always need more photos and cuttings and new people to keep the page interesting. Very best wishes for Christmas and The New Year.

Dave Nattress… Thanks Alan. Wonderful site. For so long I tried to go back in time and re-discover, remember, recall, so much of the local music scene, a lot centred around the pier and the hundreds of bands that played there. It seemed like every Saturday night us in the Bexhill lot would trek to the pier to see the bands – and indeed we saw many, but it’s amazing how many we missed and so many I just did not recall had played there. Best wishes Alan and all and lets keep the memories flowing. I’ve copied into a folder all the band gig posters that are put on the site. Fabulous memories.

Chris Sambrook… it’s been a bad year for you Alan. I miss my parents at this time of the year. They were great, i’ll never forget my Mum saying Hendrix made the guitar sing on the LULU show and my Dad saying he makes a bloody racket more like, bless him. Have a fair enough Christmas my friend.

Jim Breeds… Seasons greetings to you Alan. Onwards and upwards in 2017. Thanks for all you do on this group. Great painting, by the way. Love it.

Eric Harmer… Hope to catch up more in the new year mate 👍

Kevin Sherwood… Always enjoyable looking back through your posts. A very happy Christmas to all.

Mick O’Dowd… Happy Christmas Alan. Thanx for another great year of SMART. Let’s hope you have a better year personally.

Chris Jolly…. Great to meet you earlier this year Alan! See you soon in 2017.  What a super picture Alan, It’s beautiful.

Phil Little… Thanks for all you do, Alan, Happy Christmas.

Wendy Weaver… We really enjoy our SMART get togethers and look forward to more of the same in 2017. Happy Christmas to all. Wendy and Graham.

Teresa Bassett… Thanks Alan. Really enjoy the posts in this group-even if I am many miles away in Cleethorpes and only visit Hastings occasionally . I confess to sharing a lot of posts to Gy, Clee Punk Scene and they go down well !! Merry Christmas to you all.

Andy Qunta… Same to you, Alan, and thanks for all the things you do! 🙂

John Wilde… Merry Christmas to You Alan. Thank you for your tireless work on bringing local musicians and music lovers together. I am happy to be a part of some of those memories. And big heads up to fellow musos and fans of our rich history. Keep on keeping on. Much love from Seattle by way of The Zoobies, Stallion, The Breathers and Expandis. Happy New Year.

Sarah Harvey… Thanks you Alan for all you have done to reunite so many people locally….I personally have found some long lost friends through SMART, so you are a real star in my eyes. My love to all who are connected with SMART in some way, you have all enriched my life so much. Big slobbery kisses to you all xxxx 🙂

Colin Norton… Hi Alan, Thanks for all you are doing for SMART! Here’s wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.

Iain Cobby… Hey Alan, Merry Christmas and a better new year, my old friend. Thank you for all you have done over the years. You are our anchor and glue all our memories into a vast scrapbook that brings all our lives back in time, we were all younger then and didn’t know that they were to be the best years of our lives. keep on rocking!

Colin Bell… In a difficult year you have brought many people together who perhaps wouldn’t have and put a smile on peoples faces. After being friends for getting on half a century! What can i say but have a Happy and healthy Christmas mate and long live the ‘ballroom all-stars’ lol!

Josie Lawson… Very pleased I joined your group. Happy Christmas and hope you all have a good New Year….

Jan Warren… Yes, I’m very pleased I joined this group too!! – I love all the memories and nostalgia we share!! – Thanks Alan and thanks to everyone involved in this group – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all 🙂 

Tony Qunta… Happy Christmas to you too Alan! All the very best wishes for the New Year! See you in 2017. 

Pauline Sims… Great card 🙂

Yvonne Cleland… Great pic, Alan. Wishing you love and peace for the end of 2016 and much happiness in 2017 xxx

Kevin Burchett and Scalliwags… wishing you all a merry christmas and a happy new year xx

Jeanette Jones… What a lovely card. Thanks Ez, for everything you do. Hope you have a lovely Christmas too xxx

Virginia Davis… Merry Christmas to you also.

Eric Cawthraw… Merry Christmas Alan and to all at SMART, all the best and every happiness for 2017. A bit of peace on earth would be novel.

Kevin Carleonis… Wishing all SMART members a very happy and special Yule and may 2017 bring each and every one of you health, happiness and plenty but remember my motto – ‘For Need, Not For Greed’. And finally the man himself Alan / Johnny who has brought all of you together. A sincere and lovely man who I wish all things good for. I still think he should do an on line music show originally called ‘The Mason’s Music Show’!


Aquarius – Christmas 1971 with Steve Maxted, Hot Chocolate, Arthur Conley & Rock Candy.

10301286_598861603592634_2545306521365655391_n arthur_conley

ad supplied by Sarah Harvey. Arthur Conley photo Atco Records

This is a great Hot Chocolate track that doesn’t get played much…

Mick O’Dowd… Don’t remember Arthur Conley being there but I saw Percy Sledge & Ben E King along with The Elgins & Gene Latter at one point.

Leigh Wieland-Boys…  I was there the night Hot Chocolate was on

Scalliwags – Janice Hoyte, Charlie Lea, Betty Smith, Harry Walton 1975

16715_10205269472882229_4333372708094675888_n-2 1913461_10205272370954679_3398312373194661262_o 1973911_10205272347354089_1934800807916853614_o 10689760_10205272362194460_3387390615562425724_n 10437780_10205269543443993_8006302341139324758_n-2 10407809_10205811429230799_2356864285831427952_n


all cuttings and photo supplied by Kevin Burchett. Photo Colin Pearce with Janice Hoyte.

Robert Searle… Nice to see The Clark Elsom Collection mentioned, thr former Kings resident band.Wonder what happened to Graham Clark?

A Pier Without Peer by Steve Peak – book launch 17th Dec 2016


This fully illustrated coffee table book – written by well-known local historian, Steve Peak – chronicles the dramatic history of Hastings Pier from its construction in 1872 to the present day. The book also features a history of St Leonards Pier. Meet Steve Peak and special guests and have your copy signed by the author on Saturday 17th December 2016 from 10.30am-2.00pm. Taking place in the Birch Room in The Deck Building on Hastings Pier.

Speeches from 11am: Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP (Home Secretary), Simon Opie (previous Hastings Pier Charity CEO), and Councillor Judy Rogers (Mayor of Hastings). Nick King from Peter Owen Publishers will be Master of Ceremonies. Taking place in the Birch Room (next to the Hastings Pier Shop) in The Deck building on Hastings Pier. Books will be available in the Hastings Pier Shop from Saturday 17th December. Prices: Hardback edition (includes a list of Hastings Pier Community Shareholders) – £25, or £20 for shareholders. Paperback edition – £14.99

Alan Esdaile… Finally released after months of delays and should be quite a bit about bands who played the pier. Perhaps Andre can tell us more.

Peter Fairless… No spoilers, though!

Andre Martin… Read Chapter 12.

Alan Esdaile… Well that’s my Christmas present to myself sorted…


Andre Martin… From todays Hastings Observer – boy did we have RSI after signing over 500 copies last weekend. Great Day, Great Book, but even greater Memories.


Alan Esdaile… Great Read.