Die Laughing, Johnny Mason – Speakeasy Club Hastings 1970’s


supplied by Mick Mepham

photos supplied by Clive Richardson

Yvonne Cleland….Nice shirt, Mick.

Ken Copsey…Great picture. What year is this? I think Mick is playing the AC30 I later bought off him and used in the Teenbeats.


Andre Martin talking on the whereabouts of The Speakeasy….Back in the 1970s, if you walked on the pavement side from White Rock Pavilion going west, you would have passed the old Veruum Building, information centre/students centre – built in the 1930s in the same style as the WRP. The temporary car park was on the site of the Grand Hotel, that was demolished in1965 – to clear up the site because the Queen would be coming down in 1966. Next to this was Beachcomber Café and then a few doors further The Saraceno Italian Restaurant – where we took GG after his Carnival Show in the Park – Paul and I often used this for meals, next door was the Casablanca Club.

Peter Pursglove…..I worked at the other Speakeasy in Kings Road Alan, and Tramps Disco under the Malborough Hotel,both were packed with students during the summer.

Mick Mepham….. I used to wash dishes in the Saraceno Andre! Next door to that was the Lido, used to go in there quite a bit too…. We (Die Laughing) had some great gigs in the Speakeasy and I’ve still got some pix somewhere …..

Martin Richter… speakeasy – those were the days ! joe (wossisname?)

The Hi-Fi Club High Street Hastings – Membership cards from John Busbridge

supplied by John Busbridge

John Busbridge… The Hi Fi club membership cards from the late sixties and early seventies. Somewhere I used to frequent in my younger days!

Alan Esdaile… Great days. Members must be over 18! I think I was probably 14 when I first went to the HIFI.

Chris Meachen… Same here, if not a little younger..

Dave Nattress… Used to get in there as I was 18 by then, just, but don’t remember the card membership but that’s it, I don’t remember. Alan you say, “Great Days”, and for sure they were, however, almost always returning to Bexhill from a night out in Hastings – anywhere in Hastings, it was a Great Daze!

Folk At The Black Horse – Plum Duff, Brian Boru, Telham Tinkers, 1976

black horse lp



all supplied by Tony Davies

Plum Duff photo…. Tony Davies, Colin Baldwin, John Towner, Reg Marchant, Phil Ratcliffe.

Dawn Leaney….Hey Tony davies on the left! I think thats one of the line ups of Plum Duff!  Yep.. my husband was Andy Leaney and he also played in Plum Duff with Tony at around this time!

Michael Mepham….The late and excellent John Towner in centre.

Tony Davies…. L to R, Myself, Colin Baldwin, John Towner, Reg Marchant, Phil Ratcliffe,, Reg and Phil came over to France in June to play in our village Musique Fest. It was 35 years ago the last time we played together. Good times.

Kev Towner….How fab – thanks guys. Still got a copy of this btw.

Matt Thomas….my old teacher Mr Dobson was in the Telham Tinkers…., i still call all of my old teachers Mr or Mrs – a habit i cant break and at 44 i still hide my cigarette if i ever see any of them lol

Nicolas Laruelle…..I found this record (Folk at the Black Horse) today at my parents home near Paris, France. I suppose my father bought it in 1978, while attending an English summer course in Hastings. With the record there was a couple of pink sheets of paper with the hand-typed lyrics of two songs from the album. I was happy to be able to recognize the pub on the picture (I had dinner there with my wife and children in may 2007 while staying at the nearby Brakes Coppice Park campsite !), and to hear new versions of songs I have loved for years (Jock Stewart,Carrickfergus..).
I have read on this website that Tony Davies from Plum Duff now lives in France and takes part in his village music festival. Anyone knows which village it is ? Thank you for the website and all the great information. This email has now been passed to Tony Davies.

Jim Breeds……Oh wow, haven’t seen this post before. That brings back the memories; I was there so many times …

Pete Fisher… this is where I played and sang live for the first time, would have been 1969, as a duo with my mate Tim Hodge, who had built a transistor amp/fuzz box into his acoustic, which incensed the finger in the ear crowd…drinking half pints illegally and catching the 10:30 bus home…rock’n roll!!

Wendy Weaver… I Saw the Yetties here in 1979.

Len Smith… Remember seeing some great ‘folk’ bands their, one in particular that comes to mind was Mr Gladstones Bag.

Philip Ratcliffe… The village in France (for Tony Davies) is Carquebout, near St Mere Eglise in Normandy. We will play there again someday. I am still playing and in contact with Reg Marchant, Colin Baldwin and others from the old days. I miss that old rascal Towner more than a bit. Rock on and never stop live music! Philip Ratcliffe (the guy with the stick-on black moustache on the right).

Jeanette Jones… Inspired my boy to learn the violin 🙂

No Home Jerome… What a fabulous photo. I remember John Towner and ‘Jumbo’ Davies so well from my days as a telegram boy. I was only thinking about playing cricket with John at Westfield just the other day. The last time I saw Jumbo he was driving an ambulance! Wasn’t Pete Sedgewick in Brian Boru?

Jim Breeds… Spent most Saturday nights there for a period in early 70s. Superb.