The old Wimpy in Queens Road, Hastings. supplied by Nick Prince 1066 and all that Facebook page
Wimpy Pelham Place
Nick Prince… As Hastings looks set to get a Wimpy Bar again, its a great opportunity for some retro talk about some retro cuisine. What was your favourite? A bender in a bun? a double decker? A banana longboat? Mine was the Wimpy Brunch and a Knickerbocker Glory… So…. Is it true that Wimpy are returning to Hastings after two decades? The area covered by “1066 and all That” has had five Wimpy Bars dating back to the early 1960’s – Three in Hastings and Two in Bexhill. The Hastings ones were at Pelham Place (now an amusement arcade), Queens Road (now a travel agent) and George Street (now Whites Seafood and Steak Restaurant), while the Bexhill ones were situated in Devonshire Road (now Little Maroubu) and Western Road (now Bentley’s Steak House). Eventually becoming a British firm, Wimpy started off life in the US in Indiana back in 1934 and Lyons introduced the brand to the UK at their Lyons Corner House in Coventry Street twenty years later. Lyons went on to form Wimpy UK, which was totally independent to the USA version which has since disappeared. Wimpy were established in both countries before the world had been introduced to both McDonald’s and Burger King. At their UK peak, which didn’t actually come until the early 1980’s, there were 500 operating with many towns and cities having several, Brighton at one time had eight open at the same time and now the nearest one to that city it at Peacehaven. Half of the Wimpys became Burger King’s in a merger in the late 1980’s before a management buy out saved the name, which derives from the burger chomping J Wellington Wimpy from Popeye. At the beginning of 2016 just 86 survived and this has dwindled to 80 today. Two new ones have opened in Oxford and Surrey. However, Eastbourne lost their very busy one this May when its lease ran out and the site being used as part of the Arndale redevelopment. The chain will be reopening in Eastbourne. The one in Streatham has seen off the McDonald’s. Where in Hastings is it going? A lot of empty shops in Castle Street! What do Wimpy themselves say about returning to Hastings? They say; “Watch this space!” .
Ernest Ballard… Brilliant
Ian Mantel… 1979, Friday mornings- HCFE, lunch at Wimpy, Queen’s Road before BSM driving lesson with Hastings DJ, Johnnie Stuart (?) in his Triumph Dolomite Sprint .
Jan Warren… I’m sure they used to do some sort of “doughnut dessert”, was it called a “brown derby” (or something) …… maybe that was in the 60s??!!
Chris Meachen… Used to like a brown derby, ring donut covered in soft ice cream, drizzled in chocolate sauce with a sprinkle of chopped nuts… The wimpy by the deluxe used to be our biker’s base in the 70’s, we’d all meet up in there before going out for a ride somewhere.. The Mandovi brothers were always very welcoming, & traffic was so light in those days, we could line our bikes up outside.. I always liked the quarter-pounder burger, brown derby, & proper milkshakes..
Graham Belchamber… I much prefer Wimpy to Macs! Bring it back
Martin Richter… Wendy’s were better
Peter Fairless… I’d rather have the Burger King back
Alan Esdaile… The Wimpy Bar that was along the seafront by the Deluxe was run by Nelson and his brother Napoleon. Used to go in their once a week with the boss of Stylus and eventually Nelson took over Stylus. I remember when they made their own spicy burgers and sold them to pubs round the town.
Peter Fairless… The Mando Bar. My sister and her friend Gill got Saturday jobs there in about ’76 or ’77. It wasn’t a Wimpy, then. I worked for Mike Dimarco.
Penelope Robbins… Ooh interesting facts
Virginia Davis… Used to go into the seafront one every Saturday
Nick Prince… Saturday Mornings before the Looey the Lion Saturday morning cinema at the Classic for me, without fail.
Paul Slidel… The Wimpy Special Grill and a chocolate milk shake. Fond memories of the Wimpy – somewhere to go when we weren’t ‘old enough’ to ‘look old enough’ to go to the pub! I liked brown Derbys too.
David Miller… If McDonalds have the Big Mac, should Wimpy have the Big Wimp?
Julie Findlay-jones… Had a Knickerbocker glory went on the bumpy slide and threw up lol
Pete Fisher… worked at the seafront Wimpy on Saturday afternoons in summer 1970, 50p for three hours…my friend Melanie (who also took me to see the Who in 1969) was a waitress, and got me the job there…
Dave Nattress… Memories – Bexhill’s Wimpy was a great hang-out when myself and my mates were 15 – 17 along with Forte’s on the seafront opposite the amusements and then the Cont just further along. For some years the guy who ran/owned the place was called “Dino” I think. He was maybe Italian or Greek, and we used to go in to ogle the waitresses. One, (who I think was maybe unofficially a rather close associate of Dino’s) – was maybe called Rhonnda – anyone else remember? I remember the Bender which was a frankfurter with knife cuts along it’s length to make it bend into a bun. Eventually they did a half-pounder in a bun – really nice. Yeah, good old Wimpy. My old mate “Mick the Irish” – because he was, used to say Wimpy stood for “We Import More Paddies Each Year”, but it was also said to refer to “Wimpey” the construction company as was. (Or Wimpy). Thinking about it more, The Wimpy in Bexhill could have been the original Dino’s Bar and Grill.
Chris Giles… I remember that go for a ride along the seafront then back to the Wimpy
Paul Slidel… We used the Forte’s in Hastings opposite the old White Rock baths in the late 70s. Ralph and his wife ran it, part of the Forte family I think. Good place to play pool and drink coffee. Full of language school students too in the summer. With my yellow Fizzy moped parked outside! Visited the Eastbourne Wimpy a few months ago and had the HALF POUNDER! Excellent!
Alan Esdaile… All this praise for the Wimpy. Let me know if you get any free meal vouchers Nick!
Nick Prince… Of course its not a proper Wimpy unless its a fifteen mile trek to go to the loo. When I ended up in Lowestoft last year, I visited theirs and it was a walk to the back of the restaurant, through a door at the side, up a flight of stairs to the front of the building, a walk to the rear of the building, up another flight, walk to the front of the building, then across three shops and down some stairs and there they were. I don’t think there is an ounce of exaggeration here either. Lol
Dave Miller… Luxury. When I were a lad etc. etc.
Paul Smith… Never been to Wimpy or KFC etc
Jane Dorsett… Hi Dave, I remember Dino & Rhonnda, not sure if they were married. Use to go down the Cont a lot.
Terry Huggins… I seem to recall the Pelham Place Wimpy was still there until about 1980/81 (possibly under a different name) when it became an amusement arcade.
Martin Richter… still a couple here, but a few in south Africa
Allyson Breeds… Over 70 still in the UK. I looked on their website, was surprised at the number of them. It was a staple to visit in Peterborough (my home town) We used to go after the pub on a Saturday afternoon in my distant youth, I may or may not have passed out drunk in the toilets there once
Martin Richter… as a nipper they were a holiday treat – with the bender sausages etc – I thought they were amazing! their fast-food upgrade was quite fun – wholemeal burger buns if I remember ? aren’t they mostly in food courts at motorway services these days ? shanty – I wonder if it’s frozen and pre-battered ?
Pete Fisher… My memories of summer 1970…All Right Now in the charts, and working for three hours on Saturday afternoons washing up in the Wimpy Bar in the Old Town…forgetting to turn off the washing up machine before opening the door and getting a free shower of warm dirty water…
Jim Breeds… The scene of many ketchup wars!
Sally Dunn… I used to go every day to a Wimpy Bar near Oxford Street. What someone calls Banana Longboats were actually called Banana Pretties and I would have one of those delicious things when I had some spare money. Shortcrust pastry shell filled with banana cream and topped with nuts, delicious!