The Confederates – St Clements Caves Hastings 1965


supplied by Pete Millington

Pete Millington… The Confederates playing in the St Clements Caves, Hastings – Summer of 1965 — with Johnny Conroy, Paul Burton, Pete Millington, Dave Johnson (hidden on drums) and Trev Spears.

Alan Esdaile….Always a great sound playing in the Caves, the problem was it was a long way to take the gear and the leads ended up all covered in sand.

Royal Albert….My dads band midnight shift played there not that I was about lol

Alan Esdaile….I remember doing disco’s in the caves with Colin Bell. During the Arthur Brown song ‘Fire’ I used to set fire to my hands with lighter fluid which is fine for a few seconds but with everyone cheering you on, you left it burning too long. Talk about blisters with yellow puss, argh! That was one thing I didn’t try again.

Michael Mepham…..The very same Caves I played in with Die Laughing and where I met a young lady whose surname was Schneckenburger. Ahhhh, those were the days

Rosalie Copeland… Oh my gosh – remember them so well! We used to follow them around town when they played gigs!

Chrissie Daniels…Hi, I am the General Manager at Smugglers Adventure and would love to create a big signage board with pictures such as the above. If anyone is interested in sending me any pictures and a backstory we can of course credit you. My email is

Dave Nattress… Played the caves a couple of times with Samisen – it was felt to be a prestigious gig venue back in the day, but yes, getting the gear in and out was a game, even though we were young and fit back then – and the central cavern bit where the bands played was in itself quite a distance from the main entrance. But…really good memories, packed with foreign students and the sound was better – less bouncy with loads of bodies around – live bodies that is – well most of them.

Peter Fairless… Ask Chrissie if gigs are still a possibility?

Clifford Rose… Only ever went to one concert in the caves, and that was Fred Wedlock 02/05/87. He was very funny live.

Ralph Town…  I saw a chap called Strange, in the caves. He was in early eps pf Men behaving badly and the 1989 Batman movie. As well as our own Mr.Mepham 🙂

John Wilde… Yes The Breathers supported Steve Strange in the caves probably 1979/80.  Hang on maybe it was some other combo but I def remember supporting the Strange One RIP

Ralph Town… I think it was Richard Strange.  I’m not so sure it was Steve Strange. I remember the act involved this chap looking like Tom Bakers Dr.Who with movies played on a screen. Under the heading of ,”The wonderful world of …….. Strange”. I saw Mick in there with one of his bands but was probably traumatised as some scrote stole my copy of Kiss Alive vol 1.So was more focused on the loss.

Alan Esdaile… Brilliant gig with The Breathers at the caves John, I pretty sure it was Richard Strange and not Steve Strange.

Wendy Weaver… We met Fred Wedlock once when we were having a drink with the Yetties. He was an extremely funny man when he wasn’t performing too :). Good old West Country humour.


Dimarco Bros cafe Hastings – for sale 1984

photo © Anthony ‘Nan’ Morland

Paul Cullen… Best steak and kidney pie, chips and beans ever

Edward Adams… the good old days

Mark Harris… Proper choice of hot drinks, tea, tea or tea!!

Angela Frances Gardner… Knickerbocker glories

Julie Findlay-jones… Angela, ditto, that’s immediately what came to mind when I saw that photo.

Angela Frances Gardner… I can see them on the shelf behind the counter.

Jacky Mattelaer… oh yes, such a special treat

Angela Frances Gardner… Jacky, I spent many an afternoon sat in there eating beans on toast and drinking many cups of tea!!

Alan Wood… A great day out with my Gran, all the way from the country on the no 5 bus, knickerbockers mmmmm

Patricia Burgess… Loved that place in the 60’s great owner, food really good

Clive Garrard… I loved it, very nice people running it

Melissa Homewood… Best milkshakes ever xx

Tracy Howell… Melissa, next to the shop that did the best pick and mix ever was huge xx

Melissa Homewood… Tracy, I used too work in woolies….Christmas isn’t the same without it xxx

Roger Collier… It’s McDonald’s now. So much classier!

Roland Clarke… Now a Mickey “D’s”

John Maplesden… Best Welsh rabbit

Pauline Richards… The ice cream! I remember they did a 99 in a wafer. Lovely!

Stuart Moir… Macdonalds bought that

Graham Matthews… Far, far superior to what’s there now

Trevor Jones… Welsh rarebit and Knickerbocker glory, staid away from the stewed tea. Lol

Dennis Torrance… Brilliant staff lovely food ice cream loved it egg and chips lime and ice cream milkshake my Friday treat as a lad after shopping with my mum

Kevin Carlyon…In 1984 I was walking to the Carlisle when I saw a man throw a paving slab through Dimarco’s rear window. I rushed to the town centre phone box to call the police. They sent a car down. My new girlfriend, Anne, and I were bundled into the back of a police car. Quickly spotted him in Queens Road and the police arrested him. Anne and I were left in Queens Road for another police car to pick us up to formerly ID the man and make a statement. We were dropped back in the town for our Friday evening. It went to court and I had to go. The man was fined £250. Dimarco gave me £50 and the court awarded me £25. Some months later I was in the town centre when I saw the same man throw a brick through an empty shop window. He wasn’t so lucky this time as there were police on a stake out in the shop. This time the man was jailed!

Nick Bearkeeper Rowland… That brings some good memories. Pie, chips ans beans were ace. So much has changed beyond recognition.

Sue Beaney… Worked there as a waitress. Great family, great cellar made sherry trifle and ice cream.

Mike Rawlinson… Used to meet my dad there for lunch. Chop chips and peas we had all the time.

Roger Simmonds… My dear wife worked there as a waitress , happy days !

Helena Kingshott… My friend Vera was the daughter the owners lovely girl xx

Ralph Town… My Dad would take us there every month for a slap up meal, when he got paid lol. MyMum loved there Welsh rarebit.

Nick Hunter… Dimarco’s did a great Rum Ba Ba