Divitos Queens Road Hastings – 1960’s

photographer: unknown

Matt Thomas… Where I used to spend many a Sunday afternoon

Sandie Carlyon… Always a Saturday visit. Coke with ice cream in it or lime milkshake.

Peter Houghton… I used to go to the one along the sea front when I was at college and used to watch Mr Divito make the ice cream down stairs

Richard Stoodley… Welsh Rarebit with my sister Margaret Stoodley

Stephen Moran… Such a big part of my life in the early 70s

Mike Waghorne… The 156 bus ! i used to catch this bus to and from college

Tony Court-holmes… used to go there

Phyllis Mendenhall… Those were the days my friend

Merv Kennard… joe divito is a neighbour of mine

Alan Esdaile… Next time you see him Merv, send him my best and worth asking him if he’s got any photos of Divitos and the pier gigs etc, thanks.

Pauline Richards… And one of the girls owns Thumbelinas in Russel St

Nick Mole… Wow ! I used to make the ice cream during the 80’s

Alan Pepper… Enjoyed a Saturday visit in my youth with mates in the early seventies. A frothy coffee in one of those long glasses ! Or a banana milkshake.

John Warner… Is that the one that used to close in the winter when they all went back to Italy? I remember the three boys restaurant close to there!

Paul Gray… I remember the Lite Bite just along the road. Frothy Coffee and Chips on a Saturday Morning.

Martin Richter… wasn’t that in the bakery next door ?

Peter Fairless… “Afternoon tea at the Lite & Bite, chat up the girls, they dig it”, Paul Weller, ‘Saturday’s Kids’

Andre Martin… Service 156 to Bexhill Ellersley Lane – aka Bexhill Bone Yard – the cemetery. in 1966 I got reported for calling that out when I was a conductor back in the days with M&D Thee District Manager did not think that it was appropriate so i used another call – “Dead Centre of Bexhill” Oh happy days. 156 Ore to Bexhill.

Tanya Mikolajczak… I worked there in the 80’s, cleaning table legs set me up with a good work ethic! I loved break with a frothy coffee and a sausage roll. I remember Helen, Janet, Sally, Joanne, sorry if I’ve missed you out…. Joe had a lot of command when he walked in. A great first job.

Martin Richter… certainly ! i was 12 when i started there – Joe kicked my backside all day long! a fantastic introduction to the work ethic!

Phil Gill… I need to know what’s going on behind that lamppost.

Alex Knight… Phil, clearly someone had one too many coffees and walked smack bang into it!!

Phil Gill… It’s like some bloke with long hair and a beard, in an overcoat, who has enormous hands and wearing huge white gloves has just robbed a table top from the cafe…he has it in his left hand. He’s hiding behind the lamppost. There’s a whole weird story involved in that photo.

Judie Struys… isn’t it Harry Worth practising his routine?

Jacquie Hinves… The 156 bus! Daily journey on that route from Bexhill old town to Hastings Town centre. From Hastings College to the RESH and St Helens Hospital.

Graham Sherrington… I worked in there in the 1960’s before I enlisted.


Wimpy Bar – Pelham Place Hastings

supplied by Leigh Kennedy

Janette Marshall… Used to love a wimpy you couldn’t beat the knickerbocker glory

Gerry Fortsch… I remember the chocolate sundae.

Daryl Perkins… Coke float!!

Pauline Richards… Used to go there after work on a Saturday for burger. Their French mustard too. It was the best. Never enjoyed a burger since.

Lloyd Johnson… In 1963/64 I worked in this one so does that qualify me as a Chef?

Perri Anne Haste… I went here a few times, I used to love their burgers & brown Derby dessert of doughnut with ice cream, chocolate sauce & chopped nut sprinkles

Lynne Smith… Went here on the way to the Aquarius every Thursday night

John Beeching… Worked there when I was 15

Stephen Moran… I had very happy time working there from 1969-71 while I was still at school. Nelson and Napoleon De Souza were great to work for and always treated me well.

Nicola Dobson… I had a friend who worked there Kim..do you remember her had aubyn hair?

Stephen Moran… hi Nicola I remember Paula who worked there but I’m not sure I recall Kim. I think because we worked different shifts we didn’t always get to meet each other.

Pete Houghton… Great photo!!

Mark Randall… I had an office to the right of St Mary’s, top floor

Ian Johnson… Egg n chips

Judith Monk… I worked there during my college years! The days of Brown Bettys..

Jacquie Hinves… Went there when I was a student nurse!

Tracy Birrell… Brown Derby…..

Paul Slidel… Wimpy Special Grill with a choc milk shake – kids heaven!

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Harpers Bizarre: Come To The Sunshine – The Complete Warner Brothers Recordings, 4CD Box Set

COME TO THE SUNSHINE : The Complete Warner Brothers Recordings (4CD)   Harpers Bizarre

This new box set from e’l Records brings together the original 4 albums recorded by Harpers Bizarre between 1967 & 1969, They are ‘Feelin’ Groovy’, ‘Anything Goes’, ‘The Secret Life Of Harpers Bizarre’ & ‘Harpers Bizarre 4′. The band were from California and grew out of an earlier outfit The Tiki’s. In 1967 Warners record executive & producer Lenny Waronker heard Paul Simon’s 59th Bridge Street Song (Feelin’ Groovy) and developed a passion to turn it into a hit single. The main 2 guys from The Tiki’s Ted Templeman & Dick Scoppettone together with major musicians from the famous LA session guys ‘The Wrecking Crew’ went into the studio & fulfilled that mission, emerging with the desired hit with ‘Feelin’ Groovy’. With a name change to Harpers Bizarre (a play on words of the famous fashion mag) they were on their way to major success with their blend of sunshine/baroque pop. I’ve written previously of my love of the genre of baroque pop. If you’re not acquainted with the term it’s basically a form of music that flourished for a brief 2 or 3 years between 1966 & 1969. It’s distinguished by its inclusion of orchestral instruments fused with conventional guitar/drum line-up’s. Added to lyrics that are usually, but not always, about the mystic & ethereal side of life. It can really be traced back to The Beatles & the release of ‘Rubber Soul’ & in particular the track ‘In My Life’ with its use of harpsichord as a main instrument (actually it was a studio engineered piano) but the harpsichord would become a staple & much favoured instrument of the bands that created the new genre, The other influence on Baroque was the multi-layered vocals & harmonies which the Beach Boys & their seminal ‘Pet Sound’s album were the major exponents of. This fusion created classics like the original ‘Walk Away Renee’ by The Left Banke. Harpers Bizarre were however probably the ultimate purveyors of this new genre. The debut album ‘Feelin Groovy’ was perfectly timed to cash in on the single and was a big seller rising to 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Apart from its catchy title song it featured a wide range of the bright & unexpected from the show tune of Oscar Hammerstein’s ‘Happy Talk’ to a treatment of Prokofiev’s ‘Peter & The Wolf’ to the offbeat compositions of Randy Newman represented here by his ‘Simon Smith & His Amazing Dancing Bear’ (to be honest a track i’ve always loathed) by whoever performs it. More talent surrounds the album with tracks being produced by a young Van Dyke Parks. who had of course been working with Brian Wilson, so the harmonies link is clear. Plus a nascent Leon Russell also getting into his arranging/producing stride. The second album ‘Anything Goes’ again named after the second hit single of the same name build’s on and extends the foundations laid down by ‘Feelin Groovy’, it’s another kaleidoscope of sounds with songs by Cole Porter, original material by the band & another contribution with ‘Snow’ from Randy Newman. The album feels altogether more well thought out and it’s certainly ambitious in its orchestrations and arrangements & is more polished than its predecessor. By the time of the release of the 3rd album ‘The Secret Life Of Harpers Bizarre’ in 1968 the formula was well established. This time though it didn’t yield another big hit single. It managed a minor one with ‘The Battle Of New Orleans’, a song probably better known here in the UK through Lonnie Donegans hit version. This time around the ‘classic’ composers are represented by George & Ira Gershwin with ‘I’ll Build A Stairway To Paradise’, the band’s own compositions really come into their own with numbers like ‘Green Apple Tree’ & ‘Mad’ and there is a rather good sped up version of the Ivy Leagues classic ‘Funny How Love Can Be’. Future Carpenters hit songwriter Paul Williams also weighs in with ‘The Drifter’ a delightful light & airy piece. The 4th & final album in the box set ‘Harpers Bizarre 4’ released in 1969 is maybe the most diverse with treatments of soul classics like ‘Knock On Wood’ & ‘Hard To Handle’ to Lennon/McCartneys ‘Blackbird’ & all climaxing with John Denvers ‘Leaving On A Jet Plane’. It also contains the bands Ted Templemans best original material in my opinion. I did feel however that by the time i reached Disc 4 the stream of beautifully crafted compositions had reached a surfeit, a bit like having too much ice cream or candy floss in one go. I think it would be a better approach to leave a little time between listening to each album to derive the maximum enjoyment.  Overall though i thoroughly enjoyed getting re-acquainted with a favourite genre played & arranged by masters of the art. It would have been nice to have the collection housed in a sturdy clamshell box rather than a slipcase, but that’s a minor niggle, the accompanying booklet is well produced with a wealth of information. If you need to chill (and who doesn’t in these times) this is a splendid way to do it. Enjoy.

for more information go to https://www.cherryred.co.uk
Til next time…….stay safe…….Colin