York & Crypt Bars, Orion Cinema, WH Smith 1978

Steven Graham… My dad was landlord at about this time

Peter Houghton… I used to go to watch films at the Orion cinema and go down to the crypt for a drink and I think they had things on the wall

Jacquie Hinves… I saw the “ prime of Miss Jean Brodie “ at the Orion in 1972! Great days.

Diane Knight… I remember when my parents had an old folks home , I was sent down to the Orion to pick one of the old boys up …I went up to the counter and said I was looking for an old man in a raincoat…”we get a lot of those in here “,was her reply 😂😂😂..happy days !!!

Julie Morris…  The Orion – otherwise known as The Fleapit!

Angela Frances Gardner… I went there as a teenager watched a film that totally confused me. It was an X rated film which I shouldn’t have been allowed in to.

Nick Prince… the Orion never worried too much about things like your age. I think the weekend cashier was only about fifteen on Weekend afternoons.

Gerry Fortsch… I remember seeing Chesty Morgan in the Flea Pit as well as Dr Who in a more adult role being w—-d off, great memories from my younger days.

Roger Simmonds… Wonderfull remember them well!

Liane Carroll… My Auntie Vera was an usher there and she used to giggle at the XXX films

Josie Lawson… my mum worked there and she used to say she had a friend there called Vera. My mum was a cashier after usherette. I knew Julie Bull who became my friend daughter of the manager Mr. Bull. Did you know them too? my mum knew a Vera when she worked there

Sue James… Used to go to the Crypt then

Jane Hartley… me too

Tony Court-holmes… Hastings used to have a lot of cinemas

Nick Prince… That photo was actually from October 1977. From when the whole block was sold at auction. For the record, the Orion was screening Emmanuel when the pic was taken. At the time of its closure, the Orion was still making a profit

Jonathan Mendenhall… wonderful memory ..a thriving un pretentious town. The Orion was the local “flea pit”..it showed dirty movies

Josie Lawson… that’s why I left my job there Jonathan but that was when it changed. When I started working there it was a nice ordinary picture house with ordinary films even films for children. Last time I had a chat with you was at the Kings Head pub that was in 2009…was at my ex’s funeral wake.You know my brother Robin, but also we discussed the non profit mag I founded and edited in the past.

Roy Marven formely Syrett… same here

Josie Lawson… maybe you know a friend of mine from the past..,Linda Syrett ?

Roy Marven formell Syrett… that would be my auntie – Lynda Craske – she is in facebook

Mick O’Dowd… AAh! The Flea Pit as the Orion was once known. One of the last films shown there was the original Star Wars and you sat ankle deep in discarded sweet wrappers, drinks cups etc!

Jan Warren… Used to go to the fleapit with my hubby, Pete (we lived just around the corner in Middle Street at the time) I remember seeing “Emmanuelle” (Sylvia Kristel) there, although that was mild compared with some of the films they showed?!!

Martin Richter… i don’t think any would be seen as that bad these days – i seem to remember it was “confessions of ….” type of stuff ?

Paul Coleman… Tony Court-Holmes mentioned Hastings used to have a lot of cinemas. Believe it or not, but Bexhill used to have I believe 5 of its own!

Nick Prince… If one includes the Kursaal and the virtually unused one under the balcony Bexhill has had seven cinemas but no more than four were open at any one time.

Lloyd Johnson… The Gaiety,The Orion,The Ritz,The Deluxe, The Curzon,The Regal are the cinemas I remember from my childhood in Hastings and St.Leonard’s.

Tony Court-holmes… Roxy in silverhill 3 in bexhill 1 battle and 1 in rye, i remember it like that

Lloyd Johnson… Tony, The Roxy that’s the one I forgot. I remember going there with Dave Trodd!..he said I know this great little cinema all the ton-up boys go to ,it’s just like the 50s.It was a great laugh,very rowdy at times!…

Pete Houghton… That’s a great picture

 

The Fabulous 6Ts call it a day

The Fab 6Ts… The times they are changing indeed. It is with great regret that I have to tell you all that The Great Harry Randall has decided to hang up his plectrums for good and has retired from making great music. Terry and Lol consider that The 6Ts without Harry would never be the same great band, so they have decided that this is the end of The 6Ts. The 6Ts would like to thank everyone that that has supported and enjoyed the band over the last 35 years and wish you all the best in the future. Terry and Lol are going to continue playing, so if you need a bass player you can message Terry through facebook. If you would like a drummer send a message and we’ll pass your message onto Lol. Lots of love to you all, The Fab 6Ts.

Tony Davis… Sorry to her that. Hope Harry Randall is ok

Pete Houghton… That is Sad news Wish Harry all the best

Shelia Maile… Oh dear I did like the 6ts. good music

Andy Qunta… Sorry to hear this! Such a fabulous fun band! Best of luck to each of you!

Jan Warren… Oh thats a shame – I’m sure Terry and Lol will “Rock On”!! – Good luck guys xx

Phil Gill… Well done on the 35 years chaps and best of luck to all three of you. Thanks for the entertainment.

Robert Searle… Sorry to hear this news, was looking forward to seeing you at the Hailsham club.Hope Lol and Terry find something soon.

Dave Nattress… Shame but good luck all on ventures new!

Tony Bird… Best wishes to Harry on his retirement well earned , but if Lol and Terry want to do a Georgie Fame, Nice ,Soft Machine, Peddlers, Alan Price type set with me on Hammond and Piano , give me a shout

Pete Prescott… Sad news. Best of luck guys.

Stuart Moir… We’re all getting close to the time when the body won’t do what we ask of it, I felt like shit after our first practice sore arse sitting on a drum stool for two and a half hours

Andy Maby… Aww guys, that is sad news!! You have been such an inspiration for so many others (including myself!) and will be sorely missed! Thank you, thank you!!

 

The Suspects – 1960’s

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Karen Sweatman….This is The Suspects, who were a local band during the sixties and think the seventies. My Dad, Peter Blackman is the one second in from the right. Does anybody remember them? Would love to hear memories.

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all photos supplied by Karen Sweatman

Dave Easton, Peter Shaw, John Unwin, Peter Blackman, Mick Ingram

Andy Qunta….Saw them many times – great band!

Peter Millington….Played Bass for them in 1972/3. Dave was the best front man around and what a voice!!!

Robert Searle….Also played bass with them1970/71 .With Dave Easton,Graham Putland,Trevor Spears and Stuart Moir,and later with Les Harding. First gig,Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall.Lovely times.

Alan Esdaile….Likewise, I saw them play many times. Great days.

Dave Easton….Great times and good friends

Andre Martin….Following on from the series of Photos of Suspects – I have found this in the Observer February 1966

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Stuart Tanner….This is uncanny Peter Shaw, you have not changed at all !!!

Stuart Moir… OMG Beano Easton no less, didn’t you lot look smart he he … The Original Suspects who I joined when Pete’ decided to have a break.

Peter Shaw… John Unwin people, not Rod Sargent !!

originally thought it was Rod Sargent but have updated thanks to Pete Shaw.

Colin Fox… Wasn’t Graham Putland playing with the Suspects at some point?

Peter Shaw… Graham was in “The Lurking Gromwells” but yes Colin, Graham rolled his Ford Thames van (with us in it!) whilst in the Suspects taking out a farmers new fence! Doh!

Andre Martin… Thanks for that info Pete, somebody asked me about the Lurking Gromwells a few weeks back in conjunction I think with the Pier – now you have provided the answer.

Jane Hartley… Suspects van parked down the bottom of my road yesterday!

Robert Searle… Was Suspects when I was a member

Chris Baker… I remember Graham letting me try his Gibson Les Paul at the Round Table. Felt like it hardly had frets at all!

Mick O’Dowd… Deep Purple (Hastings) played with The Suspects and Prohibition at the Polegrove Bexhill for an event called “Rodeo 67” think it might have been 1967.

17th December 1965

Chris Baker… Suspect we’re always having an S added, (or was it taken away?). Confused myself now!

 

Holiday Express 27th May 1973 programme – White Rock Pavilion featuring The Athelstan Sound, Tina and others

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supplied by Alan Brett

Phil Gill… Ten pence!!

Alan Esdaile…  I think this is the programme price Phil. However we were seeing top rock acts on the pier for 50p/60p at the time.

Pete Fisher… Actually Phil, it says here that both Dave and Alan of the Athelstan Band play electric plectrum guitars, which I believe you do as well. It also says that Alan has learnt to play the Hawaiian Steel Guitar in an effort to produce a different sound, and that both brothers have learnt to play banjo. I think this sets a remarkable example to upcoming musicians like yourself, which you might do well to take note of…

Barry French… Tina worked at Mullett Smith Music around this period. Occasionally she would play keyboards with Bob Smiths Band the Alamo at the Yorkshire Grey Pub London Road

David Miller… Aha – those must be the electric plectrum guitars of which they spoke…I don’t see what makes the plectrums electric though…batteries, maybe?

Pink Fairies and Gracious – Hastings Pier 12th March 1971

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pink fairies

GRACIOUS

ticket supplied by Pete Fisher

Alan Esdaile… Didn’t it annoy you when you handed in your prized ticket that you wanted to keep for a souvenir and they ripped it in half. Gracious were a Great band.

Geoff Peckham… I agree Gracious were a great band. Saw them at the college and was mesmerised by the lengthy pieces and the mellotron. Factory supported them twice on the pier, this one included.

Mike Curtis… I have two of their LPs. Worth quite a bit I believe – but I’m not parting with them…..

Dave Nattress… Whilst the memory is SO SKETCHY on this, I went to this concert, either at the college or one of those on the pier – such a long time ago. I had a gig poster for many, many years on my bedroom wall when I lived at my parent’s house, of what I think was a pier gig or all-lighter maybe with definitely Gracious, Pink Fairies and 2/3 other bands. One was “Strife” possibly another was “Total” but I’m sure it wasn’t “Total Strife” (as a band name). I think Factory were maybe one of the other bands on the line-up – sorry Geoff – I went to many of your gigs but it was such a long time ago!! Anyone with better memories? I so, regret losing the poster and unlike so many have not hung on to gig tickets etc.

Martyn Baker… I remember helping STRIFE (from Liverpool?) on and off the pier with their equipment (on the pier trolley). Their roadies got us in the gig for free and also promised to get us a drink too, but that never materialised – could be because myself, Paul Guimbeau and Chris Wood were only very young.

Gary Kinch… I remember the Gracious album, I seem to remember Steve had it and maybe 1 or 2 mates had a copy.

Alan Esdaile… Still got both Gracious albums which have been played to death.

Geoff Peckham…  I’ve just discovered that Factory were playing this night too! A quote from Andy’s diary: “March 12th at Hastings Pier for £5. Last minute booking for Hastings College dance, backing Gracious and Pink Fairies. Only 1 45 minute set. Fairies almost booed off. We got good applause from crowd of about 400. Encouraging reactions from people.” I remember it fairly well. The Fairies were quite stoned. I had a chat with one of Gracious’ roadies. He was articulate and posh sounding and was about to resign after a gruelling tour of W. Germany. We’d find out about that sort of thing later!

Iain Cobby… I remember Steve yo bro, coming back after catching Gracious doing a sound check on the pier. He said they were really good like an early Genesis with lots of Mellotron and pomp. Years later I bought a double CD with both of their opus in one . Bit disappointed. perhaps they were better live?

Geoff Peckham… I know what you mean, Iain. I bought the same CD, having lost the LP years ago, and although some of the magic’s still there, there are some fairly cringeworthy bits; eg the words in “Dream”. But nothing matches actually seeing them live at Hastings College in 1970. I thought they were amazing. I’d never heard live mellotron before, and the long pieces were so engrossing and riveting; a new experience for this impressionable 17 year old!

Andy Qunta… Fabulous!

Bernard Goffredo… I went to that gig probably with Pete Fisher

Lee Evans… The Fairies were one of my all time favourites …

Iain Cobby… I can see the influences Geoff. I just love Amulci and Howard. Great prog tracks. Great band, Factory!

Phil Thornton… would have loved to have been at this one ! – I loved all 3 bands !! – imagine hearing ‘blood red Sun’, Walk don’t run and Time Machine on the same night !

Martyn Baker… I wasn’t allowed to go. Mum & Dad said no way, as I was 12. Wanted to though!

James Turner… I seem to remember The Pink Fairies in Hyde Park a very long time ago.

Tony Court-holmes…I remember that night i think

Vaughan T-W… I was on the students union back in those days and along with fellow students from the (mainly) art department, heavily involved in booking the bands. I remember long and earnest discussion about Gracious because of the mellotron – was it an existential threat to backing musicians everywhere or just a great instrument in the right hands? Gracious and the mellotron won the argument and were a firm favourite across the college circuit. I don’t remember much about the Pink Fairies except at the time they were the loudest band I’d heard – I made the mistake of being stood in front of one of their speaker stacks as they started their set.

Geoff Peckham… Hi Vaughan. Long time…….! Jaffa here. I probably had these ‘earnest discussions’ with you, being a big Gracious fan doubtless urging you to book them again! Hope all’s good with you