Do you remember double decker buses?

photo source: unknown

Beki Milton… Sure do

Lynn Graham… Yep

Phil Hart… I remember trolly buses !

Chris Baker… Me too! I still find it hard to believe they used to pass each other in Hastings High Street!

Marky Ontheradio… I was on one Sunday at the transport museum in Manchester

Eileen Adams… My school bus… Swaffham! (Thank you Harry Hill!)

Richard J Porter… I remember London Trams.

Mike Guy… Ah yes, half price if you didn’t want a ticket!

Dennis Torrance… Oh yes hoping the conductor missed my hiding head lol

Roger Simmonds… Sure do ! Loved those old trolley buses !

Judy Atkinson… Dripping with nicotine!

Josie Lawson… Yes

Tony Court-holmes… and you could smoke up stairs

Wendy Weaver… To work and back each day in London before I came to Hastings in 1979.

Ian Brown… Bring em back

Pauline Richards… I remember Philip and Kenny Hood’s dad being a conductor and letting me off the fare !

Keith Blizard… These one man busses will never catch on

Peter Houghton… Yes I do remember them collecting your bus fare

Glenn Piper… Only too well

Mick O’Dowd…”No standing on the top!!!” Fares please!

Helen Florides… School

Steve Thorpe… Worked as a conductor on London Transport. Great job.

Alan Pepper… The bus conductors were great characters ! On the 133 in the sixties . Very friendly and always cheerful. Who remembers the old boy who was very hard of hearing ? Shouting Fares please !!! Happy days on the way to the Memorial going to the ABC minors….. That’s another story for another day !

Dave Nattress… For sure, and I remember coming from Bexhill to Hastings with my parents. Trolley buses and the overhead wires as well. Bexhill had them as well as Hastings and I think Eastbourne and Brighton – most places maybe. As I’m well into being an old git now, I recently used my bus pass for the first time with Wife and daughter for a double decker bus trip from Eastbourne to Brighton along the coast road. Not a bad experience, and we were in the front seat upstairs, but pretty uncomfortable seats and compared to taking the car… unbelievably slow, took over one and a half hours. But FOC for me at least. First time in a bus for years and years. But overall a good caper.

David Blundell… Ooh I ‘ate you Butler . . .

Alan Vale… I have an pld door bell switch from one (car boot) totally vandal proof been my bell switch for 20+ years

Nigel Ford… 50 minutes both ends of the day from Battle to Bexhill Grammer for 5 years via Sedlescombe & Filsham Road. Private ‘B’ started from Woods Corner & Private ‘A’ from Burwash so they had much longer rides from there. We graduated to the back seat on the top deck for the last two years with my Ferguson ‘Tranny’ (which I had to keep well concealed in my duffle bag all day every day while at school) blasting out Radio 1 and sneaked a Players No. 6 on the quiet….

Neil Partrick… Childhood in south-east London comes flooding back. The seat cover pattern, the colour of the leather, the ticket collector’s machine….


Ritz ABC Cinema, minors song and more


supplied by Samuel Freeman

Yvonne Cleland… fab

Andre Martin… That was a venue that should never have been sold off for a Supermarket – the trouble was in the late 60s people just did not go to the cinema as in earlier days, and some of these palaces just did not pay.

Philip Meston… I saw many films there, not to mention ABC Minors!

Peter Pursglove… I  think the video recorders did a lot to kill off the cinema sadly ,I used to love the cinema ,early sixties my half day off from hairdressing in Tower Road i used to scoot round and catch 3 shows he he i remember 6 cinema’s then ,2 in st leonards and 4 in hastings

Nick Prince…The ABC Ritz was profitable at the time of closure, as to was the Orion. Although you are quite right, in general, cinema attendences were falling.

Dennis Torrance… Were all palls together last film on abc le mons steve McQueen I think went there most weeks to see a film with my parents during the week. The organ that came up in the stage there the badges 3d each ice poles and the talent shows.

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King Size Slim – Songs from The M/V Seawitch and Mike Willis – Stables Theatre 3rd Sept 2022

Award winning artist Toby Barelli aka KING SIZE SLIM and the crew of the Merchant Vessel Sea Witch make a rare trip shoreside Saturday 3rd September to broadcast their all-new all-original show direct from the Stables Theatre in the heart of the Old Town. The distinctive KING SIZE SLIM Heavyweight Acoustic sound has performed on three continents and countless countries and festivals over the last 15 years. Has appeared by a special invitation for Bahraini royalty and as hand-picked warm-up act for rock legends Queen. ” A sound that shouts loud and kisses sweet ”. This evenings special guest is St.Leonards very own troubadour Mike Willis

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Shape Of The Rain: Riley Riley Wood & Waggett, 3CD Digipak

Who? I hear you cry, well  in this instance I would echo that myself. I like to think after 50 + years in this business that even if I don’t know their work I will at least have heard of them, but I must confess not this time. So let’s investigate, come with me back to the end of the 60’s/start of the 70’s. Many bands had dropped their previous incarnation’s and gone ‘psych’ ‘prog’ ‘freakbeat’ ‘experimental’ etc etc. To cater for these ‘underground’ bands, the major Record Labels all created offshoot labels, EMI had Harvest, Pye Had Dawn, Philips had Vertigo, Decca had Deram and bringing up the rear was RCA with Neon. Now I have this particular quirk that remembers Record Labels (I used to file my mobile disco records by label) so I DO remember Neon but for another long forgotten band in Dando Shaft. In operation for just over a year from 1971 -2 the label only had 11 releases of which SOTR was number 7. Hailing from an area of the country bounded by Sheffield and Chesterfield the band came together originally as a Everly Bros style duo of cousins Keith Riley (lead vocals/guitar),and Brian Wood (guitar vocals before being joined by Keith’s brother Len Riley (bass) and Iain ‘Tag’ Waggett (drums).  The band’s name changed constantly, The Gear (inspired by their covers of Liverpudlian bands and Beatlesque sound) The Reaction was another and it was at this point they recorded a brace of demo’s and a local record shop owner David McPhie took an interest (he also represented Sheffield’s own Joe Cocker) and duly became their manager. With a name change to the more contemporary Shape Of The Rain all was set. This 3CD package covers their 1971 album RRW&W, a host of demo’s, outtakes, alternative versions, the demo’s for the aborted second album, a 50 minute live show from May 1970 and more. Disc 1 contains the original album kicking off with ‘Woman’ which, as noted in the sleevenotes, is a riff heavy pop/rock number sounding in structure very similar to Atomic Rooster’s ‘Devil’s Answer’ (co-incidentally issued on the same day!), this was issued as a single but didn’t trouble the charts at all, But this didn’t bother Neon, singles ‘weren’t cool man’ this was the dawn of the album…much cooler… After all the man in charge at Neon was Olav Wyper who in his previous life had been at CBS where he had dreamed up the much lauded sampler ‘The Rock Machine Turns You On’. Why am I banging on about labels? because that’s where the problem with the success or rather lack of it for Shape Of The Rain lies. They were a good sounding band, they wrote their own material, and where they didn’t ,had excellent taste performing material by The Byrd’s and Love. Now as any reader of my reviews, column’s etc will know Love is a band really close to my heart. Shape Of The Rain were clearly heavily influenced by the prevailing West Coast Sound, track 7 ‘Dusty Road’ is a prime example as is the following track  ‘Willowing Tree’s. And this is my point about success, had SOTR been on RCA’s main label there would have been more emphasis on promotion and put frankly money spent. To be fair even the band admit they were ‘musically confused’ but being hidden away, on a albeit ‘cool’ underground label served them badly. Their music is hook laden, delicate and contains some stunning arrangement’s, the Press of the time were impressed comparing them favourably to the like’s of Traffic and Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman took them to his heart as a big fan. So you had a commercially adept band hidden away on an obscure label, it was a no win situation as the fans of the ‘underground labels’ were looking for something more esoteric than SOTR and the main label fans of RCA were being treated to Bowie, Sweet etc i.e. the commercially successful acts of which SOTR could have been one. They have also been compared to Badfinger which I think is a fair comment, good hooky melodic songs and credibility to boot. The songs written for the second unreleased album show a growing confidence ‘The Very First Clown’ and ‘Listen To Your Heart’ being two examples.

The 3rd disc in the set is the previously mentioned ‘live recording’ taped at Manchester University (supporting Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) and given the recording restraints of the time is remarkably good, it captures the band in fine form (love the ‘Hendrix’ licks) mostly made up of new material at the time it did include a great version of ‘Willowing Tree’s from the Riley, Riley, Wood & Waggett album. And what about that album title? hardly jumps off the sleeve does it? I have a horrible suspicion somebody said something along the lines of ‘Crosby, Stills & Nash’ that’s cool man lets do that with this album. enough said! Eventually the band transferred to the main label and carried on til the mid 70’s before going their separate ways. Its a fact that there is more 60’s & 70’s music available to listen too today than there was then, incredible but true, so many albums never saw the light of day for so many reasons and some rightly so but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Shape Of The Rain and plugging a gap in my musical knowledge. Grapefruit Records have done their usual sterling job on the presentation of the set and the 24 page booklet contains many evocative photo’s and pictures of vintage poster’s and sound quality is excellent. Enjoy.

Til next time….please all stay safe and well……Colin

For more information go to

Tag Waggett… thanks for your kind words and thanks for an excellent review. Tag Waggett ( drummer) SOTR

Colin Bell… Hi Tag, good to hear from you, i hope i did your album justice, stay safe & well

Bill Griffiths… the first eight live tracks were recorded at Alfreton Hall on 2nd May 1970 on a Tandberg 1541 mono recorder and a Shure microphone . I was fortunately able to find a position at the back of the hall in an elevated position above the audience. the hall itself is not large being the remains of a former stately home of the Morewoods family, now a wedding venue. A couple of tracks were not included on the cd, possibly to leave room for the Manchester set.

Tony Davis… Really interesting piece Colin. As you say many lost bands of the late 60s and early 70s are now coming to light and bringing hidden gems to life.

Colin Bell… Thanks Tony, the review i posted yesterday of the 3CD set of bands covering The Beatles has some great stuff on it, which may well interest you, Cheers.

A.A.Matthews… Excellent notes about this band that until a few days ago were unknown to me. May I draw attention to Cross & Ross , another little known UK outfit from the early 1970’s. They appeared to be influenced by CSNY, the Laurel Canyon sound, and other West Coast outfits. Well worth seeking out

Colin Bell… Thanks for your comments A.A. I’m happy my review led you to discover a very interesting band

Reading Festival – 1977



Photo of Teresa Bassett and plastic bread bags on feet! – see below

Nick Prince… Wow. What a line up.

Andy Gunton…  was at this one too 🙂

Mick Knights… I’ve got photo’s of Hawkwind and Ultavox at this one, must dig the out sometime and post them.

Terry Pack… went to Reading as a punter in 1975 or 76, I can’t remember which, and wondered what it would be like to play to such a huge crowd. In 77, I found out. I don’t know how many people attended festivals in those days. Any ideas?

John Storer… Somewhere in the back of my mind, I seem to recollect that the average daily attendance at Reading back then was about 30,000. Anyway, THIS is the year I went with Neil McGuigan, Matt Brand, Mick Hurton and Kev Potter. Most vivid memory is Jayne (formerly Wayne) County & The Electric Chairs being canned off stage. The only other band I remember seeing was Ultravox (the John Foxx version). I must have seen others – would have definitely wanted to have seen Eddie & the Hot Rods, The Motors and SAHB, but cannot now remember seeing them

Mick Knights… Here’s a couple of Hawkwind



photos by Mick Knights

Chris Meachen…. Seem to recall being at this one, but it’s all a bit hazy now…

Mark Asseenontv Scutchings-Stevens… I went there !! Had my sleeping bag stolen on the last night 🙁

Teresa Bassett… This was my first festival. 4 of us drove from Lincolnshire in a mini for the weekend. one small ex army tent and no idea what to expect. I remember the mud . I remember Thin Lizzy  even now – Dancing in the Moonlight.  I remember the beer can fights. I remember the toilets.  Only have one photo of the weekend –  me in cheesecloth and jeans and plastic bread bags on my feet. (see top photo)

Paul Morfey… I was there!! Lizzy were amazing!!

Ella Hall… Borrowed my dad’s old transit van and drove to Reading from Derbyshire with some pals from college. The ground was too soddon to pitch our tent so we “moved in” to this seemingly huge army-style tent with dozens of other tentless teenagers. The mud was amazing! Inadequate wellies and a shortage of plastic bags led to us going barefoot. Remember watching Thin Lizzy while dancing in thick mud almost up to our knees – played at seeing how far of an angle we could lean, straight-legged, before we splodged over!!! Festival over, we spent hours towing various small cars off site before heading home. To the owner of the large, canvas khaki, Army-style tent -Thank you!

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Ore Youth Club football team – early 60’s

supplied by Lloyd Johnson

Lloyd Johnson… top row left to right:1/?…2/?…3 Dave Johnson…4 Paddy Trundle ( Youth Club Leader)…5 Dave Kneel…6 Johnny Wright …bottom row: 1 ?…2 Johnny White…3?…4?…5?…6?…

Penny Collins… Lloyd, 3 looks like Micky Creed, 6 looks like Gordon Lawrence.

Lauraine Brown… Mick Brazier next to Gordon

Tony A Demarco… Top row far left Jimmy Harley?