Ye Olde Pump House George Street Hastings 1955?

photo © Dr Neil Clifton

Sophie Ash… Wasn’t The Pump House (in)famously built in 1959?

Mark Bilsby… 1956 so photo must be incorrectly dated. My grandmother was a barmaid there ,at this time

Steve Hamilton… Thanks for posting. My grandmother lived next door on the other side of the steps. I notice her window is open – must be a special occasion – about 20 years later I would be hanging outside the window watching the punks at the weekend!

Malcolm McDonald… I lived in The Royal Standard as a kid.

Roger Simmonds… I remember when it wasn’t a pub just an old building empty at the time in the 1950 time period

Peter Ellingworth… …..and Butler’s Famed Emporium a lttle further along ?

Carol Anne… Many happy nights in this old pub, driving across from Bexhill,  before heading back across to the Sundowners night club, not sure we’d get away with it now, happy days

Nigel Ford… 3 years old at the time I believe?…. not as old as it looks

Tony Collins… I used to like saying to people welcome to the oldest pub in Hastings, no not that one The Anchor opposite!!!

Peter Firmin… Same year as me but I’m not olde

David Edwards… Roger, if I am right there was a shoe shop there before

Hastings Tourist Information Centre – remember when this was at Robertson Terrace?

Matt Thomas… Where is the information centre now?

Martin Richter… by the station?

Matt Thomas… Martin, not anymore

Alan Esdaile… I don’t think we have one at the moment???

Monica Bane… Was mentioned, Closed for winter!

Paul Tublord… It’s in the town hall I believe

Stuart Moir… Paul, no good stuck inside the town hall.

Rark Modrigues… the photo, Is that near Lansdowne Hotel?

Alan Esdaile… Rark, Yes.

Dark Modrigues… ah wow. Seems odd to think that would be a good position in todays landscape of the shops in town.

Graham Howe… Our Council decreed some months ago that the town with the most famous date in history isn’t worthy of having a tourist information centre. Shame on them not supporting our tourism and independent businesses that rely on visitors.

Stuart Moir… they also don’t support one of our nationally recognised assets and that is music.

Colin Bell… Agree, every Councillor I’ve ever encountered has been a self serving individual only interested in furthering their own careers. No Tourist Information Centre is just ridiculous & as for music…..

Fiona Evans… Council doesn’t support anything! I’VE ALWAYS SAID THE SAME THINGS. We have music, of all genres – musica l& dance festival, an international piano concerto competition, Jack-in-the-Green & May Day festival, music events taking place at various venues throughout the town ,Seafood festival with music,f ood & wine festival with music etc. etc. & of course there is 1066, our fishing industry. Then there are the well known people who have lived/visited Hastings & St.Leonards – Queen Victoria, Gladstone, C.S.Lewis……etc. The list is endless & what does the council do – Sweet Fanny Adams. To ALL councillors,if you want to make anything of this town ,which is yours as well, get up off your backsides & start speaking to companies & crafts people, especially local ones,t o make memorabilia, souvenirs etc.. The future of this town depends on it.

Wendy Weaver… Fiona, well said but be careful what you wish for. The things that the council get involved in get bogged down in negativity and the public stop coming. The Old Town Carnival used to be the highlight of the year with a great disco on Winkle Island and a fairground on the Stade. The Council got involved and now it is a pale copy of what it was.

Stuart Moir… All down to a badly run council

Graham Sherrington… Why was it shut down even me as a Hastings lad would go in there when I came back to visit!! Hang on i’m thinking of the one along the sea front.

Mike Raxworthy… It also was a great place to sell tickets…now we have nowhere! Last year Judges Bakery in High Street sold our jazz breakfast tickets for Seafood and Wine festival, but it was a pain for them. The Angling Club and The Anchor were good enough to sell my Christmas Charity tickets last two years! We need a tourist info office… we’re supposed to be a Tourist town!

Stephen Rapley… Maybe it’s time the people of Hastings changed the council, talk to the people, talk to the leader of that council, get them to change the head of tourism if you don’t do it soon you will end up a poor boring no hope town full of rock shops. The place needs an energetic full on tourism boss who understands the foot fall of local business without that what has your community got. You can’t live on the pull of 1066 and pretty streets you need festivals and people grabbing ideas this tourism boss will run your town into the ground and then he will piss off and you will have nothing and have to start from scratch change him now. Give the people that are trying to put some energy into your town some help and support write and talk to your under worked MP. P.s well done Mike.

Andy Wright… My dad Fred Wright used to work in the Information Office in the 60s, firstly in the building that used to be on the opposite corner to the WhiteRock Theatre, then York Buildings next to The Memorial, then finally in Robertson Terrace. He left to become Deputy Manager at Margate Tourist Centre.



The Groundhogs – The Carlisle Hastings 11th April 1985

Judy Atkinson… I think I was there. I certainly saw them there twice, and once on the pier back around 1975

Reid McDuffie… I was there. They used to also often play at the Crypt. Sometimes as Tony McPhee Band and sometimes as Groundhogs (it was the same guys though. I think there was a contractual issue with the name).

Leigh Wieland-Boys… I saw the Groundhogs circa 1971 at an all day music festival in Kendal, the only other group I recall in the line-up were Juicy Lucy!

Anita Jardine… Takes me back to the Roundhouse and Sundowner days..

Peter Houghton… Great band saw them on the Pier and had a nice chat with Tony and the rest of the band and they signed my Album for me

Faith Brooker… Once a fixture of the South London pub scene. Loved em’.

Tony Court-holmes… saw them live

Tim Moose Bruce… Went to that one. Also saw them at the Shelley Arms at Nutley, and the Golden Martlet at Hellingly. Great band.

Neil Partrick… I saw them around this time in a pub in Eastbourne (I think, though might have been The Carlisle in Hastings, or maybe Hellingly I suppose. Ended up sleeping with the lead singer, as you do (along with other assorted bodies vying for space on a floor in a Pevensey bungalow).

Simon… Was there with Reid McD. Bumped unto TS outside and shared a roll up.

Rolling Stones – Hastings Pier 11th April 1964





all supplied by  Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin….Happy Ballroom History Lesson – Saturday 11 April 1964 – and what an interesting weekend this was going to be, for a kick-off it was the second visit from the Rolling Stones, and for many it would be a start of the weeks wait for the release of the first album by the boys “ The Rolling Stones Album” – Alan would have had copies in The Disc Jockey this coming Thursday if not before. I have located an early publicity photo of the group from these early days.
We all know how the band had been attracting followers over the weeks, since their first appearance in the Happy Ballroom, the previous January 18th, when they had been backed by “The Four Aces”. The Hastings Observer added even more information about this second appearance, and I have attached for your perusal and appreciation.
The support act this time was “The Falcons” and this is where we are spoilt for choice, as there are listed several bands under that name. Firstly I need to establish these were NOT the American Soul act of the same name, from Detroit and included in their line up Wilson Puckett and Eddie Floyd !
The British offerings, included “ The Falcons” from Rosyth in Scotland, who were semi-professional and their line up mainly from apprentices in the Naval Dockyard, they did playing from some of the American Bases in the north and at one time went on a short tour of the USAF Clubs in France.
Birmingham features in the mix, with a group “ The Falcons” who included in their line up one Ulysses Adrian Wood – who would go onto become a interesting and entraining member of “Wizzard” who I remember booking on the Pier in the early 70s, with my partner Paul Casson.
The group that most probably would have been “The Falcons” appearing on Hastings Pier that Saturday night, would have come from Eastleigh nr Southampton and included in their line up an up and coming artiste who was to go and make his name with such as The Tornados and from the production stable of Joe Meek – Heinz. I have found a photo of the very young group taken in 1960 and have added to the story.
You will have from time to time come across the mentioning in the Happy Ballroom Advertisements’ of the Rock & Roll or Twisting Nights, that were run by John Hodgson, it is rare that we get many mentions of the groups of played at these regular mid-week functions, but please see this weeks press report as that fills in one of the gaps.

John Storer…..I see the following week, The Rattles were playing. They had a big hit 6 years later with “The Witch” and, like the Stones, are still touring and making the occasional album.

Andre Martin…Die Geschichte von der Happy Ballroom – Das wird Teil der nächsten Wochen.

Jeanette Steve Jones…..Ja, echt Super

Olli LaasanenHastings Pier was built in 1872. It flourished during late Victorian era. It was first time destroyed by fire in 1917. It’s prime time was in 1930’s. Rolling Stones had a gig there on 1964. There was severe storm damages during 1990’s. The fire destroyed in in 2010. I took this picture in 1978, during a calm July day.


© olli laasanen

Jill Caine… I was there!! Serving in the bar until the Stones came on, then I was in the ballroom with everyone else!!

John Duddridge… I was also there. What a brilliant night, when the Stones came on I got moved from the back of the ballroom to about halfway to the front caused by the surge of fans. My main concern was not to spill my beer which I had probably bought from Jill a bit earlier. Great times.

Christine Toms… I was there brought the Stones in by speedboat to avoid the fans

David Bargioni… I was there…..with Andre.

Jackie Hersee… I was there

Gavin Martin… I wonder if The Rattles inspired The Rutles?

Salvation Sunday – promo photos 1986





supplied by Martyn Baker

Vocals – Joanne Winterbottom, Songwriting, Guitar & B/V’s – Stephen Winterbottom, Lead Guitar & B/V’s – Marvin Naylor, Keyboards – Mingo (Robert Talbot) , Songwriting & Bass Guitar – Martyn Baker, Drums & Percussion – David Rowley.

Phil Thornton… great band ! – I remember them back in their ‘weeping crocodile’ days !!

OZ. … Great band saw them at the Oval 86. Joanne what a voice.

Groundhogs – Hastings Pier 1st March 1975


groundhogs solid

supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey….A bit of a typo in the advert corrected beneath advert. A single Groundhog! I wonder which one appeared?

Leigh Wieland-Boys… I saw the Groundhogs, supported by Juicy Lucy, at a music festival in Keswick whilst on hols in the Lake District, when I was 14 – it was an overnighter but my Dad picked me up about 7pm! Five years before they were on the pier!

Jan Warren… Love Groundhogs!! 

Alan King… I put Tony McPhee up at the house a few times – surprised that he was a vegetarian – dunno why I was surprised by it but I was

Andy Wright… Give ‘The Hunt’ a listen on his 1st solo album…this gives us a clue


Frankie Miller’s Full House – Hastings Pier 9th April 1977



ad supplied by Sarah Harvey

John Storer… Frankie had played the Pier the year before (1976) as “The Frankie Miller Band” and that was when The Stranglers supported. That gig had been a couple of weeks after the Budgie / Sex Pistols gig.

Clifford Rose… The Stranglers supported Frankie Miller on the pier 31/07/76.

Ralph Town… And didn’t we have a lovely time, Clifford… me the Stella!

Clifford Rose… In those days it was tins of Newcastle Brown

Gerry Fortsch… Frankie Miller was brilliant on the pier that night.

Mick O’Dowd… Good name for a warm-up band!

Pete Prescott… I was there !