Nashville Teens – The Witch Doctor 17th July 1964.



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all cuttings Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

Andre Martin…..OK Mick – time to wallow in memories – from the Hastings Observer July 1964

Mick Knights….I was there, a innocent 15 year old!!! The first steps I ever took on a dance floor were there, the tune was Pretty Woman and the young lady didn’t hang around for a second one!!!!

Andre Martin… For those of you who follow The History of The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier on “Bands we’ve seen on Hastings Pier “you will know that we have moved to the start of a period of change and great competition, and I could not let this week go, without posting something of what was going to happen – The arrival of The Witch Doctor. I do not intent to write a weekly blog of who, what, where and when – but this was the weekend -17th/18th July 1964, FIFTY YEARS AGO. These had been some simple trails posted in the Hastings & St Leonards Observer, but I don’t think that many people had any idea of exactly what the Witch Doctor was going to be. We were soon to find out – in simple terms it was very difference to what we had experienced in the past in Hastings & St Leonards, it brought the entertainment potential right bang up to date. The ownership of the club can be traced back to Manchester and the Chain of nightclubs called Mr Smiths, these were expanding into the South and in particular around London, operating under the name of The Witch Doctor, and for whatever reason, we end up with one in St Leonards, in Marine Court, above the Dolphin Ballroom. The Opening night featured The Nashville Teens as Top of the Bill, but what was to make even more publicity, that went national the next day, was the story of a young lady from Hastings, the daughter of a well know lawyer who ended up in London with the lead vocalist from the group and being returned home by the Metropolitan Police – have withheld the names and the file is sealed. If the readers want to find out more, I will leave that to you. With this new venue in place the entertainment scene in the area would change quite dramatically and we would become all part of this change, leaving us to this day with memories both good and bad, happy and sad.Above are a few images from the local newspaper from all those years ago, I apologise that some of the images are poor – but this was 50 years ago, and the quality of newsprint in those days, does not survive well.

Peter Fairless… Was it open long enough, with enough visiting acts, to sustain it’s own group? What do people think?

Andre Martin…The Witch Doctor 17 July 1964 – 7 October 1967 – it was closed for refurbishment and Opened as the Cobweb till Dec 1970. Lots of visiting acts, etc small compared to the Pier, maximum around about 450 [ slightly more when using the Bob Knights method counting attenders !

Peter Fairless… Is the space still there, Andre?

Andre Martin… Converted back to offices in the 1970s, when the club was moved in name to the old town and re opened as the Aquarius – the site in Marine was badly damaged on NYE 70 with a bad fire.

Terry Wallis… I think I saw Nashville Teens and may have been opening night? Mind you I would have only been 15 then, perhaps I dreamed I went! 😀

Alan Esdaile… interesting they are advertising a band 4 plus 1, is this the same as unit 4 plus 2 which one less musician?

Steve Maxted… what a gem, to see a billing of the opening night of the Witchdoctor. Andre has a wealth of information, well done.

Ronald Burgoyne… I was there.

Lloyd Johnson… I went to that gig…and Sue Penry -Davey run off with one of the group.It made the National Newspapers and she was finally tracked down to Earl’s court at his flat…They came straight from Ready! Steady! Go! for The Witch Doctor gig and they hung out in Hastings over the weekend…


Steve Marriotts’ Moments, The Confederates. The Witch Doctor Christmas 1964



supplied by Peter Millington.

Mick O’Dowd…..Steve is/was one of my musical heroes and if I had been in a band(no chance, can’t sing, can’t play an instrument) he would be who I would like to have been like.

Tony Court-holmes….sunday night tamla night

Mick Knights….I’ve always told those that would listen, that I saw Steve Marriot at the Witch Doctor before the Small Faces were formed, the thing I’m not too sure about is, did Steam Packett play the Witch Doctor, I know Long John did, as I do remember seeing him there. I feel sure someone will have the definative word.  I also think he appeared more than on the one occasion, I wait to be proved wrong.

Andy Qunta… Wow! Steve Marriott, pre-Small Faces! Interesting!

Andy Knight… What was the Confederates line up that night?

Mick O’Dowd… No you’re not wrong Mick, he also appeared with The Small Faces here. Oh for a return of this sort of Christmas line-up!

Peter Millington… Andy, The line up was probably Johnny Conroy (Lead Vocals), Dave Johnson (Drums) Paul Burton (Rhythm + Vocals), Peter (Ginger) Millington (Bass + Vocals), Trev Spears (Lead Guitar + Vocals). At about that time Terry Chedzoy replaced Dave Johnson so it could have been either one.

Mick Knights… I have this vague memory of Christmas and New Year’s eve at the witch Doctor being the best two nights of the year, could have something to do with being 16 in 64!!

Andre Martin… Read all about Christmas & The New Year 1965 in my blog later this week – but here is a taster for all the Witch Doctor Fans.


David Bartlett…one of my all time heroes. love the music ( you,ve always been 10 years to late paul weller , c,est,la,vie ) long may you run stevie

Tony Court-holmes… the cobweb


Havelock Road Hastings – Mods 1964

supplied by Dai Jones photo source: unknown

Dai Jones asks… : “Could you tell me where this is in Hastings? I somehow recognise it – but where is it?”

Phil Gill… Havelock Road. There was also an entrance to the Bodega Bars on Cambridge Road.

Lloyd Johnson… Frank Brooks third from the right in the light coloured trousers next to the car

Mick Knights… I thought that as well but wasn’t sure

Roger Simmonds… Havelock road happy times!

Helena Kingshott… Am thinking it’s top of Robertson Street?

Lloyd Johnson… Hi! Helena…xx..The bar sign is the ‘Bodega Bar’ and the first floor pillars you can see in the photo are those of ‘The Orion’ Cinema which were above W.H.Smiths Newsagent. My Mum worked a few doors down from there in ‘The Golden Fleece’ wool shop before she moved to

Mark Rodrigues… I think it’s Havelock Road by the shape of the buildings. Though that no entry sign is obviously not there now.

Lloyd Johnson… Frank Brooks on the run from the Police! 1964 ..Frank 3 from right next to the car…I was in The Pamdor around the corner

Marcus J Lamb-Bentley…. Why are they running?

Lloyd Johnson… 1964 bank holiday weekend/ Mods&Rockers!..the town was rammed with kids having fun!…they flew Police in to Lydd Airport because they thought things were going to get out of hand. All a total over reaction by the authorities. I got fed up with being herded around the town so slipped away and spent the day in The Pamdor Coffee Bar above Hepworth’s the Tailors in Queens road.

Sheila Maile… Bodega, bars. Cambridge Road

Darren Holmes… Is that photo not taken from Robertson Street looking towards Cambridge Road?

Helena Kingshott… Or Havelock Road ? It’s been a long time

Mike Cramp…Ha ha. Some great wrong answers. Are we now all agreed. The photographer is standing on the memorial. We’re looking at the bottom of Havelock Road which was ‘no entry’ from the southern end even back then. The word BARS in the original photo is on the blank wall where the metal fire escape is now in the modern photo above. The Crypt was known as the Bodega Bars for many years and had/has entrances on Havelock and Cambridge Road. And as for all you grown up Mods on here, i hope you’re all extremely ashamed of yourselves !


Rolling Stones being escorted off Hastings Pier 1st August 1964.


photo credit Associated Press. Thanks to Kenneth Roberts for this and also Jim Breeds and Alex Chapman for posting.

Andre Martin… The Stones were escorted from the Pier entrance, the clock tower in effect to the Ballroom by the Police under the supervision of the late Sgt Dobson, the had previously travelled from the Police HQ near the Queens Hotel in the back of an Ambulance. Their exit was in reverse order, this was confirmed in the Post[after]action report from the Chief Constable Mr Brown on the whole of the weekends events, and is available to read at the Keep, County Records Office Falmer.

Anne Wells… they appear to be escorted by twin police officers! A few of us (girls) were allowed backstage to meet the Stones, via a friend’s father from the County Youth Service.

Alan Esdaile… Does anyone know if this came from the Richard Houghton Book – You Had To Be There?

Kevin Burchett… I was there when they arrived by ambulance we had taken my older sister there to see them with a couple of her friends we lived in netherfield at the time and we stayed for a while by the toilets before you went in the main hall and listened to them play i was only 11 at the time

Kenneth Roberts… No Alan this one is Mark Paytress -The Rolling Stones -Off The Record , outrageous opinions & unrehearsed interviews, great book.

Pete Fisher… unfortunately I was too young to be able to go to this legendary gig on the pier in my home town Hastings, on the otherwise sleepy south east coast of England…52 years ago today…

Malcolm McIntyre Kinnear… Meaning you were too young for Thursday night Twisting Time, which looking back was probably a good thing. Mind you getting in for Alex Harvey……well.

Pete Fisher… all past my bedtime, as I was only nine, but I was actually quite good at the twist..

Jill Caine… I was there.

Sarah Foreman… I have it on good authority that the policeman on the left of Mick Jagger is Jack Hopkinson. I know his son Ray Hopkinson.

Iain Cobby… My mother Joyce who sadly passed away this March was working at the Pier Bingo in the Theater that day. I was only 9 at the time so I was too young to go. I asked my mum to get their autographs for my book (I had Lenny the Lions!). Next morning I was presented with all 5 Stones signatures on the back of a bingo ticket. For many years it took pride of place on the wall of my room. Unfortunately I lost the ticket in the loft of my then home some 25 years ago. Gutted.

The Saracens – 1964


Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

Andre Martin… Here is one for you to work on – the groups in this picture, does anybody from the Musio fraternity have any ideas ? This was taken in 1964.

Peter Millington… I’ve only heard of Tony Cornish and Jeff Farley. Don’t think either played in bands for very long before giving up or moving away from the town??? Jeff Farley is the furthest right of the 3 guitars with a Hofner Verithin, Tony Cornish is obviously the one in the middle with the Bass Guitar and I assume Bob Steele is the lead guitarist on the left. Don’t know the others. Will ask around as it’s my era lol

The Talismen – Old Town Beach 1964


The Talismen on Hastings Old Town Beach in 1964. From left to right is Keith (Budge) Harrison-Burgess, Chris Sayer, Henry Harvey, Pete Jones.  Photo from Peter Millington.

Mick Knights…..The winch huts don’t seem to have aged that much!

Pat Harrison Burgess… Do you have any more pictures of The Talismen? Would love his daughters to see more pictures.

Alan Esdaile… Hi Pat, I expect you have seen the other ones on the site but will check with Pete Millington to see if he has any others. Anyone else, got any photos?

Eugene Hughes… Wow. My first job in 1972 was with Henry (Henners) on the GPO.

Roger Saunders… Great to see the photo. I was the original drummer with the group for a couple of years. Happy Days. Good gigs at the Market Hall in George Street, and always great laughs with Henry.

Andre Martin… Life was always a laugh with ‘enry.

Advert for The Regent 1965

Ken Mulley… I remember seeing the Tallismen performing at the Caves in Hastings, it had to be about 1964/ 5 . If I remember right . They dressed in Denim . Levi 501s . Fantastic band

Pat Harrison-Burgess… Thanks Ken

Sandie Carlyon… Loved Henry. Ace postie as well.

Kavemen – The Fountain 1964



photo supplied by John Busbridge via Hastings Groups from 1958 to the present


cutting Andre Palfrey-martin collection, photo supplied by John Busbridge.

Andre Martin….Found this adverts in an old Hastings Observer 1964 – any of the musios out there have any knowledge of this outfit ?

Peter Millington… THE KAVEMEN – John Busbridge, Keith Attwood, Jim Beadle and Duncan on Sax, The rest are unlnown – Taken in a practice room at the back of the Fountain pub Circa 1963 – Published by Peter Millington and photos supplied by John Busbridge.

Mick O’Dowd… The Fountain is advertising The Kavemen for their Halloween do. Same band ?

John Busbridge… No, no connection that I know of!

Harry Randall… I sung for the “Loyd Milligon sound” in 68 we used to practise at the “Fountain pub” that could be Joe or Ron Milligon on sax?

The Confederates – 1964

The Confederates – 1964 – Playing at the Methodist Hall, Battle Road, St Leonards. Tony Goodman, Peter Millington, Dave Saunders, Johnny Conroy, Trev Spears – supplied by Jinks The Group website


Janice Ramsay(nee Saunders)… Great to find this link. Dave (always known as David to us!) was my cousin – my father’s nephew – and although I am too young to remember the group I certainly remember the drums!

The Percy Howe Orchestra – Hastings Pier Sat 5th Dec 1964 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… The History of the Happy Ballroom now moves into a new phase, as we have been eagerly awaiting the return of the “Together Dancing” and after several weeks of press trails and leaked information, here we are SATURDAY 5TH December 1964 and at 8.00pm tonight the baton will be raised at the Percy Howe Orchestra will swing into action – 8.00pm-11.45pm and all for the princely sum of 5/-. You will have to wait till next week for the report on how this went………………Did this achieve what the Pier Management wanted, did it meet the needs and expectations of the Patrons of the Pier, and would this be sustainable against other similar competition, we will only know in weeks to come. In advertising terms the re-launch was very low key, there were no special features with all the suppliers and contracts mentioned and advertised – in recent times such an event as this would have taken up sometimes a double page spread !!
Elsewhere what have the young people in the town be enjoying over the coming week – The Witch Doctor has a change in their weekly programme, on Wednesday Nights, it’s the start of the “ Beat Group Competition” with a prize of £300.00 for the winners, run in a series of heat, each week 4 groups would appear and over the coming weeks by elimination, there would be a winner.. but more about that as it takes place, but what value for money – entry only 2/6d. This week in December, Saturday Night featured –The Brothers Grimm + Jonathon Cane and The Freemen. Sunday it was a visit from Ray Clevelands, and Friday night The Zephyrs.
Friday night had seen a interesting Ready Steady Go, with a link with the Hasting Pier, as included in the line up were acts that had or would make visits in time – Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan fronting the show with The Moody Blues “Go Now”, The Miracles [no mention of Smokey Robinson as yet fronting the group] P J Proby “Summertime” and Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers.
BBC Radio – Light Programme – Saturday morning was with Saturday Club, and as ever this always reflected what the music scene was offering –Marvin Gaye, The Searchers, The Fourmost, The Sputniks, Jess Conrad, The Hi Fi’s and all under the watchful eye of Brian Matthews, is it any wonder that he today in 2014 can talk with such authority about the music and artistes over the past 50+ years
2.00pm would be time for Saturday Swings – Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, Russ Sainty, The Lauries Steel New Sound, Julie Rodgers, The Bachelors, The Brooks and The NDO with Bernard Herman – compere was Don Wardell [Eds note – The Northern Dance Orchestra appeared regularly on the BBC as they were one of the House Bands, the musicians were often some of the top session men in the country, and would have appeared on numerous records under the direction such greats as Norrie Paramour, George Martin and the like, these musicians were the cream of the recording industry]
Sundays offerings – Easy Beat at 10.31am –Brenda Lee, Kenny Lynch, Patsy Ann Noble, Long John Baldry , The Eric Delany Band and in the chair Keith Fordyce. Special this week at noon, was 3 way Family Favourites – obviously getting ready for Christmas, with the link up – London[BBC] – Cologne[BFBS] and Singapore[BFBS]. “Sunday Best” at 3.00pm included – Joe Brown & The Bruvvers, The Karl Denver Trio and Julie Dawn.
Television that weekend included Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs and the Panel – Peter Murray, Sandie Shaw, Diahann Carroll and Vic Lewis. There was the usual run of programmes that I have mentioned in the past, so no change there – however Christmas is coming and within the next couple of weeks much would change. There we go for this week – 5th December 1964 .. We await the feedback from the Happy Ballroom as to how the new policy on dancing has been received. Until then keep warm and watch out for the next edition of the History of the Happy Ballroom .                                             2014©Andre Palfrey-Martin

Mods & Rockers Rebooted – 1964 – BBC1 19.30 22nd Aug 2014

Thanks to Andre Martin for reminding us of this.

We take a fresh look at the bank holiday clashes of 1964 to separate fact from fiction as we bring the mods and rockers of the time back to those seaside crime scenes. Were they really as bad as the papers made out? Or was there something else behind it all?