The Springbeats – Scout Hut Oxford Road Hastings 1965 of maybe Hollington Parish Hall?


photo supplied by Alan Jenner

Local group the Springbeats pictured at the Scout Hut – Oxford Road Rehearsal night 1965

Anyone confirm the names of the band?

Phil Gill….I think it’s Clive Drew-Clifton on the left

Andy Knight.…Tim Duke on Bass I think. Looked again, def Tim on Bass, in my year at school

Mick O’Dowd… The Springbeats played at Grove Road Youth Club Ore on my first outing as a DJ. It was the first Rave that the Club put on with a live band. I worked with Tony Bridger at G. Brookers in Norman Road making fireplaces when I worked there as my first job in the real world!  About 1966.

Alan Mitchell… Clive Drew-Clifton, Tony Bridger, Barry Jenkins on drums and John Woolven singer. I don’t think that is the scout hut in Oxford Road. We used to go to the group practices and most were in the Hollington Parish Hall in Wishingtree Road.

John Wilde… This is a great photo. Love those guitars.

Lynn Graham…. The drummer Barry ‘s  dad was manager and who remembers little Vic Bridger, Tony’s cousin, former owner of Hairtek.

Alan Esdaile… Here’s The Springbeats Nicola and I think its Barry Jenkins on drums?

Nicola Dobson… Thank you Alan…Im really not sure..he used to work for the laundry late 60’s and was in the Cult band he said as I did have a tape from him?

Lynn Graham… Barry Jenkins was indeed the drummer. I used to run around with them and was very good friends with Johns sister Jackie.

Martin Richter… what lovely guitars ! I was looking at Burns guitars earlier

Lynn Graham… used to run around with this band.Johnny Woolven was the singer.

Nicola Dobson… Anyone know if Barry Jenkins is still around knew him when I was 15/16..would be interesting to know

Tim Moose Bruce… nspired by the Easybeats?

Eric Burgess… They were the first live band I ever saw and yes rehearsals took place in the hall in Wishing Tree Road. Played in Looking Back for several years with Barry Jenkins. Still good friends!!

Harry Randall… Loved this although playing with Tony in “Footloose” never knew he was an ex “Springbeat” still miss that guy!

Mike Waghorne… Tim Dukes lives out Fairlight



The Who – Hastings Pier 24th December 1965



Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

Mick Knights….I was also at this one as well and was the ballroom was only half full!!

Andre Martin…..I want to know more about the Lurking Cromwells – anybody ??

Bob Green…..I know nothing of the Lurking Cromwells, but what a great name!

Mick O’Dowd… Talkin’ ’bout my generation…!!!

Bob Searle… Lurking Cromwells later became Kult from Ninfield


P J Proby and The Quiet Five – Hastings Pier 8th May 1965

601639_10201859770833967_1933862624_n 1503820_10201859772434007_1348664613_n proby-album-photo

Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

Mick O’Dowd….Thanx for this Andre. I was one of the “more than a dozen” that found this performance “overwhelming”. Great memories and I thought he gave a good show as well. Like Gary Gl—-r he was a showman rather than a  good singer. I fainted at this one and got passed over the heads. What an embarrassment!!!!

Ron Tennant…..Proby is a showman, also a truly great singer.


Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

18 June 1965 – The Quite Five at The Witch Doctor.

Jenny Tyler… I  was on the pier for P J Proby. I was only 16 & thought he was marvelous.

Sally Evans… I was there…

Pauline Lindsay… I saw him as well, split trousers and all.

Rose Balp… That is so fantastic, l was there with my mum, memories… Thank you

Sonja Matthee… I was there it was fantastic

Ron Tennant… This fantastic singer was recently 80. He’s still brilliant even now!

Mick O’Dowd… Maybe I fainted, problem being a short-arse in a crowd of giants. The concert was terrific. I did not spring back to life once I got to the stage as the girlies did. Miraculous recovery!

Jan Walker… I was there with my sister. She didn’t want to go on her own so paid for my ticket.

The Confederates – St Clements Caves Hastings 1965


supplied by Pete Millington

Pete Millington… The Confederates playing in the St Clements Caves, Hastings – Summer of 1965 — with Johnny Conroy, Paul Burton, Pete Millington, Dave Johnson (hidden on drums) and Trev Spears.

Alan Esdaile….Always a great sound playing in the Caves, the problem was it was a long way to take the gear and the leads ended up all covered in sand.

Royal Albert….My dads band midnight shift played there not that I was about lol

Alan Esdaile….I remember doing disco’s in the caves with Colin Bell. During the Arthur Brown song ‘Fire’ I used to set fire to my hands with lighter fluid which is fine for a few seconds but with everyone cheering you on, you left it burning too long. Talk about blisters with yellow puss, argh! That was one thing I didn’t try again.

Michael Mepham…..The very same Caves I played in with Die Laughing and where I met a young lady whose surname was Schneckenburger. Ahhhh, those were the days

Rosalie Copeland… Oh my gosh – remember them so well! We used to follow them around town when they played gigs!

Chrissie Daniels…Hi, I am the General Manager at Smugglers Adventure and would love to create a big signage board with pictures such as the above. If anyone is interested in sending me any pictures and a backstory we can of course credit you. My email is

Dave Nattress… Played the caves a couple of times with Samisen – it was felt to be a prestigious gig venue back in the day, but yes, getting the gear in and out was a game, even though we were young and fit back then – and the central cavern bit where the bands played was in itself quite a distance from the main entrance. But…really good memories, packed with foreign students and the sound was better – less bouncy with loads of bodies around – live bodies that is – well most of them.

Peter Fairless… Ask Chrissie if gigs are still a possibility?

Clifford Rose… Only ever went to one concert in the caves, and that was Fred Wedlock 02/05/87. He was very funny live.

Ralph Town…  I saw a chap called Strange, in the caves. He was in early eps pf Men behaving badly and the 1989 Batman movie. As well as our own Mr.Mepham 🙂

John Wilde… Yes The Breathers supported Steve Strange in the caves probably 1979/80.  Hang on maybe it was some other combo but I def remember supporting the Strange One RIP

Ralph Town… I think it was Richard Strange.  I’m not so sure it was Steve Strange. I remember the act involved this chap looking like Tom Bakers Dr.Who with movies played on a screen. Under the heading of ,”The wonderful world of …….. Strange”. I saw Mick in there with one of his bands but was probably traumatised as some scrote stole my copy of Kiss Alive vol 1.So was more focused on the loss.

Alan Esdaile… Brilliant gig with The Breathers at the caves John, I pretty sure it was Richard Strange and not Steve Strange.

Wendy Weaver… We met Fred Wedlock once when we were having a drink with the Yetties. He was an extremely funny man when he wasn’t performing too :). Good old West Country humour.


The Happy Ballroom and more – Christmas 1965 part 2 by Andre Martin

CHRISTMAS 1965 Part 2
That was Christmas Eve 24th December 1965, done and dusted, we now move to Christmas Day, and the Pier does play a large part in the local celebrations, believe it or not, one of the big attractions to the Entertainments on Hastings Pier other than the Happy Ballroom, was the Sea Fishing. And apart from the Beach Fishing sessions on both Christmas and Boxing Day, on the Pier was a real competition with a very good turnout of competitors and followers alike. The Bar and Café were in full operation at the time, so they no doubt played a part in the celebrations. The Pier was usually closed after about 3.00pm in the afternoon for the rest of the day.
Boxing Day 26th December was a Sunday, and this would have presented many restrictions as to opening hours etc, the only entertainment that is listed on the Pier that day, as the Annual Coffee Dance 10.30am – 1.00pm and the main attraction were the Lurking Cromwell’s, and I have so far found no more details of this outfit – if anything comes to hand I will let you all know.
The Witch Doctor was closed for the Saturday and Sunday and did not re-open until Monday 27th December with “ Boxing Day Carnival” featuring The Fabulous Symbols and The Poor Boys – late bar to 11.30pm [people had to get to work the next day, in fact I remember many who had worked on Boxing Day in Hastings, with all the stores & shops being open and Busses running] From what I recall, this was an excellent night and the venue was packed. I can also confirm that both the PamDor and Fiesta were open on the Sunday and Monday.
Christmas Day on the Radio – The Light Programme – 7.00am Christmas Morning Music, 8.30am Family Choice,9.30am HM The Queen, 10.00am Saturday Club with Cliff Richard, P J Proby, Bachelors. Joy Strings, The Johnny Pearson Orchestra and Brian Matthew. Later that evening 10.15pm Music for your Party with Joe Loss and His Orchestra, Freddie & The Dreamers, Russ Conway, Kenny Ball and The Lorne Gibson Trio [Close down MIDNIGHT]
On the Sunday – Boxing Day – 10.00am Joe Henderson, 10.30am Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce, 11.30am Peoples Service from Bexhill Methodist Church. 12noon FIVE WAY Family Favourites and for the season greetings from London, Cologne [Koln], Cyprus, Aden & Tripoli thanks to BFBS. This was followed by the usual programmes until closed down at Midnight.
Television had a lot to offer – on Christmas as Day, 9.15am “Welcome Christmas” with Ivor Emmanual, 10.45am Children’s Ward, 12.00noon Leslie Crowther meets the Kids 12.45pm “Champions on Ice”. 1.25pm “The Andy Williams Show” including The Osmonds & Young Americans. 3.00pm HM The Queen, 3.10pm The Billy Smart Circus. 4.00pm “Disney Time”. 6.50 Panto with “Mother Goose” Norman Vaughan, Terry Scott & Jon Pertwee. 6.35pm Dr Who. 7.00pm Max ByGraves. 8.00pm “The Road To Bali” [Film] with Crosby, Hope & Lamoor. 9.30pm The Ken Dodd Show with special guest Sandie Shaw. 10.35 Top of the Pops 65 with DJs Jimmy Saville, David Jacobs, Alan Freeman & Pete Murray.
On the Sunday highlights included 9.30 am “The Christmas Oratorio” J S Bach 11.30am International Balloon Racing. 12.15pm Repeat of TOTP 65, 1.35 “Jack and The Beanstalk” & 2.50pm “The Dick Van Dyke Show”.
Monday Bank Holiday Radio included 10.00am The Hollies, The Ivy League, The Yardbirds, The Seekers, Elkie Brooks, Kenny Lynch and Division Two. 12.00noon Forces Jamboree thanks to BFBS linking all parts of the Forces on land and at sea -with Norman Vaughan, Anita Harris, Barron Knights, Danny Williams, Frankie Howerd and the Cliff Adams Singers. 1.00pm “The Mitchell Minstrels” later in the afternoon 4.20pm and Panto “Alice in Wonderland” from a recording. 5.30pm “ We’ll meet Again” Vera Lynn. 6.45pm Edmundo Ross. Followed by “The Archers”. Later in the evening 10.30pm it was Jazz Club with Humphery Littleton.
Television for that Monday included 12.25pm Grandstand, 4.25pm Blue Peter with Christopher Trace and Val Singleton, 4.50pm Jackanory . 5.00pm The Royal Ballet. 7.00pm “United” a soap opera – technical advisor Jimmy Hill [ed RIP] 7.30pm Brian Rix & “The Whitehall Farce”. 9.20pm, Perry Mason.
“Thank Your Lucky Stars” on ITV that night included Jim Dale, Ivy League. Barron Knights, Frankie Vaughan and Ruby Murray.
I will pick on next Friday Night – New Years Eve in next weekend’s episode. OK time to go and look at the leftovers and start thinking more about 1966, which was to be a special year in many ways for some of us. I do hope that you have enjoyed these blogs, they have changed from what had been the original intention to be a “History of the Happy Ballroom-Hastings Pier” but then our lives changed, and if this weekly write up brings back memories I am glad. Till next weekend and the last slice of 1965 you all take care.
Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

Alan Esdaile…  Really enjoy reading these Andre.

Happy Ballroom & More September 1965 by Andre Martin

With the August Bank Holiday behind us, we are now in September 1965, and many are looking forward to the autumn. The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, still has a couple of weeks to run with the Old Time Musicals, but the regular weekly Wrestling season has ended.
Our Friday favourites – Ready Steady Go has just started its 3rd Season on Friday last – the line up included Cathy McGowan and Keith Fordyce, providing the musical entertainment: The Zombies “Whenever You’re Ready”: Honeycombs “That’s the Way” : Who “ My Generation & Dancing In the Street”: The Walker Brothers ”Make it easy on Yourself” also appearing Big Dee Irwin and The Rolling Stones.
The Witch Doctor started as busy week of live groups – Saturday It was The Ides of March plus The Group Survival. Sunday Club featured from Brighton the Shelley. Tuesday night it was a special night with Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers and Friday it was the return of one of the south’s most popular local groups The Confederates.
BBC Radio :Saturday-Light programme. 10.00am Saturday Club, with the Kinks, Chubby Checker, Honey Combs, Elkie Brooks, The Small Faces & The Brian Fahey Orchestra, this week Don Moss is compere for the day.12.00noon Lance A Go Go. 12.30 – Wynter in Swingtime – Mark Winter and The Big Band Sound with Tommy Watt and special guest – WOUT STEENHUIS. 1.15PM Its Murrey Kash Country Music. 2.00pm Fanfayre The New Radio Orchestra with Malcolm Lockyer, Andy Cole, The Overlanders, Rawicz & Landover and the Rita Williams Singers. 4.00pm Its Folk Room this week Donovan, the Settlers, Big Jim Sullivan
Sunday included Easy Beat [10.30] Three Way Family Favourites – London: Koln: and Malta from RAF Luqa BFPO 51. 3.00pm Move Go Round featured “ Operation CrossBow” with Sophie Loren, George Peppard, Trevor Howard, John Mills & Richard Johnson, also a special on Terry Thomas. This was followed at 4.00pm with TOTP.
BBC TV over the weekend included Saturday 5.15pm Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs, Victor Borge, Helen Cherry, Adam Faith and Sandie Shaw. 10.00pm: Oscar Brown Jnr in concert. Sunday featured Noggin the Prince of Nogs amongst the regular programmes.
On ITV Thank Your Lucky Stars – Jim Dale, Chubby Checker, Herman’s Hermits, Rolling Stones, Lulu, Unit 4+2.
That was the week that we saw the end of the summer season, well almost, the White Rock Pavilion show has a couple of weeks to run, many of us who were at college were thinking of returning, or in some instance starting new courses or even starting work. What would the future hold for us? Would we see The Happy Ballroom again being a focal of entertainments for our generation? Time will tell, until the Take Care and enjoy the autumn.

Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2015

The Happy Ballroom and more August 1965 by Andre Martin

The Ballroom on Hastings Pier has continued with its current entertainments, the Directors report that this format is proving a success and at the moment they have no plans to return to dancing with groups or bands in the immediate future. The longest bar in Hastings is featured in their advertising and the range of entertainments that are offered. The prospect of the speed boat trips and the Paddle Steamers visits to add to the mix, from a business point of view, things are looking good.
Our Friday nights start as usually with the visit to Associated Rediffusion TV in London – Ready Steady Go – this week’s line up includes The Kinks: “ See My Friend” , The Yardbirds : “ My Girl Sloopy” The Breakaways and Bobby Solo.
At the Witch Doctor the music continues with some great groups. Saturday it is Blues Plus 5 and the Bubbles and Co- I just love some of these names! Plus records, 7.30pm to 11.45pm for ONLY 6/- . On Sunday it’s the return to the town of The Boomerangs who had previously appeared at The Happy Ballroom many months ago/ On Friday another welcome return with Trendsetters. The advertising has started for next week’s top act The WHO [but more about that soon] The weeks shows are completed with the record spinning team keeping everybody happy.
Saturdays for many of the younger listeners has always started with Children’s Favourites and this week the presenter is Jim Dale who has been working with Brian Matthew on Thank Your Lucky Stars. Saturday Club this week is a special from Blackpool and using many of the groups that we working the Summer Season along that part of the Lancashire Coast, included this week are Freddie & The Dreamers, Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas, Mark Wynter, Susan Maughan, Kenny Ball & His Jazz Men and The Karl Denver Trio. Mid-day saw a new show, “ Lance A Go Go “ with Lance Percival with according to the Radio Times “records and odd sounds “ At 12.30 it was “Pop over Europe” final concert from Tivoli Hall, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia. The weekly folk slot followed “Walk Right In” with David Gell. Saturday Swings this week featured Acker Bilk, The Bo Street Runners, Bill Rayner and The Johnny Spence Orchestra, addition toons and new releases introduced by Peter Latham. 4.00pm and it’s the Folk Room with The Ian Campbell Folk Group.
The Sunday Line-up included Easy Beat at 10.31, the weekly linkup between London and Cologne – 2 Way Family Favourites- was at noon, followed by the regular comedy shows. Peter Haigh with Movie Go Round at 3.00pm, this week features the sound track from The Beatles new release HELP. Alan Freeman followed with the nations Top Singles and Albums with Top of The Pops.
On television on Saturday David Jacobs chaired Juke Box Jury with Jackie Collins, Alan Freeman, Jackie Rae and June Thomson. This was followed later that evening with the second visit to The Royal Tournament. Brain Matthew on ABC with Thank Your Lucky Stars, this week featured Jim Dale, The Shadows, Marianne Faithfull, The Fourmost, Brian Poole & The Trems, The Rolling Stones and Millie Small.
Another week gone and some interesting entertainments in Hastings, until next week, make the most of the Carnival week activities, I will be on CFM with The Time Machine on Monday Evening from 8.00pm, and this week I am going to be including a lot of instrumentals and the legacy that Joe Meek left the music industry. Friday Night it will be – Ready Steady Go – all the best of Stax, Soul and Motown, plus I will be looking at The Witch Doctor and its importance to the musical history in Hastings.             Andre Palfrey-Martin©2015


The Happy Ballroom, Tom Jones and more 24th April 1965 by Andre Martin


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

What a great weekend we have just had with the Easter Bank Holidays, we will now have to wait another 6 weeks before anything like this again, remembering back The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, 50 years ago. It is now Saturday 24th April 1965, and the mood has changed with the entertainments in the Ballroom, this is going to be one of those weekends that we see future stars appearing for us { ed that the benefit of my crystal ball ] Topping the bill this week is an up and coming welsh vocalist who has been wooing the ladies, called Tom Jones with his backing band The Squires. Well supported by a new local group the Saxtet 65.
Along the promenade, The Witch Doctor is maintaining a good 7 day a week provision of the best in current music and live entertainments, this week we kick off on Saturday with The Quiet Five and the Diamonds, both of which have appeared in the Happy Ballroom at some time. Sunday it was R&B Club –The Mike Cotton Sound. Friday is going to be a big night for the club with the Belfast group –DECCA Recording act – featuring Van Morrison – THEM making their first appearance. And what a night it was, the venue was packed and the temperature just rose, I am not sure that the air conditioning had not broken down, but a simple description would have been “ it was Hot, Damned Hot “ In support were Folkestone’s own The Lonely Ones. That was another good week for us all.
Our Friday ritual of Ready Steady Go, had kicked off the weekend, this week with Cathy and Keith we were entertained by – Cilla Black “Ive been wrong before” : Tom Jones “ Once Upon a Time” :John Mayalls Bluesbreakers : Moody Blues : and The Paramounts. Another good line up.
Over on the BBC – Radio was filling the airwaves with some good stuff – Saturday Club with Brian Matthews this week included The Kinks : The Seekers : The Ivy League : Rockin Berries : Keith Powell : Lulu & The Luvvers . Later in the day Saturday Swings with Betty Smith : Tony Knights Chessmen : Jerry Allen Trio and Ronnie Brewster. Bruce Wyndham, in the chair spinning the records. Brian Matthews was back with Top Gear – described in the Radio Times as “Express delivery of Pop Packages and Discs, this week featured Dionne Warwick : Bobby Vee : Zoot Money Roll Band and The Lady Birds.
Sunday it was Easy Beat in the morning, and on the show this week Tom Jones [ Oh! He made it back from Hastings alright !!] Julie Grant : The Countrymen : The Atlantics and new releases played by Keith Fordyce.
Television on Saturday had us watching Juke Box jury with David Jacobs, and his panel this week included Val Doonican, Judy Huxtable, Peter Murray, Julie Rogers. Over on ITV we had Brian Matthews and Thank Your Lucky Stars – on this week’s show – The Zombies, Freddie & The Dreamers, Herman’s Hermits, Lulu & The Luvvers and the Moonstones.
Other mentions from the BBC radio schedules for the week, that some might find of interest, Thursday 1.00pm The Beat Show featuring Zoot Moneys Roll Band. And on Friday at the same time the Joe Loss pop Show, with special guest artiste – Tom Jones.
It does seem that we are getting back to the old days in Hastings, with presenting tomorrows future stars and current chart groups – long may it live!
Just leaves me to say a Big Thank you to an old friend and fellow DJ Colin Bell – for getting me tickets last night (Sunday) for the Sixties Show at the Congress, Eastbourne. It was a great night, and topped by both P P Arnold and Chris Farlowe with their duet – “ Private Number “ and not forgetting Mike Pender of Searchers fame with his set, I reminded him earlier that night in the Bar about last weeks (1965) appearance in The Happy Ballroom, for the Carnival Queen Dance, he asked me – “Hastings ? Is that where the Ballroom is at the wrong end of the Pier” ?? – Spot on Mike.
Also, what a great Saturday with the AGM of the Pier Trust and the update as to where they are in the programme and what we can look forward to in the coming months and it gets nearer the official Opening in Easter 2016. Till next week – you all take great care with yourselves, and watch out for all the events for the May Day Celebrations.
Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015