Who remembers the maypole, slide and rocking horse, in the Alexandra play park – 1973?

photo © Sarah Morrow


shared photos © Sarah Morrow

Mick O’Dowd… Memories!!!

Judy Atkinson… That could be me! There used to be one in the playground near Red Lake school. And a witch’s hat

Jackie Willett… Yes the maypole! I spent most of my childhood hanging from it! The best was when you took your pole over the top of everyone else’s then they started walking and pulling! You could fly up and round practically horizontal! The only way to stop would be to scream or just throw yourself off! My hands always had blisters and we loved it! I don’t recall any injuries (not sure how!) Happy days!! I take my grandchildren to parks now and apart from swings, I think they are quite boring! Everything just wobbles! Imagine if they bought back the maypole now? Oh god, I’m old!

Kathy Harding… My sisters and i spent a lot of time playing on this in the park as we lived nearby, we loved it!!

Kathy Wood… Oh that was the most amazing thing. Getting grazed and bruised was the sign of having a fab time

Jacky Mattelaer… I remember the one near Red Lake school very well. Spent a lot of time playing there

Mick O’Dowd… Jackie, Me too! I lived just up the road.

Jacky Mattelaer… I lived in Rye road, 2 doors from the Kings Head. Happy days

Jane Hartley… Loved it, my favourite

Dennis Torrance… The roundabout there spun around hanging on tight for less injuries lol felt quite sick afterwards lol. Same for most of rides there

Angela Frances Gardner… I loved this we used to swing really high. Such fun!

Lauraine Brown… Favourite. Had loads of fun and scraped knees in the play park.

Dennis Torrance… No fear of anything at that age I used to climb the west and east hills to now look and shudder

Rosie Paddington… Oh yes! There was one of those where I grew up in Chislehurst. The rowdier boys tended to monopolise it!

Alan Esdaile… Bangs on the head, blisters, cut knees, dried blood, bruises everywhere. The only worry was to hide the holes and tears in your trousers! Wonderful days.

Dennis Torrance… So true Alan

Allan Mitchell… I remember those days

Pauline Sims… I remember those days – that could have been me too!

Tracy Birrell… I do. The proper childhood days, when children were allowed to be children.

Graham Sherrington… the rocking horse im going back to the early 60’s walking around hastings on ones own not a care in the world

Phil Dance… When a slide was a slide, swings swung as high as you could make them, horses bounced too high sometimes and rocked off their mechanism, roundabouts spun so fast you were thrown off, and sitting on the maypole handles whilst someone spun you around. Cuts, bruises, grazes, broken bones, scuffed shoes and torn clothing. We knew how to play hard

Jan Chandler-Smith… Broke my foot on a seesaw! My cousin got off and I went down with my foot wrapped underneath! It was a Sunday afternoon and my Dad took me to the cottage hospital in Crouch End but they couldn’t do anything. So we had to go back on Monday and get ambulanced to Whittington Hospital for my broken foot to be set in a plaster cast. Still have the bump to prove it! XX




Alexandra Park Hastings – boats

Tracy Howell… Why they ever changed, kids would of loved. I did

Lyn Farkley Appleyard… Tracy, We were ALL happy with things kids (and even adults) never experienced. Life experiences will never be replaced by any computer game……..

Angela Frances Gardner… I loved the rowing boats in the park. So sad when they were taken away.

Sandra Cunningham… My cousin Jo used to work on them in the 60s x

Pauline Sims… Good times!

Lloyd Johnson… In the 1950s I remember building a Jetex model of the Bluebird boat. Alan Mitchell and I took it to the boating lake ,luckily it was on a long piece of fishing line. We lite the fuse of the Jetex motor and it went off like a rocket and then dived under the water at high speed….smoke everywhere!…

Alan Mitchell… I remember it well !

Amanda Russell… I remember watching fireworks there…over the boating lake…it was awsome.

Lyn Farkley Appleyard… Sheer bliss……

Bernard Goffredo… And now it is a filter bed for water instead of being something built for the Public to enjoy

Linda Boiling… remember them well. Shame we don’t have them anymore

Allan Mitchell… Good times!

Tony Qunta… Such a shame! Bad idea taking them away, just like it was a bad idea replacing the cricket ground with a shopping area!

Mick O’Dowd… I spent many hours here as a lad. On the boats and sailing my pond yacht (whatever happened to this hobby?)

Marilyn Spence… “Come in number 2!”

Tracy Birrell… My first boyfriend rowed me across the lake on a date.

Dennis Torrance… I remember well iced over in 63 playing on the boats happy times and fireworks there Wednesday nights and ice cream hut there small block of ice cream in a wafer

Keith Veness… Great time there

Ashleigh Humberstone… This park is unfortunately so drab. Nothing like this now. Play Park is just terrible go home with nothing but rope burn, wish they would get rid and build a better one!

Alan Esdaile… still looking for photos of the maypole.


Her Majesty The Queen funeral – Monday 19th September 2022 on the big screen in Hastings

Hastings Borough Council...

There will be a big screen in Alexandra Park on Monday 19 September showing the funeral of Her Majesty The Queen from 10am.
Hastings Borough Council is organising the event, in partnership with Love Hastings, the Business Improvement District for Hastings, who are paying for the screen.
The screen will be set up in the park near the bandstand. There will be no seating provided, so anyone wishing to come along and watch the service should be prepared to stand for the duration or bring a chair or rug, or to sit on the ground. Please also dress for the weather as the event will be outdoors and uncovered. Anyone who needs assistance should make themselves known on arrival at the event, there will be support and facilities available.
Toilet facilities in the park will be open and nearby, and the Eat@ café which operates from close to the bandstand will be open and serving refreshments. There will be stewards to help on the day, thanks to Hastings Borough Bonfire Society for providing these.
More information is available online:

Anyone remember the aviary in Alexandra Park Hastings?

Sean Fox… Yes was still there in seventies

Paul Merison… Yes. Definitely there late sixties and early seventies.

Lesley Bowles… I remember it fondly and always think of it when I walk past that area

Daryl Perkins… Def there in the 70’s

Diane Leigh… Yes

Kathy Wood… Yes, we moved here in 1973 and I remember going down there. Pets corner was great too

Peter Brazier… I think it closed in the mid to late 70’s as I remember taking photos with my first camera! I got it at the Grove school fete and jumble sale!

John Busbridge… It used to be over the stream near just past the block of toilets opposite the bandstand.

Barry French… I worked as a gardener in Alexandra Park during the early 1970s & remember the Budgerigar aviary well. Also during this time one of the lakes near the bowling green was home to a pair of Australian Black Swans.

Patrick Turner… Yes remember it well and l worked as a kid on the boating lake in my summer holidays good time come in number 9 your time is up.

Vivienne Gibb… Yes

John Mcewen… Yep. Vandalised like everything else!

Carol Arnold… Yes I do!!

Carol Acott… Yes

Tony Davis… Yes been searching for photos. If anyone has them please post

Ray Barry… Yes I do remember it on the Blacklands Church side, ducks and budgerigars is all I can remember.

Jane Collins… I remember those days! We were in the park regularly & always stopped at the aviary

Dennis Torrance… Remember the birds some were quite stunning but unfortunately it was being vandalised before the powers that be got rid of it

Chris Boorman… Pretty sure that’s my mum and brother!

Sam Rosewell… Vividly!

Allan Mitchell…Yes I remember But Was Quite Young.

Tony Court-holmes… yes my nan would take me there as a kid

Jenny Power… Yes used to take my youngsters..lived along the road.The aviary straddled the stream…

Sandie Carlyon… I do. Loved to see them

Steve Cooke… Remember it well from my very early days. Good too see a photo of my memories!

Dawn… Oh yes I do – I loved it – I went there constantly when playing in the park as a young girl – then played either table tennis, grass tennis or putting that was near by. Good times!


Alexandra Park Hastings 1972

Matt Thomas… I remember watching the Wednesday night fireworks from that bank

Tracey Bourner… I remember falling in there and having to walk home. I was about three years old by the way.

Sam Rosewell… My grandparents lived in Queen’s Lodge back then – the park was my favourite playground as a very small child!

Tara Reddy… if you have stories or photos please share, we are collecting images for jubilee project.. https://www.facebook.com/artintheparkaop

Sean Taylor… how the park should be

Tracy Howell… Loved the boating Lake

Claire Triance… Those really were the days

Jimmy Stonham… We use to play in the park all the time as kids, always trying to jump the river at them widest point, I always fell in

Graham Mccallion… How lovely the park was with boating lake and the birds

Alan Esdaile… Searching for some photos of the play park with the maypole if anyone has any.

Yvonne Cleland… Loved that maypole x

Alan Esdaile… They wouldn’t allow it now!

Dawn Hyland… Awww fab memories we were so lucky when we were kids xx

Steve Dadson… The bowling green. Shame this is a sight we no longer have…

Mark Bailey… The bandstand hasn’t changed at all

Tony Demarco… Shame about the lost trees

Dawn… Loads of great memories playing in the park. The swings were much better with the maypole there, we had a putting green, table tennis and the bird aviary all along near the toilets – brilliant!

Lee Twigge… Didn’t there used to be a miniture railway running along top of that bank?

Barry French… In the early 1970s I was working as an assistant gardener in Alexandra Park, & had the dubious pleasure of being part of the team that cleaned out the boating lake (The dirtiest most smelly task I have ever undertaken) The Observer sent photographers down to take some pictures of us caked in mud, but I dont think they were ever published (Least I hope not!). The Park always had something going on back then, with country fairs, car shows, sheep dog trials & live music. I too remember the Budgerigar Aviary plus the miniature train that run along the the bank opposite the war memorial. I also remember the Swans & many variety’s of water fowl that lived in the ponds near the Bowling green. At 4pm Mums would bring their kiddies to see one of us gardeners feeding the ducks from a bucket of grain. The Alexandra park of the early 1970s was run on, which would now be described as, green principles. Many of the bedding plants were grown at the (Now demolished) corporation nursery along Wishing Tree Road. At the end of the season plants would be uprooted & returned to the nursery so cuttings could be taken for the following season.
During the Autumn & early Winter the leaves were racked up from the lawns & used as compost. Overtime things change but Alexandra Park is still a beautiful place & were very lucky to have it.

Steve Cooke… Ahh, the days. when we had a boating lake – and duffle bags! Bowling green. What a loss!





Hastings Carnival Beer Festival – Hot Pursuit Alexandra Park 14th July 1983



poster and photo of Hot Pursuit supplied by John Williams

Featuring Sunstroke, Hot Pursuit, Jazz Caverners, Sturdy Beggars, Dr Miller Needs A Brain, Louis & The Bitterhalf, Telham Tinkers and Brian Boru.

John Williams… My old band in the Park – Hot Pursuit comedy show band. Featuring Derick Macey, Terry Tollan, John Williams, Patrick Green and Daniel Bruce Tollan. That’s me with the tambourine god takes me back, red suits.

Fireworks – Alexandra Park Hastings July 1969

Who remembers going to the firework display in Alexandra Park?

Janie Lowe… Yes i remember i lived in st thomas road west hill and used to walk down to the park. to Queens Road. My Mum and Dad had a printing business in Whitefriers Road

Dennis Torrance… I sure do remember old stage green and cream covered and fireworks on far side

Paul Slidel… I remember it well!

Jim Breeds…  I remember standing at the gate in Lower Park Road selling entrance tickets in the early 70s. I worked for HBC and if memory serves me right, I earned 50p in overtime each night that I worked. For context, I think beer was about 10p/pint (again, if memory serves me), so well worth doing.

Terry Corder… Me!

Josie Lawson… I do…

Mick O’Dowd… Went several time and once got told off by my Mum for being home late. She told me that next time I must be home by 10pm. I went and the fireworks didn’t start until 9.30 so I caught bus home and missed them. When I got home Mum asked how they were I said because I didn’t want to incur her wrath again I had come home at agreed time and missed them. Never again was I given a “firework curfew”!

Sarah Harvey… Towards the end of this video on my youtube channel shows some of the Wednesday Night parties in Alexandra Park. It shows dancing on the lawn and the fireworks at dusk…

Nigel Sherwood… Gay Gordon’s and March of the mods I thought we’re favourites on the night

More Expandis rarities 1983 supplied by Roger Carey.



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photo, poster and play list all supplied by Roger Carey

More Expandis rarities. supplied by Roger Carey who played bass for the band in 1983.

Photo from Vines Cross Festival near Heathfield (Top of the bill was The Enid) L-R David Miller guitar/vocals, Roger Carey bass, John Wilde vocals percussion, Phil Thornton keyboards/vocals. Poster – Rumours Club Hastings 22nd July 1983 & Alexandra Park 23rd July 1983. Set lists. Probably from a gig in London and a gig in Bath. Notice the van hire charges totally £40.00.

John Wilde… Wahooo. Nice save Roger!

David Miller… Great pic of a great day and other fine stuff – nice one, Roger….

Yvonne Cleland… What a picture, what a photograph! Good find, Rog! x