picking up Radio Atlanta in 1964 thanks to Attwells.

Pete Fisher… When we got Rediffusion I adopted the valve radio we’d had in the kitchen and installed it on my bedside table around 1966 I think. A mate of mine at school gave me a tip and said I should get about 50 feet of single cable and plug it in the aerial socket, trail it around the room and down the side of the house. It worked a treat and I got Luxembourg and all the pirates…

Jim Breeds… When I was a teenager Mum had a metal (steel, I guess) clothes line that ran all down the back garden, starting just below my bedroom window. I connected some bell wire to it, and ran it up the outside wall to my bedroom window. On the end of the bell wire I put a connector to plug into my transistor radio’s aerial socket. It brought in Luxembourg, Caroline, and loads of other pirates loud and clear. One day my Dad spotted it. He told me I’d get the house burned down in the next lightning storm! Quite a bit later, when Capital Radio launched in London, I could pull in the FM signal quite well in some weather conditions. That was back when Capital was a rock station.

Tony Court-holmes… we could get radio luxemberg on rediffusion before bbc 2 came along

Who remembers buying piano music in Attwells 22 Grand Parade St Leonards?

Josie Lawson… I remember the address now too. It was my first transistor radio I bought there. I used to listen to radio Luxembourg on it at night, and I believe the pirate stations, I think I was 16 years then so was in the 60s. Thanks Alan for finding it…

Barry French… My mum played Piano & would pop in there for sheet music , & I’m sure I bought guitar strings from there. (These were made by Cathedral & were always breaking)

Fiona Evans… I do & clarinet reeds !

Mark Hardwick… Black Cat Pub and Grill.

Part exchange your piano for a radiogram or television in 1965.

Was this still called Attwells in 1909?

Roy Penfold… in 1911 the shop was Hermitages, listed as a pianoforte dealer with branches here, Robertson Street, Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells. (source 1911 Kellys)

supplied by Roy Penfold

Josie Lawson… I bought a transistor radio sponsored by my dad…It was called His Masters Voice

Matt Thomas… HMV

Kasa… I live in Hastings, and own an old PYE Valve Radio with an Attwells stamp on the side of it, So i started researching and there ain’t a lot i could find! Great to see those old ads too.


Hastings Records Shops by Tony May for Hastings Town Magazine

As regular readers will know, I have a very soft spot for all things musical and have written a number of articles for H.T. about local record shops and characters associated with them.

Well, I’m delighted to inform you this month that a new website called ‘The British Record Shop Archive’ has been set up by another such enthusiast, Leon Parker.

The aim of the website is not just to record for posterity the name of every record shop to ever open its doors in the U.K. but to also make sure that the social interaction, culture and day-to-day way of life that was buying a physical music product from a real person over a counter is documented and remembered.

Having been in more record shops than Sir Richard Branson over the years I have been having a whale of a time contributing photos, memories and memorabilia to the site and you will be glad to know, have personally made sure that Jack & Sonia London’s ‘The Record Shop’ webpage has been royally decked out and the part they played here in Hastings for 44 years properly recorded.



In fact, Hastings Town has played quite a large part in helping me to see that Hastings record outlets are not forgotten. As well as my article on Jack London, I have contributed my article ‘Remembering Alan Jensen’ about the man we knew and loved as ‘Big Al’ of The Disc Jockey and submitted the photos our sadly missed friend, Ron Fellows, sent me of Stylus Records.

Being a true ‘anorak’ I also sent in photos of a few old local record shop bags I found stored away in the loft as well.

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Its sobering to think now that at the height of the popularity of vinyl records in the 1980’s there used to be thousands of independent record shops in the U.K. In 2009 that figure had dropped to just 269 (according to The Independent newspaper).

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