Budgie & Fokker Triplane – Hastings Pier 23rd April 1982

poster supplied by Gary Uwin. Ticket supplied by Tim Moose Bruce

Steve Reents… I LOVE Budgie!

Gary Uwin… poster spotted in Platform One Records.

Ian Brown… Definitely remember them went to see them at Manchester apollo

Tim Moose Bruce… Went to that one. Still got the ticket!

Mike Guy… Good old Budgie, played our local youth club before they made it in the States, or anywhere else.

Phil Gill… I saw Budgie that night but I don’t remember the other Fokkers.

Alan King… time just flew by

Alan Esdaile… that’s a cheap comment

Andy Davies… I’m sure I saw Budgie a few times on the pier in 70s. All I remember is the Roger Dean graphics,no recollection of the songs at all. Saw another old git on the prom the other day wearing a budgie tee-shirt, and wondered could I even listen to them today!!


The last piece of the ballroom. Hastings Pier 18th Oct 2014




photos by Alan Esdaile

Today the 19th October 2014  The Ballroom has now gone.

Mick O’Dowd… Nice pics Alan. Bit of history in the making.

Pete Fairless… Do we think that little bit of masonry is going to be retained?

Chris Baker… The Turdis returns! 😀

Mick Knights… Wonder if they ever found the Glo-Yo I lost at the Ten Years After gig?

Alan Esdaile… Any idea what happened to the last bit of steel framework? I thought they might have kept a piece as a lasting memory and have displayed on the new pier.

Andre Martin… Not sure, other than Simon Opie told me that nothing was worth saving as it was in a really bad state, and very difficult to collect safely.

Eric Cawthraw… Alan, you ought to get hold of a bit of the old pier and have it mounted and labeled: “Hastings Pier – Johnny Masonry”. Yep, that’s awful, but I couldn’t resist.

Here’s how the Pier looks on the 25th October 2014.


photo by Alan Esdaile

The Happy Ballroom and more. 11th September 1965 supplied by Andre Martin.

It’s time for a catch-up, with everything that has been taking place over the last couple of weeks ion Hastings this year, I must turn back the clock 50 years to Saturday 11th September 1965. On the Pier, the Old Time Music Hall is still going strong, but their season is shortly to end, and a winter programme be introduced.
Ready Steady Go, has as usual started off the weekend in usual style, and Top of The Bill for this Friday night are The Rolling Stones, included in their set are – “Oh Baby We Gotta Good thing Going” “ Satisfaction “ and “That’s How Strong My Love Is” also on the programme talking to Cathy and Keith somebody who has had an influence on the boys – Andrew Loog Oldham. Support this week came from The Preachers, Chris Farlowe, Goldie & The Gingerbreads and Manfred Mann “ If you gotta go – Go Now” all of this kept together by Cathy and Keith.
The Witch Doctor has very little to report, and certainly, there is little advertised, although my spies tell me that there were plans for a refurbishment of the club and a change in management, so more to follow, but the Hastings & St Leonards Observer was keeping very quiet.
BBC Radio and Television, we starting to settle down to the Autumn Schedule – although there did seem to be very little change! Radio – The Light Programme – Saturday we had 10.00am Saturday Club with Don Moss, and included this week The Hollies, Herman’s Hermits, Ernestine Anderson, Zoot Moneys Big Roll Band and Garry Blake and His Music. Lunchtime it was Mark Wynter followed by David Gell and “ Walk Right In” Country Music. Saturday Afternoon has changed with the introduction of FanFayre at 2.00pm which are repeats of some of the “Swing Into Summer” shows that had been presented, and this week it included Julie Down and The Settlers. Folk Room followed this at 4.00pm with Lorne Gibson and Silkie. Another new programme on Saturday early evening was “Altogether” with the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir under the direction of Alun Williams.
Sunday Keith Fordyce introduced Easy Beat including the BBC Top Tunes Listeners and Viewers Own Popularity Chart.!!! Lunchtime, it was Two Way Family Favourites. Alan Freeman was along at 4.00pm with Top Of The Pops, and at 6.00pm Cliff Adams and his singers – Sing Something Simple.
Over on Television, the main pop shows were BBC – Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs, and this week’s panel was made up of Vaal Doonican, Dudley More, Barbara Ferris and Marian Montgomery. Nothis recorded for this week from Thank Your Lucky Stars.
There you have September 1965 – things are about to change? what will the Autumn bring, we will see, I do hope that you were able to make the best of the last couple of weekends in Hastings, the weather was not all that good at times, but there certainly was a lot to do, with Heritage Open Days, Save Our Heritage and The Seafood and Wine Weekend, next to come along will be Hastings Week and The Bonfire Celebrations – good times for all, but take care of yourselves.
Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2015

Hastings Pier Ballroom – how many legally did it hold?


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… We often get asked about the permitted numbers who could be in the Happy Ballroom, I have found the following document, and thought this would be of interest, you need to follow it down to get the final figure – Bob Knights must have applied his own counting method, or was it Ricky in the Toll House ????

Pete Fairless… Now let’s see the documents that show how many tickets you sold, Andre!

Jim Breeds…  Wow, that’s interesting. And how many were allowed if they were all stamping their feet in unison demanding an encore?

Last chance to take a photo of the old Pier Ballroom before the barge removes it, in Sept 2014.


photo taken September 2013 by Alan Esdaile

supplied by The Battle For Hastings Pier  Facebook page…..

Construction update 20th August 2014

We are almost 40% of the way through the project; labour on site is now in excess of 40 and continuing to increase. Progress has been good with the favourable weather conditions. On the Parade Extension, 62 of the 64 trusses to be replaced have been completed as well as approximately 250 deck beams. This means that we have renewed more than one third of the structure and two thirds of the decking has been renewed. On the central section 16 of the 78 trusses have been replaced with trusses and decking following on.

The refurbishment of the Bandstand Pavilion has started. A complete new support structure has been inserted beneath the building. The building has been stripped out, temporary supports are being inserted and the floor will now be removed and reconstructed. The next stage is to remove the roof and construct the new zinc roof. The jack-up barge will be arriving in early September; from this we will start the demolition of the Ballroom. It will also be used to re-instate the columns and beams at the Pier Head that were destroyed in the February storm. We expect the barge to be here for about four weeks.

The old balustrade that was removed from the East side has been shot blasted, de-salinated, and repaired. It is now going through the painting process and will be brought back to the Pier in three week time. The next significant operation will be the piling for the Visitor Centre, which is being finalised and should be carried out in September. The new steel support structure will then follow and the laminated timber building erected on top.

Mark Edir… “take away the old ballroom ” ???

Kevin Burchett….its now sitting off winchesea i think its waiting for the tide to go into rye harbour to pick up a crane and supposed to be in hastings on monday when i last looked it wasnt showing on www.marinetraffic.com only the tug towing it mts vulcan 2

Andre Martin…. Safest way to remove all the debris at the sea end of the Pier, and to carry out the steel workings also required to make that end safe – Simon Opie CEO Pier Trust was telling us about this part of the operation earlier in the week – fingers crossed for good weather for the next couple months


Alan Esdaile… Took these photos today 13th Sept 2014. Pier ballroom, its still their! I thought the Tardis had landed but on closer inspection its a portaloo?  It doesn’t look like any flooring under it, so hope they won’t be going straight into the sea.

Redstar Ritcher…when you gotta go…..? surely not – one man`s piss has gotta go inland – up the road to the bus-stop – along the Bexhill road and out into the sea – water companies gotta keep the shareholders happy – and a free ear-infection with every dip !

Matt Thomas… ha ha ha I had noticed that as well

Pete Fairless… I  suppose that bloody Doctor is going to claim he was at the Pistol/Hendrix/Stones/Who gigs, now?

Andre Martin… Now Now Pete – we have the ability to re-write History lol

Gary Kinch… That portaloo has got to be an improvement on the original ballroom loos.


The Honeycombs – Hastings Pier 29th August 1964 by Andre Martin

Andre Martin…Here we are at the end of August 1964, and what an exciting month that has been for us in Hastings – this is Saturday 29th, and we are back at the Happy Ballroom, for the next episode of its musical history. Has the Pier management decided to start the fight back against the new local competition, and start booking bands that are building their own reputations, this week we have The HoneyCombs and the support from Brighton – Shelly – formerly known as The Sabres, who were about to embark on a future playing in Europe, and would become top names in both Denmark and Scandinavia within the next few years. This was to be one of the last appearance from the band in Hastings.
The Top of the Bill, The HoneyCombs – started in November 1963 as an amateur band founded by Martin Murray, Its members were Murray, a hairdresser, his salon assistant Honey Lantree her brother John and two friends, Originally they called themselves the Sheratons. The group played dates in the West End of London, and at the Mildmay Tavern a North London pub. Among those attending an appearance of the band in February 1964 were aspiring songwriters Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley. Howard and Blaikley would become a prolific British songwriting team, writing songs recorded by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, the Herd, Lulu and even Elvis Presley, but in 1964 they had just started their career They got into conversation with the group, which appeared interested in a few songs the duo had just written. The group had already arranged an audition with indie record producer Joe Meek The audition resulted in a recording of Howard and Blaikley’s “Have I the Right?”. Meek himself provided the B-side, “Please Don’t Pretend Again”.
“Have I the Right?” was released in June 1964 on the Pye record label. Louis Benjamin Pye’s later chairman rechristened the group The Honeycombs, a pun on the drummer’s name and her job as a hairdresser’s assistant. The sales started slowly, but by the end of July the record started to climb in the UK Singles Chart. At the end of August the record reached No. 1. “Have I the Right?” was also a big success outside the UK, hitting No. 1 in Australia and Canada, No. 5 in the US ] and No. 2 in the Netherlands. Overall sales of the record reached a million. The Honeycombs also recorded a German version of the song: “Hab ich das Recht?” Both the English and the German versions reached No 21 in the German charts: the English one in October, the German one in November 1964. That would have made the Pier Managements day – with a No 1 Hit record recording group playing in the Happy Ballroom. Elswhere the competiton at the Witch Doctor would have been the regular 7 nights a week, plus Sunday afternoon offering with such artistes this week as Neil Langdon & The Burnetts, Dave Champion & The Strangers, Peters Fables and Danny Mitchell & The Sound Sensations. Top billing that week would have been on the Sunday with Alexis Korner R&B Incorporated featuring Herbie Goins. The Weekend would have started off with the regular TV trip to Kingway London for Ready Steady Go, and on this weeks show —Gerry and the Pacemakers – “It’s Gonna Be Alright.” –Dusty Springfield – “Can I Get A Witness?”–Mark Wynter – “Love Hurts.”–Lulu – “Can’t Hear You.”—Filmed acts appearing “Rag Doll” (Four Seasons record).–a “You Never Can Tell” (Chuck Berry record). So that it for this week everybody – now looking forward to September 1964 and all that will hold for us in Hastings & St Leonards !       Andre Martin

Andy Qunta… ‘Have I The Right’ – Another gem!