Bob Marley’s first gig in the UK 1972 was at De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill by Mike Curtis.


live in concert in Dalymount Park on 6 July 1980. source: Eddie Mallin

cutting Bexhill Observer 8th July 1972 source: Bexhill Museum

Mike Curtis… A bit of local music history.
1. Bob Marley and the Wailers’ first ever UK gig was at the De La Warr Pavilion.
2. Paul Simon played DLWP 30/8/1965, with Shirley Collins.
3. Paul also played at The New Inn in Sidley at around the same time.
4. Paul Robeson played at DLWP, pronouncing it to be be the best venue, acoustically, he had ever played.

Anyone lucky enough to go to any of these gigs?

Yvonne Cleland… I thought Bob Marley and the Wailers’ first ever UK gig was in Nottingham. When are you claiming they played the DLWP? Do you have any documentary or pictorial evidence please? Oh no, hang on, he toured as support for Johnny Nash first, with Wailers as backing band. Spring-Summer 1972. However, did 2 shows at Bexhill and Bexleyheath without Johnny Nash (I think). All info gratefully received plus any documentary evidence. This needs to be in Bexhill Museum archives!

Yvonne Cleland… The first ever Bob Marley gig in the UK – at the DLWP: Found out more from an old newspaper at Bexhill Museum. On the bill were:- Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Equals and Johnny Nash. It was a charity event.

John Gale… I had no idea about this, 2 Legends there.

John Winch & Brian Golbey 1963

Supplied by John Winch

John Winch… from 1963 of me (playing banjo) with Brian Golbey (One of the only Brits to win a Nashville country singer award for best singer) playing fiddle. We guested a few times at the Sidley Folk Club and also at the Nelson Folk Club of that period.

David Betts… Remember it well. The New Inn Sidley was run by me and Colin Potter, we also played the Nelson Hastings, Dolphin Eastbourne and ran the Black Horse Telham.

Mike Curtis… Was the Sidley folk club at the New Inn. Apparently Paul Simon played there? He definitely played the DLWP – I was talking with Shirley Collins who played on the same bill. Shirley said Paul was bottom of the bill………..

Let’s Go To The Hop – Harry R & The Jump Jets De La Warr Pavilion 5th Oct 1983


supplied by Pete Prescott

Tim Moose Bruce… Was this the band who’s singer ‘s name was Norman D Ferrys?

Phil Gill… I played bass on that gig. I think we did three of those shows and they were always fun.

Colin Fox… We also got booked for a few private parties as well. One at Herstmonceux castle, the pub in Catsfield and Kings club in Eastbourne.

Pete Prescott… We also did the Valbonne club in London with Sam Fox. P.J.Proby was there (Looking rather odd in a tartan hat with fly fishing hooks stick in it). I’ve got a photo of that night. I’ll dig it out. I had to learn 48 rock and roll songs in one week ! We then cut that down to 24 and concentrated on those. Had some fun gigs.

Stuart Moir… Loved every minute of those gigs, sang backing vocals with Colin Fox and  Chris Howard. The girl dancers and the whole stage setting was 1st class. I’d love to see the photo at the Valbonne club, covered backing vocals with Colin Chris and Dave, it was a powerful 4 voice line up

Chris Howard… Loved every minute At the Hops, we put on a great show.

Stackridge – Hastings Pier 27th September 1972 & Bexhill De La Warr with Stallion 16th November 1975

26234_385826203709_7553249_n img681

13330_369636443709_3407838_n 5men_adog

ticket and poster supplied by Mick Mepham

Terry Pack…. was too young (14) to have gone to the Pier to see Stackridge in 1972. I went to a lot of gigs between 73 and 76 before I went pro, after which I almost never went again for many years, being too busy playing myself. I really enjoyed the gigs on the pier, often enjoying the support bands more than the headline acts.

Phil Gill of Stallion….At the De La Warr I remember playing bass and 12 string at that gig – we had an idea for a Genesis type song and if Mike Rutherford could do it, then… It was also one of the last gigs Stallion played with Tony Bridger on guitar. I was also present at the Stackridge pier gig and remember it as big fun.

Terry Pack.…That was one of the first times, if not the very first time, that I heard you play, in that case, I suspect, although I might have heard you on a gig or two in Hastings before that. As you know, I can’t remember very much about the distant past! I don’t actually remember the De La Warr gig, I just recall going to it and enjoying it. That was a good period for music in Bexhill, usually a bit of desert for gigs that weren’t Centre Page.

Michael Mepham…. still have one of the Stackridge dustbin lids. They were for the song Let There Be Lids (dustbin ones) Hurrah!

John Wilde….Yep I performed with Stallion this night.

Martin Waghorne… Great night @ the De La Warr. Can’t believe it was only £1:00.

Lucy Pappas… Goodness! I’d forgotten all about Stackridge but I was definitely there!

Mick O’Dowd… Saw Stackridge at Wembley Stadium with Elton John/Beach Boys/Eagles/Chaka Khan & Rufus and many more. Think it was about 1972.

Pete Fisher… 21st June 1975…I was there! Must have missed them, as I remember the first (and best) band was Rufus…left after two songs from EJ, who was definitely not the act to follow the Beach Boys…

Mick O’Dowd… No he wasn’t Pete. Stackridge were early on. Beach Boys had the weather (sun sun sun) in the afternoon and Elton played “Cpt Fantastic” album track by track( a dirge) and lost the crowd. When he played the hits the place cam alive!


The Kult – 60’s promo photo.


supplied by Jan Warren

Dave Nattress… Great photo – takes me back to the late 60’s and early 70’s – my underage drinking in various small venues where the Kult played loads of gigs around Bexhill. They were THE original local heavy/progressive/rock band back then and really should have become big.

Jan Warren… I been waiting for someone to mention The Kult, as you did in a post of a Hastings Pier gig from 1967 – I’ve had this B & W photo of The Kult since the late 60s, I remember the guy, 2nd left lived in Bexhill ……. does anyone have any more news of these guys??!! I hope we get some response as it would be interesting to know what happened to these guys??!!

Chris van Rock… Interesting ….. as the southern death cult became ‘ the cult ‘ in later times.

Alan Esdaile… Bob Searle will be able to tell you more about this photo Jan. Chris, Southern Death Cult (and then Death Cult I think, remember the Mickey ears) and The Cult have no connection with The Kult.

Chris van Rock… Yes I know , just the reuse of the name

Michael O’Driscoll… Photo taken shortly after I left and Bob took over bass. On the left is John Hale (Custer) who still lives in Essex.(drums). Next to him is Bob Searle who still lives in Hailsham.(Bass). 3rd from left is Pete O’Driscoll ( my brother) who lives in Scotland and just completing yet another house (Vocals) and on the right is Richard Melhuish (Sunshine) Lead guitar.He has lived in California, USA since the band split and has played in several outfits there. I was more than likely on the camera. When we became the Cult first, people changed the writing on the posters so we became The Kult. There was a band of youngsters in the west country who went under the name of The Kult and I think a couple of bands in the EU now have the same name. My younger son, Dan runs several businesses including Serenity Drums (they will hand make anything from a snare to a complete kit) and they export them around the world. He is a drummer or singer depending on the band he is with at the time. His 4 year old son is learning Guitar and his 18 month old daughter has drum lessons from him on Sunday mornings. She drums with her tongue hanging out like Mick Fleetwood. GOOD TIMES…….Happy New year to you all X

Chris van Rock… Brilliant memories

Robert Searle… Nice one Mick.

Dave Nattress… Nice for Michael O’Driscoll to post these interesting comments. The Cult/Kult were the band we followed back in those days in and around Bexhill. Jan, look around the SMART site and the www – there are certainly a few posts, photo’s and one (at least) recording to be grabbed. Personally speaking, the Cult/Kult was the local band from way back when that I had hoped to get some information on for such a long time and it’s been great to see the posts about them.

Jan Warren… Thanks for your comments Dave, I lived in Bexhill back then too so I’m always interested in memories/pics from the 60s and 70s!! 🙂

Harry R & The Jump Jets – The Continental 1982 & De La Warr 1983


The Continental Bexhill 22nd September 1982supplied by Pete Prescott

Pete Prescott, Terry Pack, Dave Easton, Pete Shaw, Andy Caine and Ray Fenwick.




The De La Warr Pavilion 5th October 1983 supplied by Pete Prescott

Pete Prescott ….it was one of those short lived (and everyone new it ) fun bands.ray was good at getting everyone on board and organising rehearsals.i learned 48 rock and roll songs in a week.the best 24 were picked and the rest dumped.i could still sing most me then now.we all learned a lot.especially how good rock and roll is.and how influential it is.

Robert Searle… Good pictures of Pete and great picture of some great musos.

Jane Hartley… Nice legs!

Phil Gill… You wouldn’t want to take any of ’em home to meet your parents, would you?

Harry Randall… I’m wondering what’s happened to them all?

Janet Rennie… Lovely boys

Mark Gilham… What is it with Ray and promo pics?

Pete Prescott… Great band ! Andy and Ray played so well. Fantastic players. We had our moments.

Terry Pack…  did a number of recordings with him, including a country blues album(!). I liked him and he was a very good player: much more than a rocker.

Andy Caine… Bags of fun!!!

Martyn Baker… Great band photo!

Pete Shaw… What fun we all had..before Harry R, during the mad days of Harry R and after where we all did a bomb burst back into more mad music in varying bands!! Great lessons learnt…22 minute guitar solos..easy!!!

Pete Prescott… Yeah ray solo Andy solo Andy Qunta solo Tony Qunta West solo ray solo in a blues jam. 28 sodding minutes ha ha !

Phil Gill… I believe Rev Stockdale’s mum met several of them one morning when she walked into her living room and found them asleep on the floor.

Pete Shaw… What fun we all had..before Harry R, during the mad days of Harry R and after where we all did a bomb burst back into more mad music in varying bands!! Great lessons learnt…22 minute guitar solos..easy!!! And I’m allegedly a drummer…!

Andy Caine… Making as much noise as possible!

Martyn Baker… I’ll have you know, my parents met at least 3 of them.

Vera Lynn – Colwall Court Bexhill and Hastings

supplied by Richard J. Porter

Ewan Smith… Met her there, used to help my mother out with her charity work.

Jacqui Gibson… That used to be a great charity… we often took our children there. Heaps of stars would were there…. it was a heap of fun. Including a dear friend Peggy Cummings who was a dear friend of Vera Lyns

cutting supplied by Jim Breeds

Jim Breeds… Vera Lynn in Hastings.
On Saturday 17th August 1957, Vera Lynn, who died today aged 103, was in Hastings. 22 town criers from all parts of the country were in town for the National Town Criers’ Championship, held on the Parade Extension in front the pier. There was particular local interest in that year’s championships because the Hastings Town Crier, Mr. W. A. Cruttenden, had won the title the previous year. This year’s judges were to be Vera Lynn, “the popular singer”, and Norman “Don’t Laugh at Me” Wisdom, “acclaimed as Britain’s foremost funny man”. The Town Criers marched in procession from the Town Hall to the White Rock Pavilion “dressed in their picturesque uniforms and ringing their handbells” to be greeted by the Mayor, Alderman Hussey, who took their salute. A fanfare of trumpets heralded the arrival of each competitor on the platform specially erected on the Parade Extension. The Hastings Crier lost his title to 54 year old Herbert (“Whisper”) Waldron of Great Torrington in Devon. Vera Lynn, Norman Wisdom and the other judges sat behind a screen so that they could not see the Criers during the contest. Vera later said that she had never enjoyed herself so much, or laughed so hard at Norman Wisdom’s antics. Norman himself was dressed “in his tight little suit and familiar cap” and was “nearly mobbed, particularly by autograph hunters, and his passage to and from the Pavilion was spectacular”. The competitors, judges and officials later took tea in the lower hall of the Pavillion. Miss Lynn later said that she would not have missed this event for anything. Pictured are the Mayor, the Mayoress, Norman Wisdom, “Whisper” Waldron, the winner, and Vera Lynn. Source of story and photo: Hastings and St. Leonards Observer, 17th and 24th August 1957 editions. ©Johnston Press plc.

Richard Moore… Dame Vera was Chairman for a couple of years at Collwall Court,  in Bexhill where I raised funds for , five years.


Blue Bayou – Country & Western Bexhill group

supplied by John Gale

John Gale… Dad, Tony Gale, had a small spell drumming for a bit of country, with Bexhill outfit Blue Bayou, wasn’t his favourite spell, don’t think he liked squeezing into the pink leggings

Mick O’Dowd…This is a name i’d forgotten. Played with them (DJ) many times and they were a friendly group, regulars at Pebbles when I was there. Competent band.

Jan Warren… I was at School with Carol (Shoesmith), my Mum and Dad liked Blue Bayou

Phil Gill… So he didn’t go back someday, come what may, to Blue Bayou?

Dave Nattress… Blue Bayou were quite a name band around the Bexhill area late 60’s early 70’s. Did see them. I remember Carol Shoesmith from school maybe a couple of years above my year. Her Sister Linda was one of the “babes” of the year I was in all the way from from the age of 7 to 16 and later had a fashion shop – boutique (they were called) in Western Bexhill. I think Blue Bayou must have played on for some years.