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.

José Feliciano – (Rye International Jazz Festival) De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill 8th May 2020

José Feliciano is a true music legend, nine-time GRAMMY award-winning artist including lifetime achievement honours, plus multiple other nominations with over seventy million record sales worldwide.

José Feliciano has released more than sixty albums in both English and Spanish, on a variety of labels, collaborating with an extraordinary array of artists. José became a household name with his cover of The Doors’ Light My Fire but he’s also a classical composer and has been called “the greatest living guitarist” by critics worldwide.

More information & tickets…

Paul Crimin… I met him once. Very nice man.

Booker T Jones – De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill 9th May 2020

Rye International Jazz Festival presents… Booker T, a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, winner of four GRAMMY Awards and recipient of a GRAMMY Award for Lifetime Achievement, Hammond B3 organ.

Join us at the iconic De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Saturday 9th May to see one of the most acclaimed, respected and legendary American multi-instrumentalist, songwriters, record producers, and arrangers.

For tickets and information

Osibisa – De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill – 1975


supplied by Mick Mepham

Mick O’Dowd…….Brilliant band! Anybody got any pics/info on The Famous Rondini Brothers. They were so famous I can’t remember them!

Peter Pursglove……Did security for Osibisa at the De la warr ,excellent night but a sitting down concert just did’nt seem to work for me. We also did a gig for Paul Casson and Joe Devito up in Sussex or Kent with Curved Air they were really good.

Alan Esdaile…..That was Chatham Town Hall, Peter and you probably also did Baker Gurvitz Army at the same venue?

Peter Pursglove……One of the bands was either German or Dutch and they were good too.

Alan Esdaile….The dutch band your thinking of Pete, might have been Thijs van Leer, the guy that was in the band Focus? I remember seeing someone playing a hammond organ literally throwing it around the stage as he played it and panic set in a couple of times when it looked like it was going to roll into the audience.

Julie Morris… Even mentions Supertramp – one of my favourite shops. Talk about blast from the past! Think it was in Robertson Street.

Alan Esdaile… Well remember Julie. Yes it was in Robertson Street, a few doors along from what was Hall’s the shoe shop

The Clockwork Oranges and The Maze – Beat Rave – De La Warr Pavilion 8th November 1967

Andy Qunta… Beat Rave! What a great phrase that is!

Alan Esdaile.. from Wikipedia… Origin of ‘rave’ (1950s–1970s) In the late 1950s in London, England the term “rave” was used to describe the “wild bohemian parties” of the Soho beatnik set.[2] In 1958, Buddy Holly recorded the hit “Rave On,” citing the madness and frenzy of a feeling and the desire for it never to end.[3] The word “rave” was later used in the burgeoning mod youth culture of the early 1960s as the way to describe any wild party in general. People who were gregarious party animals were described as “ravers”. Pop musicians such as Steve Marriott of The Small Faces and Keith Moon of The Who were self-described “ravers”.

Andy Qunta… Thanks for that, Alan! All hail to the ravers!

Dave Nattress… As I’ve remarked before “Raves” – (Beat Raves) and Bexhill never seemed to make sense. Can you imagine much in Bexhill raving? But that’s what the concerts were called for years and I don’t think any of the bands that appeared there were exactly ravers either back then. I don’t mean this disrespectfully I promise as I started creeping in to raves at about 15 in 1968. There were certainly a few biggish names appearing for sure – mainly pop. I saw The Consortium – “All the love in the world” and I think Chickory Tip – “Son of my father” and others. Probably managed half a pint of Watney’s Red Barrel as well on occasions before getting sussed. For me, and I’ve said this before, undoubtedly the best band I saw there was T2 supported by Bexhill’s own Kult. Mesmerising stuff – I’m back there right now!!