How The Railways Came To Hastings book

Supplied by Peter Ellingworth

Peter Ellingworth… Photo taken in 1956, after delivering a large transformer to the Ore power station sidings. I would assume they are heading back to be serviced/turned at the former West Marina steam shed. The front loco, class Q1, was a wartime austerity design shorn of any niceties with regard to appearance having been designed by Oliver Bulleid, and were very powerful and versatile machines lasting until 1966, used on both freight and passenger work capable of working up to 75mph. 33024 in the photo was, from records just checked, based at Tonbridge shed (code plate 74D) which can be just made out on the base of the smokehouse. St. Leonards was 74E. The second loco looks like a Wainwright C class , built 1900-1908 and which remained in service until the early ’60’s. I remember seeing them at Warrior Square. I believe the semaphore signals in the background are still there ? As is of course, the signal box. The old bridge can just be made out in behind the steam lifting from the safety valves of the ‘C’ class.

Rambler Coaches – The Rowland Years book by Stephen Dine

Book now available.

Douglas Palmer… I knew Colin Rowland from my Hastings 18 Plus days in the late 60’s and 70’s. He would drive the coach on our Saturday night pub crawl, not that he drank of course. My father was also a driver for Rambler Coaches.

Ju-ju Davies… I would love to look at this book, my late sister drove a coach for Ramblers


Hastings and St Leonards In The Front Line book


Supplied by Peter Ellingworth

Mick O’Dowd… I lent my copy to someone doing research on the subject who advertised in the H&SL O. Lived near the park. Never saw it again

Nigel Kennard… That’s nothing compared to what 4c did to the place in 1972!!

Phil Warner… (second photo) Norman Road?

Heather Sidery… Phil, looks like it. The school looks like Castledown Primary.

Clive Timperley… Heather, originally Priory Road Boys’ School 1891-1979. The Girls’ School was built next door in 1896. Converted in 2005 into a gated residential community known as Scholar’s Mews.

Lucy Pappas… It was the boys secondary school, now Scholars Mews x

Lloyd Johnson… That looks Like Mr Venn’s ( Bomb Head’s) class room which was our class room in the 50s…

Peter Ellingworth… This particular booklet of ‘Hastings And St Leonards In The  Front Line’ I showed to Alan at the last coffee meet was one of the original issues published just after the war. I believe the ‘Observer’ did a reprint some years ago.  Photos from top to bottom :  Bofors AA gun on the sea front, from what I can see almost opposite the start of Robertson Street – like a lot of seaside towns, Hastings did not get adequate anti -aircraft defences until well into the war, meaning Nazi planes could, and did, for a while do their dastardly work pretty well at will. Middle – Norman Road looking westward from the London Road end after the raid of lunchtime Sunday, May 23rd.1943. One of the German aircraft crew, a certain Lt. Leopold Wegner, an Austrian, took photos of his own on this raid and one of his published photos is taken virtually at roof top height, clearly showing King’s Road, back of London Road, Christchurch and Marine Court. Wegner was killed three weeks  before the end of the war. Live by the sword etc. etc …. My father worked on rebuilding the property as a post office (bottom right on photo) at the corner of Norman and London Road around 1960, which before being bombed was the Warrior Gate public house and had a narrow escape when a scaffolding clip falling from a height just missed his head. H & S was a lot more liberal then…. This raid by the way, was the same one which destroyed the Swan Hotel and Reeves’s antique shop in the High Street, and the second heaviest attack on the Borough until then, with the loss of 25 people killed, 30 with life changing injuries, and 55 slightly injured. My mother who stayed in Hastings for the duration lived at that time in Southwater Road , and clearly remembered the Doodlebugs passing, it seemed, straight up and directly over the road. She herself had a couple of narrow escapes from low flying machine gunning aircraft. Many Hastings schoolchildren were evacuated to Welwyn Garden City and St. Albans, near to where I live now during those terrible days. An excellent read if interested, is by Hastings born and bred author Nathan Dylan – Goodwin,  entitled ‘Hastings at War’ 1939-45. Bottom photo, as most would recognise straight away, is Priory Road School.

Peter Ellingworth… On further perusing the internet, it seems this Lt. Leopold Wegner, the ardent Austrian born and bred Nazi Luftwaffe ( Air Force) pilot who led the air attacks on Hastings and other similar towns speciality was the South Coast hit and run raids, targeting anything it could irrespective of not being for military use. On the Isle of Wight Fire Brigade’s website is an article of the havoc he and his units caused there entitled ‘Enemy of The People’, saying how this one individual was responsible for more death, injury, and destruction disproportionately than many of his compatriots. On 23rd May 1943 coincident with the Hastings raid I have mentioned, Bournemouth was also hit with 128 or more killed alone, aside from the many injured. I presume after taking off from their base in Northern France, Wenger’s squadron split over the Channel, wave-hopping to avoid radar, one half targeting Bournemouth, the other Hastings. The worst attack of the whole war on Hastings, again led by Wenger, was the Thursday afternoon one of March 11th 1943 in which after making landfall near Fairlight, they swung round and swooped in at low height from the north dropping 25 HE bombs and machine gunning at will, killing 38, causing life changing injuries to 39, with 51 slightly injured and causing devastation mainly to the Silverhill area.

Catherine Ireland… Amazing information

Alan Esdaile… Yes thanks Peter for posting, lots I didn’t know.

Micky Erends… LIoyd, remember bomb head Ven well. Used to be the odd picture of him sketched on some of the desks!!



SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Cream: Clapton, Bruce & Baker Sitting on Top of the World San Francisco, February–March 1968 Book

CREAM, CLAPTON, BRUCE & BAKER – SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD -SAN FRANCISCO- FEBRUARY-MARCH 1968  Book.     Edoardo Genzolini  (additional contributions Tony Palmer & Bill Halverson)
It’s not so often these days I review music books, compared to the many reviews of new editions of mainly 60’s & 70’s music i regularly publish. However, I am more than happy to present this new handsome tome to you, kindly sent to me from its American publishers Schiffer Publishing. Given its subject it couldn’t really have arrived at a more apposite time given the recent passing of Pete Brown, lyricist for much of Cream’s and Jack Bruce’s work. I know many of you reading this will have encountered Pete in the last few years, when he chose to live in our part of the world up until his passing in May. So, let’s get the physical book details noted first. The book comes in hardback form, 9inch X 9inch, beautifully printed from its embossed cover to its 144 pages containing (on high quality paper) some 175 colour & black & white photo’s many not seen before, there are some glorious performance shots. The title is self explanatory, this is a meticulous and lovingly crafted in-depth look at Creams performances at 2 legendary San Francisco venues. The Fillmore and The Winterland. It was at these 2 venues in February 1968 that Cream established their reputation in the States and were captured on film by British documentary filmmaker Tony Palmer and recorded on audio by Atlantic Records. This, i have to say, quite remarkable work, will tell you EVERYTHING you could possibly want to know, on and off stage, about those legendary times when Cream were arguably at their pinnacle. Reading the foreword by the author Edoardo I immediately recognised a kindred spirit. Edoardo is an Italian who lives and works as a teacher in Perugia, Italy. Born in 1991 as he morphed into a teenager from 12 to 13 he discovered Cream through hearing their music whilst indulging in his other love, the movies. I can completely empathise with that, music and film have been my 2 lifelong passions. This leads him to write with an enthusiasm, and yes, a complete love of his subject. The amount of research he must have done is phenomenal, but I’m guessing it was a complete ‘labour of love’. He delves into the minutiae of the band’s performances with relish, whilst providing anecdotes and meticulously examining what may have been a short time period, but an incredibly important one in music history. A lot of music books are often ‘dry’ but not this one. Obviously, it will appeal to Cream’s most die-hard fans the most, but the casual reader will also be well rewarded. The venues the concerts took place at are also historically important in the annals of rock. The old Fillmore Auditorium still exists, sadly The Winterland Ballroom doesn’t. This book apart from providing all the information on Cream’s performances, will also serve as an invaluable reminder to those patrons that were lucky enough to attend these venerable venues in their heyday. And that’s important, i know from my own perspective from all the venues i have played at in my career that no longer exist physically, but live hugely in our memories. To summarise, this is a book that preserves for posterity in infinite detail an exciting period in the raw power trio that was Eric, Jack & Ginger who in their time set the rock world alight. And finally, here’s the kicker for this reviewer, where i have to be nonest, before i get letters from regular readers of mine who will know, i am not and never have been a Clapton fan. it may be heresy to all you guitarists, but its the truth. However, did i enjoy Cream in their day? the answer to that is a big fat truthful yes! I understand Edoardo has also written a book on The Who, Schiffer if you want to send a copy this way………
Til next time…..stay safe…..Colin
Available from Gazelle Book Services.

Gridlock Spumes and the Case with No Name book by David Muriel and Bruce Veness

photos supplied by David Muriel

Book… A spine-tingling adventure, not for the faint hearted. Zany wordplay abounds in this crazy caper featuring ace detective Gridlock Spumes and his cross-dressing sidekick, Doctor Phuckwytte Prunestone. The story begins with the bosomy Lady Bulimia Puke tearfully revealing all, as she recounts the blackmail demands she has been subjected to, since her sojourn in a French ‘Sanatorium’. But all is not as it seems, as a series of disguised villains lead our gallant duo a merry dance across the Channel and back again. This dastardly two-step culminates in a discovery that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of British society, along with Doctor Prunestone’s best ball gown.

About the authors… Born in 1943, Bruce Veness and David Muriel spent their childhood in Hastings, meeting at the art school there. They then pursued different careers, Mr Muriel studying Graphic Design and Mr Veness Fine Art. Having worked in industry, both gained further experience in education, teaching in their respective subjects. Now retired, Mr Muriel lives in Kent and Mr Veness in France with his wife, Jill. Having an abiding interest in comedy, Mr Muriel has written a contemporary play, while Mr Veness, having a similar creative flair for the theatre, now designs, acts, and directs with his actress wife in their own theatre company.


The Clot That Almost Killed Me book by John Kingdon

John Kingdon… Dear all, I am pleased to inform you that my book, “The Clot That Almost Killed Me,” can be purchased from Amazon, from today. Please join me on my very difficult journey.  With my one eye, which I lost the sight of during a stroke last year, my one good finger on one hand, I managed to write this account of being a stroke survivor. I thank all who have given me their precious time to help me to achieve this. A simple story, spoken in a very straightforward way, but with an extremely big measage to survivors; dont give up, fight on whatever you succumb too, there is always another way.  25% of all of my royalyies are pledged to The Stroke Association. Bless you all, Thank you for your support, John

Colin Norton… Here’s wishing John every success with his new book!!

Andy Qunta… All the best to you John.


I’m Nearly Famous – The Tales Of A Likely Lad – Tony Rivers Autobiography book

The man Cliff Richard called – “The Miracle Man of Harmonies”

Tony says… A large section of the book is focused on the crazy Cliff Richard era. We worked not only with Cliff, but many other artists from Elton and George Michael on Live Aid to making hits including a number One with Shaky, plus studio time with Pink Floyd, Year Of The Cat album with Al Stewart, Lulu, Linda Ronstadt, INXS, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, recorded two albums with The Shadows, another with Gerard Kenny, others were with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The London Symphony Orchestra, Barbara Dixon, Sheena Easton (in Caribou Ranch Studio), toured the World several times, made the US top ten with Devil Woman, oh and I sang The Likely Lads TV Theme (and for a lad from Shildon, Co. Durham that’s great).

The book can be ordered from

Robert Searle… Have this book Alan,a great read and very interesting. Tony has had a great musical career.

Catherine Ireland… Will get this