Wards of Hastings – Christmas Is Coming…

John Gale… Ooooh that lift, loved that

Fred Marsh… Their jacket potatoes were the best

Mike Waghorne… My uncle Jack Morris worked there in the 60’/70’s

Pauline Smith… Mike, my Mum worked there too for a while during the 60s.

Wendy Weaver… Loved their little restaurant overlooking the arcade.

Teresa Goacher… Thats where I used too get my school uniform from…

Dawn Campbell… Oh wow – Yes, remember getting fitted out for my school uniform there every year and then after leaving school would go to the restaurant, where I discovered the best jacket potatoes – great memories!


Stallion – Hastings Pier 27th Dec 1975


supplied by Sarah Harvey

Phil Gill… Well I must’ve played that gig, but I’m blowed if I remember it. And “Disco”…crap name for the support band. Who were they?

Roger Carey… Was about to say I played this gig but now recall doing similar show at Pier 31 December 1974….

Phil Gill… I was at that one too. The bouncers threw everyone out early, presumably they wanted to go off to their own parties…

Chris Sambrook… Could have been some young carpet fitters from the Isle of Wight doing extra gigs to earn some money. They were named after a Douglas Adams creation what is the the meaning of life….42. Not really. Be nice to think Mark King was that disco/funk bass player. Who mentioned Bass Players. Get on up, get down. Just taking the p p p sss lads.

Aquarius – Christmas 1971 with Steve Maxted, Hot Chocolate, Arthur Conley & Rock Candy.



ad supplied by Sarah Harvey. Arthur Conley photo Atco Records

Mick O’Dowd… Don’t remember Arthur Conley being there but I saw Percy Sledge & Ben E King along with The Elgins & Gene Latter at one point.

Leigh Wieland-Boys…  I was there the night Hot Chocolate was on

HMV report sales of one vinyl turntable per minute over Christmas 2015.

Thanks to Tony Ham for finding this.



Peter Fairless… I saw that, window full of ’em. £99 for the USB version

Chris Meachen…  I’m fortunate enough to own four decent turntables, a couple of which are at the very ‘hi’ end of ‘fi’. I’m looking forward to enjoying revisiting a lot of my vinyl collection once I’m settled into the new workshop…

Peter Fairless… Four is just greedy, Chris! I’ve two and they still get used, occasionally. Most stuff I have on the laptop now though.

Chris Meachen… Two of mine are stashed and in the attic as spares, & are likely to need some minor attention, one is included in the living room system which I don’t often get to use, but the other is going to be in the new workshop, where I will be setting up all my best stuff & can listen while I work..

Mick O’Dowd… Noticed Tesco in Hastings now has a selection box of vinyl! I think i’m going back…..

Peter Fairless… A selection box?

Jim Breeds… Chocolate vinyl Pete. (I believe in miracles). I think the USB ones that HMV were selling even play 78s, which is annoying, given that I have two Hastings orchestra 78s I haven’t been able to play yet (and some 78s that my Mum bought in the 1920s), and there’s no way I’m replacing my existing USB turntable just to get 78rpm backwards compatibility.

Paul Sleet… Must get all my old vinyl back from my son! He never plays it as he’s away travelling.


Aquarius – Christmas 1973

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Don’t know a lot about Tony Morgan’s Muscle Power but they also recorded a version of  The Equals hit Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boy and Racial Segregation written by Eddy Grant.

Claire Davis… Johnny Baker (John Baker) if that is the same one, still comes to Hastings and meets Tony Davis , they both DJd together at the Aquarius.

Year End Episode of the History of The Happy Ballroom 1964 by Andre Martin

Here we are at the end of the year episode of the History of the Happy Ballroom for 1964; we have just experienced the Christmas and Boxing Day entertainments, and all the additional activities that would have been included on the Pier for your entertainment, the Bingo, the Coffee Morning Dances and not forgetting the Fishing. The next big date will be NEW YEARS EVE featuring the resident band – “The Percy Howe Orchestra “the Pier Company had offered some special rates for the 3 days: 6/- single and 10/- ALL DANCES. – That does seems very reasonable for what’s on offer, or is the competition very strong from alternative venues? Only time will tell.
So what else have the youngsters been up to over the Festive Season – please tell us in no less than 100 words c/o The Hub, White Rock, Hastings via email 1066heritage@gmail.com – we will select the best answers and publish later in January. I will speak with the CEO[Simon] and see if we cannot get a small prize to be given out.
Of the published activities, we would have started off the weekend on the Friday 25th, with an hour long Ready Steady Go, not bad – on the show this week – Dave Berry & The Cruisers, Wayne Fontana & Mindbenders, The Four Pennies, Herman’s Hermits, The Nashville Teens, The Searchers and Sandie Shaw and complete with Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan. But it would have been a different night, as there were very few places to go I can only recall one pub in the old town – The Anchor, and clubs and ballrooms, with the exception of some hotel, where it would have been for guests only. The Witch Doctor did follow with tradition and open for a few hours around lunchtime on Christmas Day for a Record Spin, and it was FREE 12.00noon-2.00pm
Boxing Day saw the Pier and Witch Doctor back in full swing, at Marine Court it would have been a festive day, starting with Junior Spin at 10.00am – 2.00pm : 2.30pm-6.00pm Live Music with the Outcasts. 7.30pm – The Unit 4+1 and local attractions The Talismen. All day ticket from 10/- and that would cover till 11.45pm as it was a Saturday Night, and no late extensions. The Sunday Club featured the Voodoos, Wednesday was the visit from The Mindbenders – if my memory serves me correctly, there was a good crowd in the club that night, and the Mindbenders came out on stage and as they struck the first note there was a bang, all the electrics went, and we were only left with emergency lighting. They were unable to reset anything for that night, and the show has to be cancelled. The Big problem was that Thursday Night was New Years Eve, and the problems had to be resolved so that 24 hours later everything would be geared to that – it was on 31st December, the acts at the clubs that night were John L Watson & The Hummelflugs + The Blues Creatures plus records 7.30pm – 01.00am all for 7/6d. Friday Nights 1 January 1965 – The Migil 5 took centre stage.
BBC Light Programme for the Boxing Day did a classic Saturday Club wityh Brian Matthews including Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, Joe Brown & The Bruvvers and The Beatles. Saturday Swings [2.00pm] Gerry 7 Pacemakers, The Searchers, Sheila Buxton, The Vicounts, the Seekers, and the man they cannot keep off our Radio – Wout Steenhuis – rumour has it that some fans of his keep writing the Controller General of the BBC and request this artiste to be included!!!!
Juke Box Jury that weekend on BBC TV – the Panel Alan Freeman, Nyreen Dawn Porter, William Rushton and Susannah York.
The next episode will take us into a brand new year – 1965 – and all that was going to change – but more about that as we tell the story of the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier.
On a personal note, New Years Eve 1964, I spent with several friends from the town in Trafalgar Square, we had gone up in the afternoon of 31st December in 2 cars, from memory I recall that amongst the party were, Dave Bargioni, Lester Tilbury, Hans Herald, John Gillies also I thought the 2 Pats from Bexhill, but I cannot recall any other names – it was an experience.
Till next year – take great care on NYE……..
2014© Andre Palfrey-Martin

Andy Qunta… Great write-up, as always, Andre! Just about every artist you mentioned I loved, even the Juke Box Jury panel! In those days I loved every record I heard! Not so now!

Alan Esdaile… Agree Andy, Andre makes it really interesting and brings back so many memories. I used to love Juke Box Jury and remember most of the time disagreeing with my parents on what was going to be a hit.

Andy Qunta… See, I even like this! Of course, it sounds like The Shadows, so I’m bound to like it!

Mick O’Dowd… Well done Andre on a fascinating and informative series of posts this year. Memory joggers and nostalgia rolled into one. A big thanks to you and keep your pen sharp for 1965!