Looking for information on Malcolm Wrenn (might be Wren)

John Gale… This is going to be a very long shot, but im looking for any photos or a connection to a little “” combo ” my late dad played in back in the 70s, Dad played drums and he hooked up with a keyboard player from Battle, called Malcolm Wrenn (might be Wren),,, I think at one stage they had a guitarist / vocalist called Dave , but he emigrated. They went under the name of SOUNDS UF BLUE and had a number of residences, notably a weekend one, at the Railway Club, just above Warrior Sq Station on the hill going up from The Royal Pub opposite on the hill… It was always busy and there must have been others on here who ventured in there or even played there 🤞🤞. With all all the photos my dad had, we cannot find one of Malcolm,,, There’s a few of the club itself,, , I’m remember Malcolm being a nice guy and played a wicked Hammond style organ. They played covers of hits at that time Any info would be appreciated cheers (Dad would have looked like this below)

Shaun Pont… The name rings a bell with me. I think he went to Claverham when the school opened in 1955 with my uncle. If he is who I think he is then he lived on Battle Hill in the 1980’s.

John Gale… he lived opposite the petrol station down St Mary’s Terrace on the right,,, waa married but I can remember his wife’s name

Alan Green And His Boys – Hastings Pier 1938

Supplied by Kay Lobb via Jim Breeds HAPP Facebook page.

Jim Breeds… Here’s a great photo from Kay Lobb, who writes “Found this old postcard at my mother’s flat today. It shows Alan Green and His Boys on Hastings Pier in 1938. My mother still remembers nights spent on the pier, dancing to them.”

Nicki Dann… That’s my grandad !

Alan Esdaile… They are sitting on the staircase that went up to the upper small function room(before you got to the toilets and the long bar area). Looks like the same lino on the stairs in the 60’s/70’s !

Pete Fairless… Yes, twin staircases to the Palm Court.

Andre Martin… Spot on guys

Brian Dove… I think that top row right hand as you look at it is William Cook – Violin, Sax, Clar.

Clifford Exton… The man sitting on the bottom step right side of Alan Green is my father Ken Exton he was a trumpet player in this photo he is 26 years old

Clare Watts… Wow … Alan Green is my great grandad . It’s great to see a picture of him and the band . .


Ted Crouch Trio – Chateau Anglais Alfriston September 1973

Ernest Ballard… I played with this band and then moved on to a band called the wheelers and did a summer season at Combe Haven caravan site in St Leonard’s. We played 6 nights cabaret and 3 lunch times playing tunes from the musical “ The King and I . Great reminder of this memory

Julie Morris… They used to play at the Easter tea dance on the pier every year! Happy days.

Janine Anne Scott… I did the Easter Tea Dances with Ted. Happy Days.

Stephanie Blackledge – Dad played with Ted for years

Ricky Long… Had some good times there.

Eddie Friedberg… Those were the good ol’ days xx

The Temperance Seven performing on Hastings Pier on 14th April 1962


Photo by Anthony Morland. Supplied by Pete Millington.

Colin Fox… Saw them in a club in Sunderland when we were touring the north east in early 1970’s. Unfortunately not many people in the club, but they were brilliant and very funny.

Iain Cobby… Does that mean that the great Peter Grant who was their road manager later to be Led Zeppelin’s guru walked the boards of the Pier?

Mike O’Dowd… Skiddy-iddy-iddy……… For the uninformed who think i’ve finally lost it. the lyrics from the b-side of Pasadena single entitled Sugar.

Pauline Richards… Temperance 7 that’s a blast from the past!!

Ricky Norman Sound – 1970’s.



supplied by Len Smith Eastbourne Bands From 1960 on.

Ricky Long… First picture 1976 at Moor Hall Hotel. L–R Norman Bennett, Ricky Long, Roland Dann, Marcy Scott. Second picture I think early 70’s Winter Gardens. Same 3 guys with Jillian Wheeler.


Queens Hotel Hastings 17th May 1974.

Janine Anne Scott… Omg, I worked with Ricky too.

Andy Knight… By coincidence I am trying to track down Chris Dann, Roland Dann’s son who played bass with me around 1968/69, we did a gig in Battle Road, St Leonards I recall for the Youth Choir, with a guitarist whose name I can’t remember (Gary rings a bell though), if anyone knows the whereabouts of Chris or Gary that would be good. Tx

Christopher Dann… Hi Andy,  just saw this post so apologies for the late reply.  I do remember the gig in Battle road for the youth choir. The guitarist’s name was Gary Trent and he played a Gibson. He was in my class at the Grove.  I seem to remember that we only knew a couple of songs  !!

Ted Crouch and his band – Alexandra Hotel 1973


Julie Morris… Any posters of his Easter appearances on the Pier Alan?

Alan Esdaile… Had a quick look Julie but can’t find anything at the moment. If anything crops up I will let you know.

Alan Oliver… I thought The Alex would have closed down by 1973

Alan Esdaile… I know Spyke did a residency in 1972 Alan. Anyone confirm when The Alexandra Hotel closed as might be wrong on the date?


supplied by  Sarah Harvey

Jenny ‘Crouch’ Hayler… Ah my grandad x

The Happy Ballroom and more 29th January 1966 by Andre Martin

January is going past very quickly, we are now at Saturday 29th January 1966, and from all accounts the weather has turned a little bit cold, but more about that later. The Happy Ballroom remains the same, closed, and cold and quiet! The wind, rain and blustery sea is all that you hear when you wander down towards the sea end of the Pier.
The weekend would have kicked-off with Ready Steady Go on Redifussion TV at 6.30pm – on the show this week we saw Sandie Shaw “Tomorrow”: Small Faces “Sha La La La Lee”: The Who “ Circles”: Paul & Barry Ryan “ Have Pity on the Boy” the show would have been in the good hands of both Cathy & Keith. For those who might have had time to watch TV earlier that day, depending on your tastes, you might have seen Watch With Mother, Jackanory, Crackerjack and The New Comers !
Along towards the western end of the seafront, in Marine Court, the Witch Doctor is in full gear with entertainments 4 days a week, on Saturday we saw the return of “All Things Bright”, supported by “The Amboy Dukes”. Sunday Afternoon is now the regular slot for Trevor Olive with his Sunday Session. On Tuesday the Candlelight Spin is in the hands of a Witch Doctor regular Johnny Mann. Thursday Night is as always “ The Muscles Maxted Show “ All of these nights entertainments were tagged as “The Heat is On” – I will let you draw your own conclusions to that.
BBC TV & Radio output was very much the same, Saturday Radio – 10.00 “Saturday Club” with Brian Matthew and Matt Monro, Dusty Springfield, Fortunes, Silkie and The Echoes. 12.30 it was “The Jack Jackson Record Show”. 1.30pm : “Fanfayre” this week based on the music of Lionel Bart, later in the afternoon “Band Stand” with the music of the Band of The Grenadier Guards. 6.30pm Jazz with Herbie Goins & the Nightimers plus The Dave Davani Five. Early evening included “A Night at the Music Hall” and later the Ray Conniff Singers.
Sunday Radio, 10.30 : “Easy Beat” and noon “Two Way Family Favourites”, a weekly link up with UK and BAOR families and friends. The afternoon included Al Read, Jimmy Clitheroe and Joe Brown & the Bruvvers. “Pick of the Pops” preceeded “Movie Go Round” this week featured “The War Lord” “He who Rides a Tiger” and a special on the musical films of Elvis Presley.
Television on Saturday: “Grandstand”, “Juke Box Jury” with David Jacobs and his guests – Spencer Davis, Maurice Kinn, Marion Ryan and ano. The schedule later that evening included “Dr Who” : “Dixon of Dock Green” the film that evening was “ The Great Sioux Uprising “ starring Jeff Chandler. “Max Bygraves Entertains” & “Bewitched”
Sunday included “Bonjour Francoise” absolute beginners in French. Later in the day – The Lucy Show, Pinky & Perky, Songs of Praise, Dr Findlay’s Casebook and World Bobsleigh Championship from Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
Over on the Pirate Stations, Big L was going well, with the no 1 record for this week from the Overlanders – Michelle. Radio Caroline was having technical problems with regular transmissions as a result of running aground the previous week and never transmitted a top ten until the middle of February. That’s about all to report from 50 years ago, time is moving quickly and as mentioned the weather is colder!! But spring is just around the corner so we can look forward to some better weather – I hope. Until next week stay safe and warm.                         Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

Dance Bands – 1950’s Hastings Pier – name that band?


supplied by Alex Chapman – West Marina To Hastings Pier

Alex Chapman… A bit early for you but someone wanted to know the name of this band. Any ideas?

Janine Anne Hemsley… It definitely not Teds band but I recognise the alto sax player. Alec Bradley was his name . Will try to find out who H D was .

History Of The Happy Ballroom – 19th Dec 1964 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… History of the Happy Ballroom reaches the weekend before Christmas – Saturday 19th December 1964, and what I find surprising is that there is very little in the newspaper, editorial or advertising to say that its almost at Christmas, a couple of paragraphs that covers the week ahead. One item that I did pick up on was that amongst all the appearances of the Percy Howe Orchestra, is that on Boxing Day Patrick Dane and Club 69 will be providing the music in that evening – this is a change from the current musical policy, as Patrick Dane has appeared many times in the past with the Quiet Five in the Happy Ballroom.

This is a busy week, with lots happening for the youngsters in the town, The Witch Doctor – its 1st Christmas, has a full programme. Saturday its Christians Crusaders and The Rockin Eccentrics, the Sunday Club brings down Top R&B Group – The Meddy Evils. Wednesday we see some home grown talent – The Confederates make a welcome return. Thursday is Christmas Eve and topping the bill from South London Steve Marriott’s Moments supported by The Lonely Ones. And for those who want to get out on Christmas Day, there will be a record session in the club between 12.00noon – 2.00pm.
It is not unusual for venues to be open on Christmas Morning, if you look in the newspaper, you find that The Pier, The White Rock Pavilion, The Sun Lounge and even The White Rock Baths were open for a few hours on Christmas Morning.
The weekend would have kicked off on Redifusion TV with – The Weekend Starts Here – Ready Steady Go, and from Kingsway that week we would have been entertained by Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan fronting the show, this week featuring The Animals, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes and Petula Clark, no doubt saving up for the extra long show on Christmas Day next week. The BBC were doing well, with the Light Programme on Saturday offering us – Saturday Club, with Brian Matthews featuring this week – Dick & DeeDee, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer, The Countrymen, Rufus Thomas, The Chessmen and the Reg Tilsey Group. Saturday Swings [2.00pm] Frankie Vaughan, Karl Denver, Maureen Evans, Kenny Lynch, The Polka Dots, Sheila Sutton, The Bruvvers and back by request Wout Steenhuis [ this is a good example of the BBC paying attention to listeners requests from the town]. On Sunday Easy Beat [10.31] featured Pet Clark, Ronnie Hilton, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, the Seekers, Terry Lightfoots Jazzmen, musical support from the New Radio Orchestra, later in the afternoon at 5.00pm – Alan Freeman and Pick of the Pops
Amongst the television over the weekend, Juke Box Jury would have under the control of David Jacobs, and panellists – Marianne Faithfull – Sheila Hancock – Terry Hatch and Kenneth Williams.

We are set for another interesting week; one new feature to our entertainment would hit the airwaves at 6.00am on 23rd December 1964 – transmitting from 3 miles off the English Coats near Frinton in Essex – on 266 Meters in the Medium Wave Band – Radio London. The station had been test transmitting for the pervious week, but now they would be on air till August 1967. There would be other connections with Hastings and Big L – Radlon Sales from 17 Curzon Street – but more about that later. Until the next episode of the History of the Happy Ballroom [ don’t worry – we will get back to more stories from the Pier in the coming weeks ] keep warm, enjoy the coming week and Christmas Get togethers, and be safe, if you want to have a drink, then please do not drive – you know that it makes sense. On that note have a peaceful time and I will be back in time for Boxing Day.                    2014©Andre Palfrey-Martin