The Mobiles – feature – Hastings Town Magazine July 2015



supplied by Tony May

The Mobiles in the new July 2015 Hastings Town Magazine.
A two page feature on The Mobiles by Tony May in the new Hastings Town Magazine. Thanks to Tony for giving SMART a plug and a number of people here are mentioned.

Helen Downton… Hi, I read the article by Tony May in the Hastings Town magazine about The Mobiles with interest today. Its always nice to see articles etc.. about them still. One small point! Chris Brambleby was a drummer in The Mobiles for a short period of time before their success. It was to Russ Madge and Chris Downton that Anna Maria was introduced by Tim Phillips. It was also Chris Downton who played in The Mobiles from 1980 until 1983 and then when they briefly reformed from 1988 to 1989. It was Chris Downton who was in the Beez Neez. I know this as I am married to Chris Downton! We are in regular contact with Tim Phillips, Russ Madge, David Blundell (who was the bass player of The Mobiles) and Tony Norman (manager of the band). Chris is the only one now living local to Hastings.

Tim Phillips… I haven’t got a copy but it sounds as though the wrong Chris has been named as the Mobiles guitarist. I have been informed by the right Chris’s (Chris Downton) wife lol. I think that the Chris mentioned in the article (can’t remember his surname) was a drummer who played in a band pre Mobiles.

Tony May… Hi Helen/Tim Many thanks for your posts. Most of the information I used in the article I either knew from personal experience or gathered from other people’s post here or from the net. Its easy to get wires crossed -especially when gathering information on two musicians with the same first name – so I probably got my info mixed up. I hope both of the Chris’ will accept my apology for the mix up – as an amateur recording artist myself I know how irritating it can be when you don’t get the credit you deserve – but hopefully the fact that i cared enough about the band and its history will serve as a consolation to you both. I never did hear back from either Anna Maria or Russ Madge…

Tim Phillips… Hello Antony. I can quite understand how wires can get crossed specially when you’re trying to write an article about a band that ceased to exist more than 30 years ago. It is good that you are interested enough to write an article about the band.

Helen Downton… Thanks Antony. Easy mistake! Chris appreciates your interest even though it all happened such a long time ago. It’s great that people are still interested.

Neil Cartwright… Very small point: it was Garry King (drums) and myself (bass) who played the showcase gigs 1988-89, and it was Chris Downton (lovely player) who tutored me through the basslines. We practiced at Clive’s studio and at a village hall in Pevensey.

Tim Phillips… Talk of The Mobiles has brought back many memories so I dug out this photo of a very young yours truly & an even younger Anna Maria.


Steve Graham… Helen, I’m trying to contact Chris or anyone else from the Mobiles regarding a book I have written on Rialto Records covering the label history, discography, artists. Any recollections are welcome and you’ll at the least get an all colour book or two for the family in return,  many thanks.


Hastings Records Shops by Tony May for Hastings Town Magazine

As regular readers will know, I have a very soft spot for all things musical and have written a number of articles for H.T. about local record shops and characters associated with them.

Well, I’m delighted to inform you this month that a new website called ‘The British Record Shop Archive’ has been set up by another such enthusiast, Leon Parker.

The aim of the website is not just to record for posterity the name of every record shop to ever open its doors in the U.K. but to also make sure that the social interaction, culture and day-to-day way of life that was buying a physical music product from a real person over a counter is documented and remembered.

Having been in more record shops than Sir Richard Branson over the years I have been having a whale of a time contributing photos, memories and memorabilia to the site and you will be glad to know, have personally made sure that Jack & Sonia London’s ‘The Record Shop’ webpage has been royally decked out and the part they played here in Hastings for 44 years properly recorded.



In fact, Hastings Town has played quite a large part in helping me to see that Hastings record outlets are not forgotten. As well as my article on Jack London, I have contributed my article ‘Remembering Alan Jensen’ about the man we knew and loved as ‘Big Al’ of The Disc Jockey and submitted the photos our sadly missed friend, Ron Fellows, sent me of Stylus Records.

Being a true ‘anorak’ I also sent in photos of a few old local record shop bags I found stored away in the loft as well.

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Its sobering to think now that at the height of the popularity of vinyl records in the 1980’s there used to be thousands of independent record shops in the U.K. In 2009 that figure had dropped to just 269 (according to The Independent newspaper).

Read more

St Clements Caves Hastings? Who was the band? Can you help asks Tony May

Tony May…Tony from Hastings Town’ magazine here! I found this old, slightly blurred B&W photo in a box up at ‘Teddy Tinkers’ and I think it may have been taken in St Clement’s Caves. What do you think? Can you identify any of the people in the photo? Any light you can shine on this would be appreciated!

Steve Cooke… Great pic. Home made bass.

Monica Bane… Alan!, Was in the Caves around 1958. Double bass player I’m sure was Johnny Griffith’s
And Jeff Coats on banjo

Alan Esdaile… Looks like St Clement’s Caves.

Mick O’Dowd… I agree Alan. Probably late 50’s

Josie Lawson… Try find David Hartley Tony. He used to be a manager at St Clements caves. I used to go there a lot.

Elvis Curtis… Sorry no idea if you know a guy called Sid in the old gits network group. He may know, hope he can help

Hastings Town Magazine – May 2017

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Donovan photo 1965 Jac. de Nijs / Anefo Nationaal Archief  Punks photo Rejects and Reprobates the Site Facebook page:

Tony May has a write up about Sally James on Saturday Scene and Tiswas in this months issue. His letters from Keith mention that Donovan in the early 60’s set up home in a Pill-Box outside Hastings. Anyone know anymore information? He also has a write up on Hastings Punk Rock Days with photos from 1970 & 80’s plus lots more. Now available from your local newsagent.


Hastings Town Magazine – February 2017


In this February 2017 issue, Tony May has his latest ‘Letters From Keith’ feature, with Keith talking about his chats with Leonard Cohen, Melanie, Mary Millington and Kate Bush. Also Tony’s write up on Charlie Hutchinson and the memories of  the album Hutch Hutchings Feels Like Rain. Many comments from people in SMART.  Lots more interesting features and now available from your local newsagent.

Jan Warren… I hope I can get this in Bexhill, I would love to read Tony’s article about Hutch Hutchinson!! 🙂

Dennis Torrance… The old building on where the entrance to Morrisons is now remember waiting there to get bus to school

Martin Stringer… Can I get it in Ireland?

Tony May… For those of you wanting to know where you can pick up a copy of the magazine the best thing you can do is contact the Editor, Jim Hollands via It is possible to take out a subscription and have the magazine sent to you electronically wherever you are. Ask Jim for more details…


Hastings Town Magazine – September 2016

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September 2016 issue of Hastings Town Magazine, features a four sided tribute from Tony May, to the sad loss of ‘Mr Merchandise’ Alan Gaywood. Tony also writes about ‘Letters From Keith number 9’ with further info on Ruperts People Reflections from an interview with Colin Bell. Keith also suggest another Whiter Shade Of Pale sound alike ‘ Reputation’ by ‘Shy Limbs’.  Also in this issue is a feature on Conquest Hospital Radio from Jeff Belton plus lots more. Now available from your local newsagent.

Hastings Town Magazine – August 2016

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In this months edition Tony May talks about the sad loss of Alan Gaywood – Mr Merchandise with full tribute due in next months issue. Also Tony’s review of Harvey Summers & Laura Cole recent gig at The Printworks and the latest Letters From Keith number 8.  Keith reveals some  of the background to  Rupert’s Peoples Reflection Of Charles Brown and Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade Of Pale. Lots of other features including 100 years of Hastings Postcards feature on Judges Postcards. Now available from your local newsagent.

Hastings Town Magazine – July 2016 features from Tony May


In the new edition of Hastings Town, Tony May has a special feature, in his Great Characters of Hastings column, on Dave Arnold. In the latest episode of ‘Letters From Keith’ talk is on pirate radio and the various tribute singles, Kevin Carlyon, Hutch Hutchings, favourite song of all time, Enya and much more. Now available from your local newsagent.


Hastings Town Magazine June 2016 by Tony May.

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Tony on his ‘The Tony May Pages’ is talking about Harvey Summers, Hastings Pier website, Battle Rock Choir and Factory CD review. As well as his ‘Letters From Keith’ column, with Keith talking about when he met David Bowie, Ed Stewart, Episode 6 on Hastings Pier plus lots more. Now available from your newsagent.

Hastings Town Magazine – May 2016 and The Record Shop chat.


photo supplied by Tony May

Among the features in this months Hastings Town Magazine May 2016 are… The View From The Pier book by Anthony J Berry, Tony May’s thoughts on the reopening of Hastings Pier, Hastings Pier the early days, Hastings Pier is born again and The Dolphin Rock A Nore. Also the latest instalment “Letters From Keith’ including the above great photo of Jack London in The Record Shop. Chat about answer records, single b sides to flip and remembering Keith Emerson with talk when Jimi Hendrix was going to join ‘Nice’ and they would have been called ‘Help’ and collecting record shop bags. Congratulations to Hastings Town on reaching your 100 edition. Now available from your local newsagent.

Peter Fairless… What a great picture!

Steve Sampson… Is that Brian London ?

Dave Stevens… Jack London

Jim Breeds… Awwww. Wow, I can smell it – paper and plastic. Wonderful memory! Any clues as to date from the LP covers? I don’t think I recognise any for certain. There’s music cassettes on the right, and a picture disc above those. 1980s?

Lynn Graham… Dear old Jack

Peter Fairless… Diana Ross, ‘So Close’, single, picture bag, makes it 1983, Jim.

Alan Esdaile… Well spotted Pete. I think it is Culture Club Time above this.

Peter Fairless… Yes, ‘Time (Clock Of The Heart)’ released in November 1982. I’m going to call this as the end of January, 1983

Chris Meachen… I miss Jack and Sonia.. They gave me my first kitten.. Jack would often come out with the most inappropriate things.. “Were you breast fed?” being the one I recall most vividly…

Mick O’Dowd… Jack & Sonia. What a duo! They sold my Mum my first Dansette and knocked a bit off because it was a bit more than she had budgeted for.This was my first real(as apposed to second-hand) machine. !0 stack of singles and all the speeds! Wowee! God bless ’em both!

Paul Bridgett… Could get you any album no matter how rare or unheard off.

Tony May… Well done for posting this Alan! Sorry, I completely forgot to send you the original. Might have one or two more somewhere – I will see if I can find them. I wrote a song called ‘The Record Shop Revolution’ as a tribute to Jack & Sonia – its on my STILL to be finished ‘Elementary’ album.

Peter Fairless… Oh, yeah, the number of times Jack said he’d have it by next week, and always did!

Alan Esdaile… I bought my first lp from The Record Shop, Bee Gees 1st. I couldn’t afford to buy it straight away and paid something like a shilling a week and Jack wrote it on the back of the album sleeve until I paid it in full. Really lovely couple and many happy memories of staring at all the new exciting record sleeves in the window after school. Then off to the Pam Dor and probably one drink between four of us!

Clifford Rose… I learnt a lot about pop/rock groups from their 33p discount singles box.

Peter Fairless… Jack’s breadth of knowledge must have been phenomenal, whatever you were into he’s always think of something to suggest you listened to. Usually, got another sale out of it, too!