Hastings holiday town of contrasts 1972 – BFI Player

Watch Hastings – holiday town of contrasts – BFI Player – click on link….


Lucy Pappas… Whenever I see these old Hastings films, I expect to see myself. I was definitely there somewhere!

Dawn Leaney… I was 11 in 1972.. oh the memories! Remember those wed evenings in the park with the fireworks!

Jo Turner… What a great video. Not seen that one before.

Jacqueline Marsh… Always looking for any members of my family

Ralph Town… The chap driving the train….remember him and the chap in the caves,the guide.I think he was a magician too.Anyone remember any of these characters?

Andre Martin… The Caves Guide had been a Police Sgts in the Hastings Force before he retired. Also he was a good old fashion Childrens Entertainer, used to get him along to my daughters Birthday Parties in the early 80s. Les Finch very nice man, booked him into many parties over the years.

Alan Esdaile… Likewise Ralph, remember a lot of the faces and the guy from the caves.

Tony May… Such a lovely, emotive film of the Hastings I remember as a kid and wish we still had. I know some things are better today but just look at how much community interaction there is in this film! People had a true sense of belonging then and I think it shows…

Geoff Peckham… The Jazz Caverners in the Caves with Roy Martin singing and, if I’m not mistaken, Min playing alto sax behind him.

Mick O’Dowd… Nice to see the coaches on the Stade and no Jedwood or whatever it was called. Where is the Conquerors Stone now?

Ernest Ballard… I remember Roy Martin and his Jazz Caverners

John Kitcher… My dad was in that band. Trumpet Pete Kitcher.  I remember going over to the caves on a saturday night in the 60s watching them play . There was a bar down there


The Happy Ballroom and more – 6th March 1965 by Andre Martin

After the euphoric reception given to Tommy Quickly and The Remo Four, the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, returns to the togetherness dancing and romantic music of The Gordon Rider Dance Orchestra. We are now at Saturday 6th March, 1965 in the History of the Pier. So all of you who were pining for togetherness, you need no longer worry! This will be the format for several weeks to come, but the seed has been sown for changes later in the Spring.[Oops I have let the cat out of the bag !!]
This week was going to a special one for the Witch Doctor; Saturday Night would be the usual presentation of 2 excellent groups, plus records spun by Trevor Ollive, The groups this week being Georgie Bean and The Runners, plus Natures Boys – both of which were favourites at the Club. The Special Night was Sunday, when in conjunction with Alan Jensen at the Disc Jockey the programme was Organ & Drums Duo – Alan Haven & Tony Crombie supported by Hastings own Talismen. I remember this night, Alan was being the perfect host, the Duo was just excellent and the raw sound coming from the Talismen completed a night to be remembered in the history of the Witch Doctor. On Friday the live sounds were from the Fen Men. Disc provided during the rest of the week in the capable hands of Trevor and Ginger Powell.
Our weekend in Hastings had started well with an excellent Ready Steady Go in the hands of Cathy and Keith- their guests included–Petula Clark – “I Know A Place.”–The Moody Blues – “I Don’t Want To Go On Without You.”
The BBC was putting out a lot of pop music, we sometimes don’t realise that the Pirates were having an impact and wakening up the staid BBC. Saturday had a lot to offer – 10.00am Saturday Club with Brian Matthews, his guests The Searchers, Tommy Roe, The Spencer David Group, Monty Babson, Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men, Barbara Kay, Scott Peters, The Jerry Allen Trio plus “ some swinging discs”. 4.00pm it was Brian Matthews and Top Gear – “an express delivery of pop packages and discs” – this week included The Rolling Stones, The Zombies and Goldie & The Gingerbreads. SPECIAL that night at 9.30pm – live from the Ricky Tick Club, Windsor – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames introduced by Tony Hall. Sunday it was 10.30 Easy Beat, Keith Fordyce with The Hollies, Migil Five, Sandra Brown, Wout Steenhaus and The Johnny Howard Band.
Television, had the usual mix of dram, films and musical shows, the pop scene was covered by Saturday Night – Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs, his panel this week – Tom Jones, Barbara Mullens, Pete Murray and Jacqueline Jones. On commercial TV – Thank your Lucky Stars, Brian Matthews introducing Dave Clark 5, Georgie Fame & Blue Flames, Anita Harris, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins with guest DJ Bob Holness and having her say6 Janice Nichols.
There we go for this week, I know that some of my readers will be relieved that “togetherness dancing” is back on the programme! I have to say that for me the best show of the week had been at the Witch Doctor with Alan Haven – how many of you remember “Images” it was played a lot on the pirate stations. More stories and history next week, until then you all take care out there.        Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2015


Mick O’Dowd… I  was getting “cold turkey” from no togetherness dancing. Now it’s back and I can really get it together(or something like that!)