Alan Whitmore jazz, skiffle and other groups – Railwaymans Hall St Leonards 1958/1959

All photos © Hastings Public Library

Listed as Railway Mans Hall but maybe wrong. Anyone confirm and any names?

John Gale… Interesting photos Alan. Do you know if the Railway Mans Hall was renamed as simply the Railway club ? I remember dad playing drums at the Railway club in the 70s , on the hill of St John’s Road . He had a residency there with various different artists , mostly on a Sunday night.

Alan Esdaile… Yes, I’m thinking it could be the one by Warrior Square station but maybe wrong.

Lloyd Johnson… Pete Treger in cap and beard

Andy Wright… I’m not a great fan of skiffle, but this bunch of pics convey such a brilliant vibrancy.


The Trilogy – Prinny’s Club 30th August 1969


supplied by Sarah Harvey

Tony Davis… Does anybody know who was in the Trilogy?

Sarah Harvey… Stating the obvious…..Probably three musicians….. about as much as I can ascertain!

Tony Court-holmes… I drank in there but never remember any bands

Phil Gill… Ha! Our old Maths/Form teacher, John “Lester” Piggott, used to play in the jazz band there. Came in hungover every Monday and, at lunch time, would fall asleep sat at his desk in a little office at the back of the form room, with his head on his arms. Prinny’s is now Lathams.

Alan Elsdon & His Band – Combe Haven – 1970.


alan elsdon band

Kevin Sherwood… Looks like a evening to stay in!

Andy Knight… I remember the Elsdon band when I worked there as a bar boy in 66

Terry Pack… Crikey! I did a few weeks there in the early 80s, backing the cabaret acts and playing dance music with a quartet called Tuxedo Function! Pure class! The keyboard player, a very nice man called Rod, sang, reading the pop stuff from buskers’ books. He had clearly never heard half of the songs, and his pronunciation of certain words was fantastic. In Get Back, he sang that ‘Jojo left his home in Tuck sun, Arizona’.

Veronica Lingley… Does anyone know what happened to the Margaret Mason duo?

Corin Moore…  Hello Veronica. In 1971 I worked my second season at Combe Haven as an Entertainments Organiser/’compere’ with Margaret and Ian. Midway through the season we three were ‘sacked’  – due to Ian ordering a young lad to get off the stage as he was pushing the amps and speakers. I knew nothing of this until later. We all left the following day and I instigated court proceedings. David paid me my contract and costs, a week before the Hastings hearing, but I was unaware of how it was resolved with Ian and Margaret. They had to leave their house (owned By David) and move back to London. Many years later Margaret phoned me wondering if I had seen Ian as he hadn’t been home for two months. I liked both Ian and Margaret and believe she continued playing local gigs etc. Many, many years later she telephoned asking if I had seen Ian as he hadn’t been home for two months! I trust the family and their children, who are probably married with kids themselves by now, are all well.

Looking for photos of Roddy from the Dave Holt Quintet asks Dicky Walsh

Dicky Walsh asks…
Does anybody have any photos of the Dave Holt Quintet? I’m particularly interested in pics of my late brother Roddy playing with them, in order to identify the make of his guitar. He would have been with the quintet during the late 70’s and early 80’s I think.

Stephen Moran…. Hi Dicky, I’m currently doing research into the popular music histories of Hastings and I have been accessing original copies of The Hastings Observer from 1960-1985 at The British Library. The Dave Holt Swingtet performed regularly in and around Hastings in the 70’s and probably the early 80’s. They also used the name Dave Holt Quartet. I found the article and photo attached from the 26 January 1974 copy of the Observer. Dave Holt on guitar says he is looking for a rhythm guitarist and vocalist to complete the line-up, so it’s possible your brother Roddy may have joined later when they became the Dave Holt Quintet. I’ll do a bit more research and if I find out more I’ll be in touch.

Alan Esdaile… Stephen, I got a clearer one somewhere, I will repost.

Ian Williams… I think the guitar in the photograph is a Harmony H75?

Tony Bird… it is a Harmony H77 , built between 1960 and 1970when production ceased

Ian Williams… I thought the H 77 was cherry red, whereas the one in the picture is sunburst?

Dicky Walsh… Ian Williams thanks for you replies. The guitarist in the picture is Dave Holt, but I was interested in the guitar my brother used when he played with the Swingtet, probably a little later than the photo shown.

Colin Fox…

Stephen Moran… Hi Dicky I searched through my Hastings Observer archives this morning and I wasn’t able to find out much more. The only new photograph I could find was of Dave Holt who was also a jazz promoter talking about a forthcoming gig in Amsterdam. You probably know this but there was quite a thriving jazz scene in and around Hastings during the 60s and 70s. The Dave Holt Swingtet played regularly at The Black Horse jazz sessions, The Yelton, The Fairlight Cove Hotel, Prinnys as well as Falaise Hall. There were also jazz nights in the Yorkshire Grey, Mr Cherries, The Caves and Capels. The first gig I can find was on Saturday 8 July 1967 when they played with the Jazz Caverners at the Regent Hotel. It’s likely that your brother played at many of these sessions. Because the Jazz Caverners were also contemporaries of The Dave Holt Swingtet and they sometimes played together there may be a former member of the Jazz Caverners who may be able to answer your question. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help but if I come across anything new I will be in touch.

Dicky Walsh… thanks for this Stephen. We knew the caverners well, and spent many an evening in the caves in the summer months during the early 70’s. Roddy played with Dave Holt later on, at the Black Horse, Telham amongst other venues.

Roger Dillon… Peter Rix and Colin Follwel used to sit in at Prinnys sometimes good sound Django Reinhardt.

Terry Pack… I played with the band for a couple of years during the mid 1970s. At that time, Dave played a 175.