SMART coffee meet 64 report

Our 64th meet and a great turn out to start the year. Among the newbies this time were Mick Thwaites, Ray Harper and Peter Hart. Mick who is a massive Rolling Stones fan, had photo albums and cuttings of the band, many I haven’t seen before, from the early days up to present. He also included a ticket for the pier gig in 1964 and a better photo of the Stones in the back of the ambulance. Ray had some interesting photos of when he played with St Johns Wood, Lysander, Performance and others. Peter bought along a pile of LP’s which included Blodwyn Pig, Mountain, Caravan, Velvet Underground and I couple I don’t remember Eclection, Heads And Tales and The United States of America. Anthony ‘Nan’ Morland had with him a Beatles photo with the autograph of  Bob Wooler on the other side. Bob was the DJ and compere at The Cavern Club in Liverpool.  Also a very rare early pop package tour programme from The Essoldo Cinema in Brighton from 1963 which featured Freddie and The Dreamers, Brian Poole And The Tremeloes, The Searchers and guest artiste Dusty Springfield.  He also had a very interesting photo which shows Broomgrove Power Station, W M Stills and Farley Bank allotments. Paul Morfey had tour programmes from The Picnic at Blackbushe Aerodrome that featured Bob Dylan, Knebworth A Mid Summer Night’s Dream 77 and Manfred Manns Watch Tour 78. Janette Morfey was talking about the group her and Paul are in called ‘Mackerel Sky’, which also features Ian Taylor, Kevin White and Tim White. You will be able to catch them playing at The Plough Inn Crowhurst on the 27th January. Mick Knight was very pleased with the success of his ABC Acoustic Blues Club at The Jenny Lind and has some exciting artists to join him over the next few months. John Busbridge has found a very rare, members only board for the Fiesta Club upstairs club in Claremont. He printed it in the 60’s. Still looking for any photos of the Fiesta coffee bar if anyone has any?  Peter Millington had with him two very impressive books of The Confederates 1962 to 1967 and  Spyke to Jinks 1967 – 2015. Pete Prescott had a big bundle of albums and photos and Linda Boiling had a Soul at The Cutter flyer with DJ Simon Veness which probably came from the eighties??  Colin Bell had a great photo of Mastins with a double deck bus in front and what looks like Dawn & Dorset laundry van behind. Too many other people to mention. If you had anything interesting you were talking about, then please feel free to add.

Matt Thomas… Any Masons pictures yet?

Jacqueline Marsh… So sorry I missed it hope to come to the next meeting. My operation went well so all good xx

Mick O’Dowd… I would say a terrific start to the New Year Alan! I didn’t expect so many that turned up. You sure know how to pull ’em in! Well done.

Monica Bane… Sorry I never made it, This time Alan, Hope to see you next time, Monica !

Colin Bell… Great to see everyone, and as ever a big thank you to Alan, for bringing everyone together again for another year of SMART meets

Andy Ives… Talking of Masons walked past there yesterday didn’t know they had named it The Masons Building what a lovely touch

Lucy Pappas… Thanks  Alan xx

Mick Thwaites… First time there and I had a great time talking about the old days. Met some really nice friendly people with some fantastic stories. Looking forward to the next meeting. Many thanks to Alan for making me welcome.

Happy Christmas and very best wishes for 2023

A Massive Thank You to everyone for all your support during the year, especially the people that regularly post and keep the SMART pages interesting. Also to the people that come to the coffee meets, thank you. If you are seeing friends or relatives over the Christmas period, we always need more old photos and cuttings that would be of interest and haven’t been posted before. One photo, can be so special for lots of people. It is a sad time for many but I hope some of the postings keep the happy times and memories alive. Very best wishes. Alan

Lauren Lamb… Festive Greetings Alan!

Dennis Torrance… All the best also to you alan

Pauline Sims… Merry Christmas Alan and a happy New Year, Px

Karen Sweatman… Merry Christmas Alan. Thank you for keeping a fantastic page interesting and going

Nastassja Kaschevsky… Happy Christmas Alan

Gerry Fortsch… Merry Christmas Alan. Peace & Love

Chris Jolly… Merry Christmas Alan!

Leigh Mitchell… Have a lovely Christmas xx

Andrew Clifton… Merry Christmas to you and a happy new year. Alan.

Jaffa Peckham… Merry Christmas, Alan! Thanks for all you’ve done bringing us all together. Happy New Year, while we’re at it! Have a good one!

Tracy Birrell… Thank you for what you do. Maybe one day I will be able to get to a meeting. A peaceful and healthy Yuletide to everyone.

Mick O’Dowd… And a very Happy Christmas to you and yours Alan! Thanks for another amazing year of Meets and website content.

Colin Norton… Merry Christmas to you and yours, Alan! Many thanks for all of the great work that you do!

Andy Qunta… Thanks, Alan! Merry Christmas to you & all the SMART fans!

Lance Collins… Have a great Christmas Alan.

Wendy Weaver… Merry Christmas Alan and a really good 2023. We are grateful for all you do. xx

Jeanette Jones… Will try to do better in 2023 Alan. We’ve been seriously under parr. Off line for at least half of 2022 but hopefully coming back strongly now. Thank You for all You do

Colin Bell… I know the behind the scenes effort that goes into all the work you do to run the SMART site and the coffee meets. You’ve completed another year of bringing people together & i and everyone thanks you for spreading the joy. Happy Christmas!

Claire Lonsdale… Merry Christmas Alan, have enjoyed the SMART coffee meets immensely and look forward to the next one. Thank you for all your hard work in all that you do to run them and this page . Xx

Cris and Merv Kennard… Well done Alan for another year of SMARTS. We wish you well for Christmas and the New year.

Dave Nattress… May I wish you a “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year”. And, as I’ve said a few times, once again won’t hurt, thanks for putting SMART together and in my case for cranking up all the names of the old bands and gigs and venues etc. of the local Rock Scene.  An absolute revelation filling in so many gaps in the memory from the days I was doing it with Damaris/Samisen/Prisoners/The Charts, but also, for bringing back so many more memories of so many things locally. Very best wishes.

Who remembers making paper chains?

Karen Sweatman… Made some. Wasn’t the same having them with sticky already on and not licking them. I used to be my Nan’s champion licker in the 70

Alan Esdaile… I can remember licking them, didn’t taste nice but lots of fun and happy memories.

Yvonne Ellis… Still love making paper chains x

Pete Prescott… Yeah I remember these ! Great fun !

Michael Coller… They still sell them in various places

Monica Bane…Happy times. We all were so much happier with less!

Nicola Barfield… Definitely and the taste yuk but tried water to soggy but a sponge done the trick

Carol Ann Bolton… I made them in the Carlisle Rock Pub along with some big, butch bikers years ago!

Roy Winchester… yep

Lyn Humphrey… My first Infants school teacher (Miss Phillips) taught us how. The first creative thing I ever did. Happy days!

Dave Nattress… Made them in the Downs Junior School, Bexhill. Seems like every Christmas for years.

Geoff Peckham… I more than likely made them with you, Dave! x

Merv Kennard… The taste of the glue. Yukky.

Monica Bane… Yes was a happy time, all the family joining in. My dear daughter made these at work yesterday. And a lot of happy faces!

Pete Prescott… I remember these clearly !

Janine Hemsley… I have them this year

Kathy Harding… I loved doing this with our lovely Mum xxx

Dave Nattress… Well how about that, Lyn Humprey, Geoff Peckham, (Jaffa) and myself in the same comments page and all formerly at Bexhill Down’s School together and Jaffa and I, proud original members of the “Goon Squad” as coined my our teacher Mr Ratcliffe, from Bexhill Down’s Junior School. Fame at such an early age!

Lyn Humphrey… Yep, you, me & Mr Peckham were surely the cream of the 1960s team.

Do you remember Penny for The Guy?

Betty Austin… Oh yes good clean honest fun !! X

Dennis Torrance… Remember I was done up as a guy as a kid, sat in Queens Road and went boo to passers by thanks for the memories

Malcolm Sharp… Dennis was that you yer bugar lol

Linda Crane… Good fun

Tony May…  Would LOVE to see kids taking part in that now. These days they are either on their phones or getting up to no good!

Julie Findlay-jones… Does anyone still do this, it was such fun , the anticipation of wondering how the guys going to turn out and how many penny’s your going to get.

Jane Hartley… We were in the Observer with our guy one year!

Pat Fears… Probably not safe these days !!

Janine Anne Scott… Happy days

Jeff Belton… Remember when I was growing up, used to love making a GUY for bonfire night. Great fun !

Alan Esdaile… If you wanted fireworks, you had to go out and earn some money from your guy. Not a cheap football as a head, as people did in later years. Old clothes stuffed with newspapers, our pitch used to the Whitefriars Pub, Priory Road, as did well when people got of the bus.

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Who remembers playing a game of shove ha’penny?


Alan Esdaile… I think the first time I played it was at The Angel pub on the West Hill.

Judy Atkinson… I’ve got a board but no pennies or ha’pennies. Great pub game. My dad said they used to make the boards from the old wooden toilet seat covers

Reg Wood… We still play at home.

Kim Thompsett… Used to have shove and darts night at the Sussex. There was a league, it was serious stuff!

Carol Paffett… Still play

Jane Hartley… We had a board at home, still got the pennies somewhere. Played a lot in the Langham too.

Kathy Wood… We got our board out a few weeks ago, had forgotten about it for years

Nathan Honey… Loved playing this with grandad! Good memories

Leigh Wieland-Boys… My parents still have one!

Tony Bowles… Leigh, so do I but don’t have any pennies

Karen Sweatman… Still play this with in laws at Christmas

Mike Waghorne… 50 years ago !

Martin Stoggell… I’ve got one of them. But no one to play with.

Dawn Leaney… There is still a shovepenny league between pubs in Hastings that play on a thursday eve .. not so many teams as there used to be , unfortunately not many younger people are playing so few and few each year. Xx

Tony Court-holmes… used play it all the time all the pubs in the old town used to have a table. The Nelson was the best. Tony Shipley taught me how to play

Val Shoesmith… We have one.

Stephen Moran… I have very fond memories of playing shovepenny in the Nelson during the late seventies!

Pete Houghton… I used to play it when i used to go in my local pub

John Warner… had one in my pub!

Colin Bell… Used to play it with my dad at The Fountain St. Leonards, long before it was a music venue and still a traditional pub, good memories

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SMART coffee meet no.62 report

 Wow! and who said it wouldn’t be so popular on a Tuesday! Our 62nd coffee meet and was packed, excellent turn out with some very interesting people. Among the newbies this time were Marilyn Dunn, Andrzej Kwiatkowski, Jane Burden, Rosie Shore, Les Mannering and John Norris. Marilyn was talking about her love of 60’s music and has happy memories of meeting Georgie Fame and many others. Andrzej was chatting about classical guitars and Jane had fond memories of going to the Aquarius and seeing Steve Maxted show with wonderful Motown music. Rosie was talking about her brother Mike Hawker who co wrote hits for Helen Shapiro, Dusty Springfield and others. She also had happy memories of when she worked for the BBC and was producer on ‘Animal Magic’. Les had photos of when he was bass player with ‘The Freehold’ which featured a very young Phil Collins. He was also in Love Affair and local group Bishops Fynger. He had a 90’s flyer from the Marina Fountain. John was an electronics sound engineer and worked on Rick Wakeman’s synthesizer and also Selmer amps and Gibson guitars. Anthony ‘Nan’ Morland had a pile of interesting photos including Hurst Court, Collins & Hayes 80’s running team, Francmo, Huffeys, Royal Sussex Arms, The Dolls Hospital, George Melly and many more. ‘Mo’ had a Masons Music record bag, paper cuttings from 1973, a Disc Jockey record shop receipt, Radio One Roadshow 1978 programme and Free Radio Association letters. Barry French had leaflets from Leisure Music and Cafe Blues Eastbourne. I had some Priory Road school magazines. Too many other people to mention. Very sorry I did not get round to speaking to everyone. If you had anything interesting you were talking about then please feel free to add.

Merv & Cris Kennard… Thanks Alan for arranging another meeting, good to see everyone again.

Colin Bell… Great to see so many regulars and new people and catch up

Monica Bane… So agree Colin, Good to chat to quiet a few. Enjoyed moving around and listening to stories of others, Thanks Alan.

Leigh Michell… I completely forgot it was on . Remind me next time, please

Tony Davis… Sorry Alan forgot it was today

Jim Breeds… Great turnout and great fun. Thanks Alan

Claire Lonsdale… Thanks Alan, it was yet another great meet . Look forward to the next.x

Mick O’Dowd… Never expected that! I only came to make up numbers because my hearing was very bad. Apologies to anybody that thought I was rude in not replying but at present i’m near totally deaf. Had a letter from ENT to say the waiting list is 48 weeks. Getting them syringed at end of this month so am just having to get on with it. Thanks for the patience and understanding to people that I did managed to speak to.

Dave Jenkins… Truly amazing afternoon .

Matt Thomas… I want to know if Nan has any photos of ‘inside’ Mason Music 😂

Gerry Fortsch… Looks like you had a very interesting get together, I must try to get along some time.

Dave Nattress… Missed it Alan. Still have stuff to bring on Samisen, Sarah H be aware, some old posters etc. some you did, some interesting band programmes and general stuff. Hopefully Jaffa and I will team up for the next one! Some of Damaris on the pier supporting Supercharge – they could rock, and Sussex Uni Melody Maker Rock Contest heat.

Steve Maxted… Thanks Jane for recalling all those fond memories at my Thursday shows x So glad so many of those ‘meets’ keep it going with such enthusiasm

Merv Kennard… Thursday nights with you started the weekend Steve

Lucy Pappas… Didn’t manage to get there this time, Al, so really appreciate your report. Love the Factory pic! x

Bernard Goffredo… was talking to Roger Daltrey recently and he said there was a club we used to play in Hastings, I said the witchdoctor yes that’s the one he said

Lance Collins… Sorry I missed it. Will try to get to next meeting

Tony Qunta… Shame I haven’t been able to make the SMART meetings for a while. Best wishes to everyone – hope I can make it to one soon!


Anyone remember the aviary in Alexandra Park Hastings?

Sean Fox… Yes was still there in seventies

Paul Merison… Yes. Definitely there late sixties and early seventies.

Lesley Bowles… I remember it fondly and always think of it when I walk past that area

Daryl Perkins… Def there in the 70’s

Diane Leigh… Yes

Kathy Wood… Yes, we moved here in 1973 and I remember going down there. Pets corner was great too

Peter Brazier… I think it closed in the mid to late 70’s as I remember taking photos with my first camera! I got it at the Grove school fete and jumble sale!

John Busbridge… It used to be over the stream near just past the block of toilets opposite the bandstand.

Barry French… I worked as a gardener in Alexandra Park during the early 1970s & remember the Budgerigar aviary well. Also during this time one of the lakes near the bowling green was home to a pair of Australian Black Swans.

Patrick Turner… Yes remember it well and l worked as a kid on the boating lake in my summer holidays good time come in number 9 your time is up.

Vivienne Gibb… Yes

John Mcewen… Yep. Vandalised like everything else!

Carol Arnold… Yes I do!!

Carol Acott… Yes

Tony Davis… Yes been searching for photos. If anyone has them please post

Ray Barry… Yes I do remember it on the Blacklands Church side, ducks and budgerigars is all I can remember.

Jane Collins… I remember those days! We were in the park regularly & always stopped at the aviary

Dennis Torrance… Remember the birds some were quite stunning but unfortunately it was being vandalised before the powers that be got rid of it

Chris Boorman… Pretty sure that’s my mum and brother!

Sam Rosewell… Vividly!

Allan Mitchell…Yes I remember But Was Quite Young.

Tony Court-holmes… yes my nan would take me there as a kid

Jenny Power… Yes used to take my youngsters..lived along the road.The aviary straddled the stream…

Sandie Carlyon… I do. Loved to see them

Steve Cooke… Remember it well from my very early days. Good too see a photo of my memories!

Dawn… Oh yes I do – I loved it – I went there constantly when playing in the park as a young girl – then played either table tennis, grass tennis or putting that was near by. Good times!


SMART coffee meet no.61 report

A packed room for our 61st SMART coffee meet. Among the newbies this time were Roger Ferris, Ray Barry, John, Robin and Caroline Hayter, Paul Coleman, Tony Powell and others!!  Roger plays with popular blues jazz duo Smokestack. He had some wonderful stories to tell including when he was second engineer on The Beatles album Let It Be at Abbey Road Studios and Phil Spector gave everyone a present at the end of the recording and he got 200 Benson & Hedges! He also wrote songs for Arrows, Racey, Smokie and others and has Joe Meek’s 1963 Framus Star Bass guitar. Ray was in conversation with Eric Harmer and Dave Boutwood talking about the old town in the 50’s and the fishing community and also memories of Priory Road School. John had happy memories of The Witch Doctor, Robin was talking about the success of his recent film ‘Polo’s Dream’ which was recently shown at St Mary In The Castle Hastings Rocks film festival. Also the many films and tv series he has appeared in over the years and Caroline had happy memories of seeing The Rolling Stones on Hastings Pier. Paul was chatting about The Kult  and Unabridged Telephone Directory, and Tony who was manager of The Witch Doctor from 1964 to 1967 came along with lots of interesting photos, including a photo of him standing in front of The Who poster 1965, ‘I know’ The Witch Doctor flyer, photo of his group Texans, Stonefield Road bike mob and many more. Mo have Level 42 tickets from 1983 and more rare collection of DJ business cards including Sight & Sound Roadshow, The Golden Hind Roadshow, Al Cohol Disco, The Mik Kasey Soundshow, Domino Disco, Colin’s Pick a Disc Roadshow, D.C./Southern Sounds, The D.C. Discotheque, Second City Disco, Silver Sound, Johnny Francis roadshow.  Dave Jenkins had an great book called ‘Liverpool Music Roots memorabilia collection of Bob Wooler. Monica Bane had memories of The Rhythm Aces, 2 piece who played on Winkle Island on carnival days in the 1950’s. They were Arthur and Gordon Miles who run the lawnmower shop in George Street. Arthur played the piano and Gordon played the accordion and magic saw. (Anyone got any photos).  Rod Evans had a photo album of the many groups he has sung with and also a very early photo of The Swan Minstrels which featured him and others from Clive Vale Secondary Modern School, Githa Road. Merv Kennard  has found another business card from Terry James Arrow Fm as well as keyrings. Dave Muriel had some more publicity photos from his book and more details on the Hastings Art School and Mick Knight was talking about his ABC Acoustic Blues Club at The Jenny Lind. Nan was talking about albums that you buy just for the sleeve. Pete Prescott was reminding people that the Ray Fenwick tribute is on Wed 3rd August.  Too many other people to mention.  Thank you for your support and pleased to say the website had 12477 hits in June. If you had anything interesting you were talking about then please feel free to add and if I reported anything wrong then please advise.

Monica Bane… Enjoy this get together today. Thanks Alan. Monica x

Stephen Moran… I’m really sorry I couldn’t get to todays SMART coffee meet Alan, I look forward to reading your report.

Ray Barry… My first time made to feel very welcome , I’m not a musician ,I went for the retro talk and meet up with musicians, and some of these guys went to Priory Road, some before me, some after me, a great 3 hrs of reminiscing. My thanks to Colin Tapp who I went along with. Look forward to the next meet .

Lucy Pappas… Great meet-up today, Al. Thanks for organising it all x

Wendy & Graham Weaver… We didn’t sign in Alan. Every time you brought the list over you got called away😄. Nice to see so many people.

Mick O’Dowd… What a Meet! At first it looked as if no-one was coming and then it seemed as though a coach pulled up outside and there was a tsunami of people! Great to see so many newbies there. Some very interesting chats with several people who I haven’t really chatted to before. Thanks Alan you did us proud again! Bet your hands were sore after all that scribbling of notes you were engaged in. Get a dictaphone maybe!

Geoff Peckham… No, Mick. I’m sure his hands are perfectly adequate…. A most enjoyable afternoon. Thanks again, Alan. x

Cris and Merv Kennard… Might have to take over the theatre at this rate.

Mick O’Dowd… What an interesting guy that Roger Ferris is! I think the only thing he was not involved in was the invention of The Ferris Wheel, but then again he has only been to the Meet once so maybe this is for afters. Really nice guy.

Tony Davis… Sorry to miss it.