SMART coffee meets – Back Soon!

Freak Flag… Finally, the return of civilisation

Wendy Weaver… That will be lovely.

Stephen Moran… Great news Alan.

Heather Sidery… This sounds sooo goood

Colin Bell… Well done mate

Monica Bane… That’s great news!!

Mick O’Dowd… Good to meet friends old & new again. I’ts been so long!

Tony Davis… Yeah good news

Mick O’Dowd… About time am suffering withdrawal symptoms!

Pete Millington… Looking forward to it Alan


Happy Ballroom & music memories 9th January 1965 by Andre Martin




all cuttings – Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… That’s the Christmas and New Year celebrations over for another year, the Christmas Trees and Illuminations have gone from the town centre, and we all settle down for the start of the new year – this week in the Happy Ballroom its Saturday 9th January 1965, and the entertainments provided includes The Percy Howe Orchestra – “Bringing the Romance back to the Ballroom” – in the local press I notice that a change is intended, and from next week, The Gordon Ryder Orchestra will be providing the music for both young and old alike. Does this indicate that changes are afoot? We will have to wait and see, no looking in the crystal ball now!! Several of the local firms had also completed their seasonal functions and I have found a couple of examples, J F Parsons and KB [attached]
The St Leonards home of the Witch Doctor continues with an interesting programme for the coming week, including some changes. Saturday night we were entertainment with The Puppets and The Dolphins, Sunday Club saw the first visit by The Blues X5. Wednesday night introduced another genre for the club with Mr Acker Bilk and Paramount Jazz Band. Friday saw Wayne Dene and The Telstars bringing the week to a close. Watch out for more Jazz over the coming weeks, it had always been popular in the town, looking for a new audience or “the management” looking to keep us all happy?
Last Friday nights Ready, Steady, Go had been another good weekend with Cilla Black “ You’ve lost that Lovin Feeling “ and from the soundtrack of Ferry Cross the Mersey – “ Is it Love”. The Rockin Berries included in their set “ What in the Worlds Come over you” another single heading for the charts. Also on the show Sonny Boy Williamson, Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan, a good 30 minutes from London and the MOD world.
The BBC still kept up the POP music, Saturday Club with Brian Matthews hosted Matt Monro, Johnny Spencer Orchestra, Swinging Blue Jeans, Kenny Ball and a true Hastings favourite group – Tony Rivers & The Castaways . Later that day Saturday Swings, with Frankie Vaughan, The Barron Knights, The Brooks, The Outlaws, The Overlanders and The NDO [Northern Dance Orchestra] with Mr Bob Miller all under the control of Don Wardell.
Sunday Morning, for those who were up and about by 10.30am heard Susan Maughan, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, The Lorne Gibson Trio with The Johnny Howard Band – in the hot seat spinning records was Keith Fordyce.
For those who watched Television on Saturday evening, you had Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs – his panel this week – Peggy Mount, Pete Murray, Dusty Springfield and David Healey. As soon as this show ended, with a quick channel change it would be time for “Thank Your Lucky Stars” from ABC TV in Birmingham, and this week Brian Matthews [ he pops up all over the place ] presented – Ronnie Carroll, The Dave Clark 5, The Kinks, Tony Jackson and the Vibrations, Twinkle, Dodie West and using her mathematic skills – Janice “ I’ll give it fouive” Nicholls.
What a week in Hastings – changes in the wind for the Happy Ballroom, introducing different sounds to the Witch Doctor, our cinemas offering us a good selection of block busting films – don’t forget we had several cinemas in the town and around all running seven days a week. So all in all it was a good time to be living in this town, plenty of jobs and a vibrant social scene.
Next week – will we know any more about the Pier? Log-in and read the next instalment of “The History of the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier “                    2015© Andre Palfrey-Martin.

Jim Breeds… I  remember my neighbour in Rock Lane, Trevor Partridge , playing this over and over on his record player 🙂

Yvonne Cleland… One of the great meaningful records of the Lido days……

Terry Huggins… Humph! I had to endure that dirge repeatedly in my youth. It was clearly derived from Leader of the Pack.

Alan Esdaile… Weren’t both of these banned from being played on the radio at one stage?

Terry Huggins… There were originally four Shangri Las, but the other one suffered from stage fright and left. They came from a tough area of New York and were the first ‘bad girl’ band.Many over amorous musicians they toured with received a hefty kick where it hurts. One of them died young, but Mary still performs occasionally. Don’t know about any bans, but there was a story that their record company refused to release I Can Never Go Home Any More until the lyric was changed to eliminate a reference to the girl being sexually abused by her father.

Pete Fairless… The BBC refused to play it, apparently.

Andre Martin… Twinkle had a big boost from plays on the Pirate Stations, don’t recall that being banned by the BBC, but I am sure that Leader of the Pack suffered. Don’t forget that we also had a powerful station at the time Radio Luxemburg, and Twinkle would have featured in any DECCA sponsored shows- there was Wednesday Night show TTDC [Teen & Twenty Disc Club] fronted by a well known DJ from the MECCA Circuit !!

Terry Huggins… There were a number of hit records about death during the late 50s early 60s: Dead Man’s Curve, Tell Laura I love her (with the words altered as it was written about a rodeo rather than a car race), Last Kiss, Teen Angel etc.

Pete Fairless… I love ‘Dead Man’s Curve’, what a great song!

Terry Huggins… And eerily portentous as it turned out for Jan Berry.

Julian Weber… Were Wayne Dene & The Telstars from Beaconsfield, Bucks?

Geoff Joliffe… Hi Julian, Wayne Dene & The Telstars were from Beaconsfield. I am Geoff Jolliffe who formed the band with John Ireson in early 60s and were going for several years but allas when we could not get into the charts we decided to disband and went on to carry on with other projects. I have carried on playing ever since and still enjoy the buzz. If you want to contact me, email Many fond memories of Telstar days

SMART Coffee meet report 54

Record company leaflets supplied by Chris Saunders

SMART coffee meet no 54, a great start to 2020. Among the newbies this time were Tom Cowan and Cliff Evans.  Tom was talking about his group ‘Menticide’ and happy memories of the group and John Peel playing the record. Cliff was talking about his rock band ‘Tank’ and also when he was with ‘Chicken Shack’. Also talking about his new venture with Lauren. the Aquarius International Club with dj’s playing 60’s and 70’s rock and psych tracks at the monthly happening at the White Rock Hotel. Mick O’Dowd have with him Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys book ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ and was over the moon that people have found at last photos of ‘Jim The Jolly Fish’ that used to go along the seafront, which he has been searching for forever. Monica Bane confirmed that the band photo that Tony May could not confirm who it was, is definitely the Jazz Caverners at St Clements Caves featuring Johnny Griffiths. Reg Wood had with him a copy of Wizzard single Ball Park Incident, autographed at the pier gig in 1973. Gerry Powell had an interesting  pile of cover version singles, released on the Embassy record label and sold in Woolworth, as well as some great flexi discs. Pete Houghton had  lotsof rare autograph posters from the Hastings Pier gigs including Alvin Stardust, Zzebra, Esperanto, Stackridge, Judas Priest, Chilli Willi & The Red Hot Peppers, Gong, Motorhead, Fusion Orchestra and a band I don’t remember ‘The Lou’s’. Anyone know them? they must have been a support to someone.Pete Prescott had some exciting rock books including the 1960s scrapbook by Robert Opie  with a great Hendrix painted cover and a Sotheby’s rock ’n’ roll and film memorabilia book with Jim Morrison on the cover. Also a special collectors e.p. of The Split Knee Loons! This is a small bit of what I remember, if you were talking about anything interesting or anything else you wish to add then please do so.

Jan Saunders… I just hope, one day I can get there Alan and all you SMARTIES ……. my legs don’t work any more, I want to take my mobility scooter maybe on the train or drive it to Hastings, if poss??!! – I love this Group and so pleased I can still be part of it on FaceBook, Thanks Alan – there’s quite a few people I’d love to meet up with again ……. Pete Houghton, Brian Setchfield Bob Searle, Terry Corder, Lol Cooksley, Mandy (from the soul band) etc etc ……………… Also, I’m aware of The Aquarius International Club that’s now going on the basement bar at The White Rock Pavilion, this sounds really great, 60s and 70s music ……… ohhhhhh, if only I could be there??!! xx

Monica Bane… Enjoyed seeing you all. Keep going Alan x

Andy Davies… Sorry I missed it.

Steve Amos… Sorry to miss it! Hope to make the next one.

Terry Pack… I was hoping to make my debut, but turned my ankle and couldn’t walk for a day. Next time.

Paul Crimin… Sorry I missed it Alan.

Mick O’Dowd… Another great meet Alan, as per usual. Nice talking to newbie Tom.

Jack Irving… Sorry I missed this one too.

Andy Qunta… Sounds like a fun time!

Tom Cowan… Great to meet you & others on Friday, our single is on You Tube, Menticide Bathroom Ideas Exhibition  there is another Menticide,  electronic rock outfit, would hate to be confused with them!

SMART 54 coffee meet – Friday 17th January 2020

New people welcome to join us

Mick O’Dowd… Oh come all ye faithful but not until January!

Nick Warren… I had never been to Hastings until 1990s – I was in Brighton and following the music scene there in the 1960s-70s. Hope to get to a SMART meeting one day but they always seem to clash with other things up until now. Happy Christmas

Monica Bane… Hope to see you there Alan! If all goes well Monica x

SMART Coffee meet number 50 report

Wow! What can I say! A brilliant turn out for our 50th Coffee meet. A big thank you to everyone for making it so special. Among the newbies this time were Trevor Chenery, Jack and Janice Irving, Jim Westlake and Malcolm Sharp. Trevor was talking about his band Tzar when they were on the bill with Ashton Gardner & Dyke and Shaft on the pier back in 1972. Also talking about Daisy when he was a roadie for them. Jack Irving had with him a number of photos of Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages, as well as a very interesting video of the Joe Meek Tribute Concert that took place in 1991. Jim Westlake was chatting about the successful gigs he does with Eric Harmer at The Drift In Bar and Malcolm Sharp was chatting about the amusement machines that have just arrived on Hastings Pier. Pete Prescott had a previous engagement but managed to quickly pop in a cutting about Ray Fenwick and Forcefield from the Guitarist magazine January 1987. Colin Bell had with him a rare Eden Kane and His Brothers photographs, discographies, autographed biog book that Peter Sarstedt gave him in 1997 when he promoted The Tunbridge Wells Festival.  Peter Houghton arrived with bags of albums including an autographed album of The Love Affair and Hawkwind, as well as a signed tank top t-shirt from Van Halen. He also had the new Lonerider album that features Simon Kirke from Bad Company and the new CD Jobcentre Rejects that features Die Laughing.  Seeing all the logos inside the new SMART leaflet David Smith remembers years ago a friend passing through Rome airport carrying a Disc Jockey shop record bag! Andre Martin did a very nice speech and on the advice of others and against my wishes decided to put a bucket around for donations which raised £140.31. I have decided to donate this to The Bladder Scanner Appeal for De Cham Ward at The Conquest Hospital. Thank you to everyone and also for your lovely comments . A great time was had by everyone. Now the goal is to make it to 100 meets! If you have any interesting stories you were chatting about please feel free to add here. 

photo Kevin Burchett

John Busbridge… Sorry I couldn’t make it but I am on crutches!

Wendy Weaver… It was very nice today Alan. Meeting old friends and new.

Elaine Roberts… Great get-together! Thank you x

Jim Breeds… Good to see everyone there today. Congrats on organising 50 of these Alan.

Wendy Belton… It was great to see so many there. Congratulations on your 50th meeting Alan.

Geoff Peckham… I’m glad it went so well. Well done Alan! I’d have joined you had it not been for my friend’s funeral.

Eva Neuke… I’m very disappointed that I couldn’t be there..

Monica Bane… Allan! did tell many friends about this today! Would have been there, but my friends and I were out with Senior Forum, for the day, hope next month!  All the best Monica!

Peter Houghton… Well done Alan it was a good meeting today thanks Pete

Lucy Pappas… Sorry to miss it

Deborah Mould… A great event Alan, thank you

Mick O’Dowd… Try and top this one Alan. Contained all the whistles & bells and more. Did us proud with the eats. Without you we wouldn’t exist.

Jan Warren… Great pic Alan!! – I just wish I could recognise Pete (Houghton) in there?? – come on Pete, tell me ……. I know its been many years and we’ve all got older, so, come on Pete, don’t be shy, which one is you?? Happy 50th Meeting to all you lovely old youngsters!

Mick O’Dowd… Pete Houghton is 2nd from left Jan Warren!

Mark Harris… Great to have a good chat with Andre about the old Archway Management days and the gigs he used to get for us in various army camps around the south east!

Mick O’Dowd… Fame at last! Front page of SMART mag & in colour too!!!!

Andy Knight… Any pics of Tzar?

Alan Esdaile… Sorry Andy, Trevor did not have any photos.

The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more 5th November 1966 by Andre Martin

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot – the 17th Century English Rhyme used to go, and here we are Saturday 5th November 1966.And in and around Hastings & St Leonards, there is evidence of this being celebrated, The Happy Ballroom – no change, this is sad when you think of how this venue used to be busy all year, nothing has been mentioned about the future, all we can do is “watch this space” Our Friday night start with Ready Steady Go this week contains a varied selection of musical tastes, amongst the guests – Cream: Wrapping Paper & N S U, Bobby Darin: If I were a Carpenter and Manfred Mann: Semi-detached Suburban Mr James. This weekend at the Witch Doctor it is the return of top Scottish Band – the Gaylords and the Thursday night it will be yet again that raver from Maidstone – Steve Maxted with his own particular brand of entertainment and mayhem.
Radio & Television follow very much the same as earlier weeks. Saturday Radio [The Light Programme] Saturday Club with Freddie & The Dreamers, Pinkerton’s Colours, Cat Stevens, The Zombies, The St Louis Union and Toni Daly, with Brian Matthew in control. Noon it was time for Call It Country Style with Murray Kash and Jack Jackson with his Record Roundabout followed. Later in the afternoon we had Swingalong with David Hamilton, Music Parade, Saturday Bandstand, Pop over Europe and Have a Go with Wilfred Pickles from Birchington in Kent. The evening continued with A Night at the Music-Hall, Nord-Ring from Oslo, Time for Old Time and Dancing Round Europe with some top orchestras including Eric Winstone & His Orchestra from Butlin’s Holiday Camp, Bognor Regis. Later it was time for Pete’s Party with Pete Murray and the evening ended with The Derek Franklin Trio taking you to 2.00am and closedown. Sunday it was time for Children’s Favourites with Leslie Crowther, Mrs Mills & The Happy Gang, Keith Fordyce and Easy Beat and at lunchtime Two Way Family Favourites from London & Koln. A comedy afternoon followed with The Navy Lark, The Clitheroe Kid, and The Billy Cotton Band Show. Semprini Serenade was followed by Pick of the Pops and Movie-go Round. Early evening included Top of The Form and Sing Something Simple. Desmond Carrington was back later with more Open House and this was followed by Movie Go Round 2 and the feature film this week – The Idol with Jennifer Jones, Michael Parks, John Leyton and Jennifer Hilary. The evening ended with Frankie Howerd and The Jazz Scene taking the station to close down.  Television – Saturday afternoon Grandstand followed by Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs who had for his panel Brian Poole, Julie Foster, Dave Clark and Francoise Hardy. After the News, Dr Who, Dixon of Dock Green, High Adventure Film – The Spanish Main, The Val Doonican Show, The Lucy Show, Match of the day, The Late show with John Bird & Co. BBC 2 included in their schedule – The Danny Kaye Show, Breaking Point and the Midnight Movie – The Young Stranger starring James MacArthur. Sunday afternoon Movie was Carlton-Brown of the F.O. with Terry Thomas and Peter Sellers, later it was the time for Bilko Returns, The Woman in White – final part!! Sooty, Meeting Point, and religious quiz – Where was Moses? Songs of Praise from Warminster in Wiltshire, The early evening film – Let’s Make Love, with Marilyn Monroe and Yves Hontand. In the evening it was time for the Billy Cotton Music Hall and the Ballet Eugene Onegin and the evening ended with the Look of the Week.
Over on the Pirates the weekends top records were –Radio London Big L- Beach Boys : Good Vibrations, Manfred Mann ; Semi-detached Suburban Mr James, Spencer David Group : Gimme Some Lovin’, Ike & Tina Turner : A Love Like Yours & Hollies ; Stop, Stop, Stop. Radio Caroline South with Dave Lee Travis – Beach Boys : Good Vibrations, Paul Jones – High Time, Four Tops : Reach out I’ll Be There, Hollies : Stop, Stop, Stop & Manfred Mann : Semi-detached Suburban Mr James.  The evenings are now drawing in and with the return to Winter time, Christmas must be fast approaching – but more of that to come. I made a slight error that week, I have subsequently discovered that Battle Bonfire had been held on 29th October 1966 because of the Queens Visit to the area for the 900th celebrations, and I do have very clear memories of being at that event. But as to where I spent this 5th November 1966 – that I do not recall. I will leave you with me pondering that thought. Until the next slice of The History of The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier aka Hastings 50 years ago! You all take care.

Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

Geoff Peckham… Thank you, Andre.

SMART 31 coffee meet report

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Busy busy, a great turn out for our 31st meet. Among the newbies this time were Doug Prentice,  Lee Merry, Steve Fitzy and John Williams. Lee was reminiscing about the many bands he has promoted at The Carlisle. Steve was talking about the groups he has been involved with including Ghostriders and currently popular rock n roll band Ricochet. John Williams popped in and had some great photos of his 1980’s bands Hot Pursuit and P.L.C. Sarah Harvey was compiling a list of popular 1970’s progressive rock tracks for her Tuesday radio show on Slammin Tunes. Andre was trying to find out if Georgie Fame definitely played the pier on the 14th October 1966, as he is yet to find anyone who remembers going. Colin Bell had some interesting stories to tell of Georgie Fame when he was working with Alan Price and also Colin had some photos of himself with Denny Laine. Chris Sambrook had with him a rare poster of John Martyn from the beach concert in 1992.  Paul Dove had a photo of a band he was in with Tony Ford and Nigel Dance around 1971/72 from the Regent Hotel. Roger Carey brought along a very rare photo of him playing with Liane Carroll and Dave Trigwell. The band were called ‘The Upstarts’ and was taken in The Pig In Paradise in 1987. Tony Qunta was talking about the time he met Eddi Reader of Fairground Attraction. I had with me well worn and battered copies of Easy Rider LP and The Kinks Sunny Afternoon LP, Mick O’Dowd had with him a new cd of the Melbourne Ska Orchestra which he throughly recommends and Pete Prescott was talking about the Brooke Sharkey forthcoming gig with Poppy and Claire Hamill at The Azur on the 4th November. Wasn’t time to get round and chat with everyone but this is just a small bit of what I remember. Anything interesting that you were talking about that I missed, then please feel free to add.

Josie Lawson… Hope you all had a good chin wag at the meeting

Mick O’Dowd… Wow! What a great Meet Alan. One of the most interesting yet. Good newbies and a slimmed down Linda Day. What more could you desire. Had really interesting chats with 2 of the newbies and hope to see them in future. Well done Alan you pulled it off again! Well done!

Eric Harmer… Sorry I couldn’t make it Alan catch I next time. If you want a jam anytime I am up for it mate X

Darren Johnson… Great to catch up. I should have some more reviews for you soon Alan.

Linda Day… Was great to see everyone Paul Dove Brian and Rowena Wood Pip Adams and not forgetting Mick O’dowd plus Alan of course x

Mick O’Dowd… Check out the Melbourne Ska Orchestra album. They are a 26 piece Aussie outfit who really no how to get on down! Recommended.

Hastings Pier – Gordon Ryder & music memories 16th January 1965 by Andre Martin


all cuttings Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… Half-way through the first month of January 1965, here we are at Saturday 16th, as mentioned last week, Christmas and The New Year have gone and for some I know forgotten. I thought that I would have a check up on what the weather was like at this time, according to the Met Office – we were slightly warmer than average for January, however there had been some snow falls, and we would be experiencing two to three inches more later in the month, the days had been sunny but cold.
So what is happening in The History of the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier? as announced last week, The Percy Howe Orchestra have come to the end of their contract and in their place would be, from Eastbourne, The Gordon Rider Dance Orchestra – and as the press reported – “presenting a well balanced programme of Music“ 8.00pm – 11.45pm, spot prizes, table service and buffet – all for 5/- per dancer, and the longest bar in the town included in the package. We wait to see how the replacement orchestra will be received by the patrons; Gordon was very well known in the area and no doubt would have brought some of his following from other venues.
Along the other end of the Prom, the Witch Doctor, was presenting an interesting mix of live entertainments – Saturday night it was the double bill of the PYE recording outfit – The Lancastrians and in support The Classmates from London. Sunday R&B Club featured The Authentics. The mid-week jazz presentations continued this week with Terry Lightfoots Jazz Band 8.00pm – 11.00pm all for 2/6d. Thursday saw the first visit in 1965 of the Radio Caroline Roadshow, with DJ Chris Stanford spinning the discs and giving away the goodies, all for 2/6d – non members 3/- ! value assured was their motto. Friday was another return vats from one of the clubs favourite acts – John L Watson and the Hummelflugs. Ed- one of the best parts of writing this blog is to find out all these names from over 50 years ago !
The weekend out have kicked-off with Ready Steady Go on our screens from Kingsway in London, this week the special guests for Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan included The Rolling Stones featuring “ What a Shame” “Time is on my Side” “Down the Road a Piece” – also on the programme The Kinks – “Tired of Waiting”, from the US The Righteous Brothers “You’ve lost that Lovin Feeling” and Del Shannon “Keep Searchin” some of these releases will end in our charts in the next few weeks.
The BBC had some good music to offer, Saturday – Brian Matthews with Saturday Club, and on the show this week – Rockin Berries, Julie Grant, Migil Five, Jimmy Radcliff and the Blue Aces. Saturday Swings at 2.00pm – include in the line up –Manfred Mann, Ivy League, Fortunes, Julie Jones, Mrs Mills & Her Mates, The Viscounts and the NDO, with Don Wardell spinning an few new discs. Sunday Club – 10.30am with Keith Fordyce, included Brian Poole & the Tremeloes, Mike Hunt and the Johnny Howard Band.
Television was the usual range of shows, and for the musical interested BBC – “Juke Box Jury” with David Jacobs in the chair, this week’s panel were – Catherine Boyle, Maureen Cleeve, Rupert Davis and Richard Wattis. On ITV would have been “Thank Your Lucky Stars” – Brian Matthews introducing The Moody Blues, Manfred Mann, P.J.Proby and the Rockin Berries.Radio Caroline and Radio London are well established and they have started to broadcast up to 18hrs a day, all night was not yet available, but unless you worked all night, we were a generation that were home and tucked up in bed by midnight at the latest! Till next week…….               Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

Jim Breeds… ” Hummelflugs” 🙂

Andre Martin…  I have just looked up John L Watson… the band came from Swindon and there is not much known about them – John L Watson & The Hummelflugs were an English band, fronted by the African American singer, John L. Watson. After leaving the band, Watson would go on to front John L. Watson and the Web and later on The Odyssey Blues Band.

Mick O’Dowd… The Lancastrian’s disc “We’ll Sing In The Sunshine” had Jimmy Page playing on the session.

SMART 8 Reminder

SMART 8 Reminder – The next coffee meet is this Friday 10th January 2014 at the White Rock Hotel 3.30pm.  An informal get together where we chat about music memories. Everyone’s welcome to join us and if possible please bring along any photos, cuttings etc.

Mick Mepham….Will be there if poss and a happy new year to y’all.

Sarah Harvey….Hopefully be there.

Mick Mepham….Al, do you want me to bring the posters again?

Alan Esdaile….Great if you can Mick and especially anything we have not seen. Thanks.

Mick O’Dowd….Come on down! Be there or be square for a fabaroonie time! Sorry. Too much Lucozade!

Jim Breeds….Have fun this afternoon.

Alan Esdaile….Hi Jim, pity you could not make it. Another great afternoon with lots of new people. Thanks to everyone who turned up and I will post a report over the weekend.

Jim Breeds….One day …