Damaris – Hastings Pier 22nd May 1976 & details of where the name came from (Damaris mark 1 – 1974)







all cuttings supplied by Iain Cobby

Damaris line up – Dave Nattress, Iain Cobby, Tony Barraclough, Paul Durrant, Mick Kemp.

Pete Fisher… serious flares!!

Phil Thornton… Damaris were great ! We (Stallion) played on the same bill as them a couple of times, It was cool having a local band around who were trying to do something a bit different !

Iain Cobby… Thanks for that Phil, much appreciated. Your Elka Rhapsody inspired Paul to buy one, the first affordable string synth on the market at that time.

John Wilde… where are you Damaris peeps?

Phil Thornton… the rhapsody had a great sound ! – (mine had a mod done by Tony Bird which gave it the ability to make a great church organ sound !) more distinctive than the logan or the solina (and cheaper !!)

Dave Nattress… Yes, the pier gigs Damaris did with Stallion were really great. Personally I always looked up to Stallion and John you were world class mate!! Hopefully you still are!!  In answer to your question John – Dave Nattress – I’m still imprisoned in Bexhill but, for good behaviour, I’m hoping to get out to see Iain Cobby in the very near future – first time for over 35 years. Iain lives in Peasmarsh now. Tony Barraclough – guitar, is playing in No Exit, and still lives locally I believe, although I haven’t seen him for many years, Paul Durrant – Keys, lives in Scotland I think, and Mick Kemp skins – no idea.

Yvonne Cleland…  I remember Paul Durrant from the Lido days! John Wilde is still world class, btw!

Graham Burfield… I remember seeing them on the pier with Stallion great stuff.

John Wilde… Cheers Dave. Thanks for the compliment. They were great days and we all had inspirational ideas. Ahhh the joy of youth. Best wishes to you Dave.

Stallion, Steppin’ Out and Damaris Hastings Pier 15th January 1977

supplied by Sarah Harvey


bell records slik


Paul Durrant…..Wow – amazing to see all this Sarah – thanks so much for posting – I played keyboards for Damaris – also great to see so many familiar names and faces that I never seem to see when I’m in Hastings (I live in Scotland now) – it reminded me of the night that Stallion won the Melody Maker Contest in London…..


supplied by Jules Carter

Phil Gill…..And here’s the poster from the Stallion gig as it looks in my dining room. Pic stolen from Jules Carter’s Facebook collection, but he took in my house and it’s my poster, so….And I can’t be bothered to get up off the sofa and walk to the dining room to take my own picture.

Paul Durrant….The pier gigs line up for Damaris was Mick Kemp – Drums, Tony Barraclough – Guitar, Iain Cobby – Bass, Paul Durrant – Keyboards and Dave Nattress – vocals.

Dave Nattress….Stumbled into this website after years on and off trying to backtrack the good times of Hastings Rock. I feel thrilled to see Damaris and references to my old band-mates, Paul Durrant, Iain Cobby, Mick Kemp, Tony Barraclough. We had some great gigs on the pier including supporting Stallion several times – they were something else and John Wilde – what a vocalist. We were in the Melody Maker Rock Contest the same year Stallion rightfully won it. I remember well the heat at Sussex University. Great to brag about that one and the pier of course. Astonished to see so much of the old stuff posted. To all of you who have helped this along – really well done. You’ve made an old man really happy!!!

Damaris photos – nissen hut Wishing Tree Road St Leonards.

all photos © Nick Webb

Iain Cobby, Paul Durrant, Mike Kemp.        3rd photo unknown venue

Phil Gill… Iain sold me that Fender Precision bass in 1976. I still have it.

Di Veness… Remembering Ruth too.

Iain Cobby… Wow! not seen these before! Many thanks to Nick for showing them. I do remember the rehearsals with the guys. we waz great ! Sound City and a 70’s Fender from Mullet Smiths …. after al these years and many Alembics, Stingrays , Manson’s and Ric’s I finally went out and bought a Fender Precision last month …… great gear!.
Tony, Mick, Paul & Ruth and Dave and not forgetting the most outrageous roadies Nick and Richard, bless you & love you all! ps I think the 3d photo is under B and S shop in Bexhill?

Dave Nattress… Fantastic – Iain and Paul I went to college with, same classes in construction studies, and Mick was also in construction but a different year or class. Became great mates and I later joined Damaris. I recall Iain’s Fender before he got the Ricky and the Sound City stack. Not sure who owned the Simms-Watts gear, I only recall Tony’s Vox AC30.
Best wishes all and to Nick Webb. Its been a long time.

Paul Durrant… Yes really great to see these pics Nick! I think Iain’s right that the third pic is the Bexhill shop basement, I think it was later lined with old mattresses for sound proofing. The Nissan hut on Wishing Tree Road was where it all started though, Mick arranged it I think. The black painted speakers were built by my work pals at Hammonds on Ponswood – they weighed a ton. Yes likewise Iain and David – Alan has my email address if you ever want to get in touch – one of these days I’ll be down from Scotland for a coffee meet. Always remember those Hastings College days too – including going on a site visit to Brighton Marina when it was being built, all wearing outrageous platform shoes, totally unsuitable for ladder climbing! We drove over in Iain’s MG.

Dave Nattress… Nice one Iain. Yes I recall so well the B & S rehearsal studio in Bexhill and the dodgy old bed-mattresses used for sound absorption/insulation and the grumpy old fella upstairs in the flat above the shop. Love and best wishes to all the guys and special love in Ruth’s memory. Much rock and roll hardship after a gig, unloading gear, humping all the cabs. through the shop and down the narrow rickety stairs. And BW to Nick and Richard also. Must get in to SMART next and hopefully see you, Nick and whoever. Pics. are (somewhat naturally), just as I recall everyone/everything. Lionel’s/hair/clothes/gear. Great days, great to have done.

Iain Cobby… Thanks Dave!
Hi Phil, Lot ot rubbish talked about pre CBS stuff , but it was a fab bass (and I’m sure still is). I loved that bass but had to sell as I had borrowed the money for a new Ric 4001 from my dad. Had to drive my mini to London to get it and got stopped by the Met who were in pursuit of a felon ! ended up getting a cab to Fender Sound House where I bought it ( I don’t remember getting back to Hastings!) hazy days!


Ruth Bodle R.I.P.

supplied by Paul Durrant

“Ruth Bodle who featured in the early line up of Damaris has died. Ruth went on to have a nursing and midwifery career in Hastings and then in Scotland and be mother to three children Ruth went to Hastings High School for Girls and was part of the fun-loving Fiesta crowd as a teenager. Her friends from the seventies will remember Ruth for her gentle and caring nature.” Paul Durrant.

John Wilde… Dear Ruth, rest in peace sweet Woman.

Marilyn Spence… Awe that’s sad I went to that school also.

Alan Esdaile… I do remember her from the Fiesta days. Very sad news.

Jacquie Hinves… Jesus! What a shock. RIP Ruth. Xx

Andrew Freeman… Very sorry to hear this sad news. I knew Ruth from a young age and always remember her as a kind caring person. RIP dear Ruth.

Di Veness… I remember Ruth from school. Very sad to hear this.

Petra Stevens… I remember Ruth from the high school. Sad to hear the news. RIP

Linda Russell…. My childhood friend and neighbour RIP xx

Dave Nattress… Just read this and very shocked. Gutted my Friday evening. I knew Ruth through Paul and saw her play in Damaris and then took over vocals from her and Paul was of course a great mate back in the day. Paul – so very sorry to hear this! Very best wishes.

Richard and Lucy Ive…. Lucy Ive (Davy) Ruth! Just how I will always remember you – and the wonderful times we had- especially those early years in Hastings – rest in peace and heartfelt sympathy to all your loved ones.

Cathie Murphy… Our dear Ruth – my much loved Sister -in-Law . God bless you Ruth, you will be remembered with love by everyone. xxx

Dave Nattress… Meant to say earlier what a lovely, sweet, friendly, beautiful girl Ruth was. Always thinking back to the Damaris days and “The Ballad of Damaris” which I remember seeing her singing the first time I saw them. Seemed like maybe she was Damaris? The subject of the song. Got the lyrics somewhere. Paul was a mate from Hastings College, same studies as me, hence I got to know Ruth and to see her with Damaris. So long ago. A life so short. X

Iain and Jo Cobby… Oh my God, Paul, you always said that Ruth’s life would be short due to her type 1 diabetes, how we had great times all those years ago. I am sitting here down in Cornwall trying to keep it together, my dear friend. I hope you find solace in your children and your live together. ” I looked across the valley and the flood, the mist obscured the moon. I saw a lady standing there, risen from her tomb.” the Ballard of Damaris.

Clive Richardson… I remember Ruth well from the Fiesta days. She was a very nice person. I’m very sorry to hear of her passing.

Nick Webb… I don’t have enough words to say how sad it was to hear this news Ruth was so fun to be around I was lucky to be a good friend of her and Paul alway even when they left Hastings and Paul and I have aways kept in touch. That picture of Ruth brings back so many joyful memories of the times spent in the Fiesta and The Old Town pubs Rip lovely lady .

Helen James… I went to school with Ruth. Very sad news

Danny Murphy… So so sad, she was the loveliest. God bless aunty Ruth, you will be missed by us all xxx

Rough Trip – Paul Durrant Book – story on 1970’s Hastings

rough trip

Paul Durrant – Rough Trip book on Kindle. …In early 70’s Hastings, The Speedboat is a bikers café on the seafront. An adjacent, illegal drinking and gambling club is run by the same owners. Clarkie is a happy-go-lucky wannabe biker, who works at the Speedboat and has already acquired a complicated love life that he wants to simplify. He also needs to get a proper job. Clarkie becomes tangled with gangster twins Eddie and Freddy who frequent the club, as they set up an LSD supply chain to fuel demand from London’s growing hippy culture. Clarkie has unwittingly put café owner Harry in the spotlight as an informer, and unbeknown to Clarkie there is truth behind his made-up story. Clarkie is drawn in deeper when the two women he has relationships with are used to coerce his deeper involvement. Maureen, the biker-girl he longs for and Harry’s wife Stella with whom he’s having an unsolicited fling. Clarkie is catapulted into a terrifying and violent world and gets drawn in deeper and deeper until he’s literally out of his depth.