Vox made at Ponswood Industrial Estate, St Leonards-On-Sea 1971 & HIFI Club chat.

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supplied by Peter Gladwish.  photos by Dave Trodd  © Vox.    http://www.voxshowroom.com/equipment/index.html

Peter Gladwish… In 1970, Birch-Stolec Industries purchased the VOX name and company, moving their manufacturing facilities from Erith, Kent, to Ponswood Industrial Estate, St Leonards.  At the same time, Rick Huxley, former bass guitarist with the Dave Clark Five, joined the company as the Southern Area Sales Executive. This sales brochure was produced for VOX by Berfolt-Holt Design Ltd., St Leonards, where a friend and fellow band member, Cliff Brooker was employed. Now don’t laugh too much but I was asked to ‘pose’ with various musical instruments and equipment, in case viewers were unsure how to use them, I suppose! The photo-shoot took place in the basement of the Hi-Fi Club, High Street, Hastings Old Town and the photographer was Dave Trodd . The club owner is in the photo above( photo 5) but I can’t remember his name. If you know him, or remember him, please let me know. The Hi-Fi Club burned down in allegedly ‘suspicious’ circumstances around 1978. Again, if anyone has any more details, please let me know. You can learn more about the history of VOX on the website link above, where this brochure is featured.

Kevin Burchett… The club owner of the hi fi was aa chap called guy not sure of his surname he used to come to scalliwags with monkey Dave i saw him last year in Morrisons.

Alan Esdaile… This is definitely not Guy. Guy rang the HIFI with his brother. Anyone remember who this is?

Ralph Town… Wish they were still there,I,d take a job on those valves and pcbs

Colin Fox…  I had one. You can see it behind me on the right. I seem to remember Rev Stockdale worked there for a while.


Paul Dengate… Vox also had a workshop in Beaconsfield Road.

Caz Simpson… The man in question resembles a man Guy and Dave hired as a bouncer at the club. I thought the brothers were the owners because they lived there and rented rooms to Jack and George.

Peter Gladwish… Clearly, the man in this pic with me was not the owner of the Hi-Fi Club (Guy McFarlane), as I had always thought and no-one seems to know his name. As he was the one who unlocked, plyed us with drinks and was hanging around all day, whilst Dave Trodd arranged the shots, I just assumed he was the boss-man. Thanks anyway for all your contributions. Apparently, Stuart Moir also worked at Vox in Beaconsfield Rd., Colin Fox & Paul Dengate. Anyone else out there with any memories?

Caz Simpson…  I saw Guy some years back, he was running a bar in Battle. Sadly I heard Dave died, his wife was a lovely lady who had been a bunny girl.  There was a good deal of suspicion about how the club burned down. Guy and Dave had extensive wood panelling carried out to the upstairs living areas which allegedly hid a lot of rot. They tried to sell the club but surveys always brought to light the concealment and sales fell through. I understand the insurance company had strong suspicions regarding the nature of the fire so refused to pay, which is why the gap remains.

Alan Esdaile… was the Vox factory in the Philips building on Ponswood?

Will Cornell… very cool Mason’s shares that address, Alan! Did they make the electric dulcimers for Brian Jones there too?

Alan Esdaile… We are over the road from what was the Philips building, Will. They used to be one of the big employers of the town, sadly no longer here. Now split into lots of small businesses.

Peter Gladwish… Brian Jones’ Appalachian Dulcimer was made for him by JMI (who owned Vox) at their Dartford factory by a woodworker named Tony Diamond, Will Cornell. Hastings produced mainly amps, speakers.

Will Cornell… I’m always overwhelmed at what all Vox did…even after reading the “Rolling Stones Gear” (and the “Beatles Gear”) books! And I think they made two or three for him! One of them maybe was stolen. Sad that more business addresses don’t get “Official Historical Markers”….but then some have squandered their legacy. Charley’s Guitars here in Dallas is a pale imitation of it’s former glory supplying custom guitars for Stevie Ray Vaughn etc. It now does repairs, has maybe a handfull of overpriced vintage guitars hanging on the wall for sale…and more pictures on the wall of SRV (and the former ownership/staff) than merch for sale.

Peter Gladwish… Vox also made the Bill Wyman bass, both at Dartford and in Italy, at Eko guitars.


supplied by Peter Gladwish

Colin Fox… Also Brian Jones Vox Teardrop


supplied by Colin Fox

The Hastings Vox Wah Wah pedal.

Masons Music – est 3rd April 1978, closed 4th November 2016

mm mm1 mm2

mm3 mm4 mm5

Hastings Pier, 187 Queens Road, 190 Queens Road, Grove Road Ore, Ponswood Ind Estate St Leonards.

Alan Esdaile… Now time for me to get a proper job.

Matt Thomas… I drove past earlier – something drew me to the place today.Sorry it’s come to this. End of an era as Masons Music closes it doors for the last time today, up until last year I had spent nearly 30 years at the place so very sad for me to hear today.

Chris Coleman… That must be a record

Jim Breeds… Really? Gosh. Best wishes for the next venture!

Colin Norton… Sorry to hear this, Alan! Hope that everything works out for you!

Tony May… Oh what a year this has been for you and for me. So sorry to hear this but not surprised in the current climate. If you can please pass on my condolences to all who have lost their jobs today. I may have left a long while ago but part of me shall always belong to Masons Music and the legacy that its existence played in what we all used to recognise as the music industry. Best wishes to you Alan – I will be in touch soon.

Jo Turner… Sorry to hear that

Virginia Davis… Good luck in your next venture

Diane Barton… Have the best memories 🙂 Fun times xxx

Ian Mantel… Every week on pay day in early 80’s I bought records.

Simon Payne… Masons Music played an important part in many of our Hastings lives. Sad to hear of it closing it’s doors today. Sad news Alan, I wasn’t with you long but still remember it fondly. Good luck for the future.

Andy Qunta… End of an era!

Johnny Raff… Spent so much time at the Queen’s Rd shop. An end of an era

Paul Angelwitch… thanks for the great selection of my vinyl in my collection

Tony Ham… A lot of my collection has got the Mason’s Music stickers on it.

Zoe Honey… Wow 💙 xxxxxxx

Phil Gill… Good luck in wherever your life’s journey takes you next Alan.

Kevin Burchett… sorry to hear that Alan heres wishing you the best of luck in your new venture. from everyone in the Scalliwags group.

Nastassja Kaschevsky… Sorry to hear this Alan, all the best for the future x

Graham Belchamber… All the best mate.

Julie Findlay-jones… It’s the end of an era I loved working for you in the 70s brilliant boss lovely guy, good luck in your next venture xxx

Peter Howard… Sorry to hear that Alan. You were my favourite customer and I miss the weekly calls. Hope you’re well.

Peter Thomson… Hope you find something positive to move on with Alan.

Pete Prescott… Indeed its very sad news. I hope you remember that whatever you do in future you have a huge amount of support from so many friends. Please put me in that list. Hope your well.

Martin Stringer… Very sad. You did good.

Will Cornell… You were the greatest Alan! Let’s see, I think I met you in that location with the tile roof, Sept 1990. Is that the one? A quick train ride from Victoria station down to Hastings, a 30 min meeting and a cab driver that kept his promise to be back there to get me to the last train to London….it was 25 years of a great business relationship and a friendship to boot!

Shaun Cox… I worked in Stylus. Got any pics?

Pauline Sims… Sad to read this Alan but good luck in your next venture!

Mick O’Dowd… A well earned rest now Alan. You served the community well. Well done mate!

Joe Knight… Where was the tile roofed photo?

Kev Towner…  Grove Road mate.

Matt Thomas… Nightmare to park

Tom Pitts… Nightmare when we had heavy snow up there and had to walk home

John Wilde… All things must pass. You served us so well Buddy. Thank you for all your authentic enthusiasm and encouragement. You were rockin before the word! Best wishes.

Leigh-Wieland Boys… Good luck with your next venture – I am sure we’ll see/hear more from you! xx

Dave Nattress… REALLY sorry to hear this news. Very best wishes in whatever you do next.

Chris Sambrook… Sorry to read that Mason’s Music has now closed.

Alan Esdaile… Thanks to EVERYONE for your wonderful comments and a BIG thank you to the GREAT members of staff, who I couldn’t have done it without you.

Eva Neuke… An important part of my life has now disappeared….

Eric Cawthraw… I wish you every success for the future, We ought to have a whip round, but I doubt we could get you enough to retire. I hope you come up on the lottery and can buy out the BBC’s music archive and rock on in to oblivion like the rest of us old farts.

Matt Thomas… I would like to add that i started working in Queens Rd shop in 1985 as a school leaver and had a fantastic couple of years meeting such a diverse bunch of people from Punks to Reggae Fans until the shop closed in 1987 and i left.I came back in 1989 in the Grove Road warehouse and i carried on working for Alan up until 2015.These years working at Masons have been upon the best days of my life and it will always hold a very special place in my heart 

Iain Cobby… Oh, Alan. so sorry to hear your news, like leaves we touch, we once new the story, and as Autumn calls, we remember all thoughts of many years ago…………….. on wards my friend, towards the sun.

Ernest Ballard… That’s a shame. Great shop. Will be missed I’m sure.

Clifford Rose… I did buy a couple of albums from the Queens Rd shop. On one occasion I remember a discussion was taking place about people entering the record shop across the road, but never seen leaving Lol

Peter Fairless… Oh, to be elevated to the status where Jack would say, “Sonia’s just about to put the kettle on…” You’re right, Clifford, it was a bit of a Tardis, that ‘other’ shop!