Anyone remember the aviary in Alexandra Park Hastings?

Alan Esdaile… Anyone remember the aviary in Alexandra Park Hastings?  Any photos?

Sean Fox… Yes was still there in seventies

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

Dennis Torrance… Remember it well, was quite a large area of birds large and big, liked it

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… Sure it was still there later then 60s

Jenny Power… Yes there in the 70’s

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.


Barn Dance with The Ranchers and The Macalmans – Hastings Pier 24th September 1977

I think it should be The Ranchers? Anyone tried barn and line dancing? Also includes pancake tossing?

Nigel Ford… I’ll refrain from suggesting there might have been a lot of tossers there…..

Pete Fairless… Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Johnnie Winch – folk singer Hastings 1970’s

Barry French… In the early days of SoulXpress John shared the bill with us twice at the George Street Hall. A brilliant guitarist/ vocalists . Len Benton & myself had the privilege of guesting on his set at the Black Horse folk festival (I think 1991)

John Winch… Just found this site – a blast from the past to be sure. I’m seventy eight now, an old geezer but still as mad and still playing the odd few gigs here in Germany. I remember well George Street Hall and the gigs with SoulXpress as if it were yesterday. Also, my own very long and mad stint of Sunday mornings at the Standard. The Nelson Folk Club in the days of Wilf the landlord and Jeff Coates and Bruce Astly hammering away in the Nelson Sunday morning session (I used to play banjo then with them. the banjo kindly lent to me for the session by Ron Harrison who, sometime during the session and after a few pints, used to burst into a great version of ‘Shoals of Herring’. Those were the days when there were still a few herring in Hastings waters.
SoulXpress one of the best of the Hastings groups, which also included Tich Turner and Stallion, Chris Sayer and Co, and many more. Hopefully Barry , Lenny, and the others are still alive and kicking. Unfortunately some have left us, but I shall never cease to be amazed that there were so many good musicians and so much live music in such a small town.

Barry French… Hi John. A couple of weeks ago Len & I were in my back garden sharing a few beers. We were reminiscing about the early days of Soulxpress & the George Street hall gigs were bought up. We were both wondering what had happened to John Winch, & low & behold you’ve appeared out of the blue! Great to hear your well & still entertaining folks with your brilliant playing. I remember you used to come to the Yelton Hotel to see Soulxpress & were always supportive of the band.

John Winch… Well,well. Barry and Len. You didn’t invite me to your garden for a b….y beer did you. Do you remember Chris S always saying, “I’ll just have a half.” He named one of his bands ‘Swift Half’ if I remember rightly. Anyway, about the beer, us old folks still need the sustainance you know. I have two photos still, although not very good, one of me playing the EXpress interval at George street and one doing the same at the Yelton, and Len, always big thanks to you and Mo for all you did for me back then and, a very guilty man that I am, I still have your Little Milton single ‘Grits and Groceries’ and your early 1964 Decca Rolling Stones EP with ‘Confessin’ the Blues’ and ‘Around and Around’ on it. If you go to my web site or, maybe here, you will find my e-mail address. Please send an e-mail with your address and, believe it or not, I’ll be only too happy to return them to you.

Neil Partrick… Self-interestedly Alan, I was wondering if John was aware of the article I wrote about Kelvin Message as it mentions his work with him. Could you forward this link to him as I’ve no idea where he’s based now?…/kelvin-message-life…

John Busbridge… I just happen to be married to his ex wife Tricia!


Anyone remember the Hastings group The Devils?

supplied by Bob Shipway

Bob Shipway… I’ve a number of business cards from bands I was in from my time in Hastings. Some of them I have good recollections of who was in them with me and the brilliant times we had but some are less well defined in my memory… The Devils is one I have little recollection of. Does anyone recall the band, who was in it, when and if it gigged and when it was active? I can remember being in a number embryonic groups before I joined Town Council and think that The Devils must be one of them. I also remember practicing in a hall (church hall or youth club?) and seeing one of Tich Turner’s bands laying there on a gig night. Any recollections out there?

Alan Esdaile… Don’t remember “The Devils’ but remember Love Bucket.


Sounds Bob Rogers – Combe Haven Hastings 1974.

bob rogers

bob rogers 2

Helen Costa Pescott… Found this in my record collection !!!!

Jim Breeds… Gosh. Who knew!

Andre Martin… Great venue in the 70s

Peter Millington… I played at all 3 bars in the 60s and 70s (Meadowbank, The Music Bar and the Clubhouse) – with THE CONFEDERATES and then SPYKE. Bob Rogers was a class act.

Alan Esdaile… the musicians are listed as…Bass – Ron Seabrook, Drums – Len Clarke , Leader Guitar Producer – Bob Rogers, Organ – John Smith, Vocals – June Lesley.

Veronica Lingley nee’ Hall… Fond memories of Combe Haven at Hastings.  Remember the bars, main clubhouse where a guy hosted with his wife Margaret.  Remember seeing Kenny Ball.  I won a beauty contest.  Children getting on stage and singing.  At the end of the evening we would all sing Show me the way to go home.  Family entertainment.  Remember meeting Keith Lawrence my first holiday romance.  1966/67. Memorable family holidays.

Pete Millington… We (The Confederates) played in the clubhouse during the summer of 1966 here’s a memory for you

Pete Millington… Another reminder of some good times

Leigh Wieland-Boys… I worked as a barmaid there for three summer seasons – 1974/1975 & 1976 – loved it!

Robert Searle… We,Haze, played there one Sunday lunchtime.It was about 1971/72 and was so hot,it was a nice gig

Terry Pack… I did a Summer there in the early 80s with a band called Tuxedo Function (!). The organist/singer used to read everything from buskers’ books and didn’t actually know any of the songs he sang. He would mispronounce a lot of the words: “Jojo left his home in Tuc(k)son, Arizona..” was one example. We used to back the cabaret acts. One as a very unfunny ‘comic’ who also fancied himself a singer. His pronunciation was extraordinary: “Dee see da lice aah owees braa, On Browee” and “You are da wim binee ma wim”. I think it was the worst band I ever played with more than once, but they didn’t get fired.

Pete Millington… The funniest thing I ever saw in the clubhouse was Nookie the Bear who told very rude jokes – not appreciated by David Kenny (owner at the time). One snippit was “what’s up my bum Batman” “Cock Robin” I don’t think the entertainment organiser understood the act and should have put Nookie in the adult bar. Still we thought it was hilarious. That would have been 1965/6

Stuart Huggett… “Meadowbank!” Love this album. Have had its cover as my Twitter profile pic for years. Bob Rogers also had a long & distinguished television career, ended up as the house band on a Frank Skinner show.

Ernest Ballard… Wow I did a residency drumming job there for a summer season. Playing with “The Wheelers”. 6 nights a week and 3 lunch times. Backing cabaret acts most nights. Including drum rolls for magicians so much fun. Plus knobbly knees and Beauty competitions. This has prompted so many old memories I almost forgotten

Harry Randall… Shame how its gone! To play there you have to go up north for auditions and then play the circuit if successful so no good for local bands!

Tony Lee… Remember it well as part of New Trinity a trio from the Midlands Dick Darrell on Drums Bryn Barry on Keyboards and me Tony Lee on Bass Guitar we did 3 summer seasons 6 nights and 2 or 3 dinnertimes working all 3 rooms backing all the acts some good some not so good Dave Kenny put on some brilliant nights and specials to like when Elvis died a week of rock and roll bands and a week of the worst including the kentucky fried chicken man. Great Times shame we can’t go back and do it again.


Did you ever party all night and still go to work?

post shared from Amanda Purser, suggested by Yvonne Ellis

Eric Harmer… Oh yes. Went straight from parties to work

Alan Esdaile… Life was a gas!

Tim Moose Bruce… Be interesting if it a fancy dress party.

Julian Humphries… isnt that just called being young

Mick Turner… Yes! But you still managed to crawl to work, although not a good feeling

Pete Prescott… Yep ! That’s why I look like I do!

Janine Hemsley… Indeed

Tony Court-holmes… all the time

Dee Pavey… Yes all the time

Roy Trunchion… yep.

Mike Waghorne… I remember going to a weekend festival for 3 days in Lincoln getting back about 5am 2 hours sleep ? and up at 7am for work dont ask how I managed that day !

Elaine Stock… Yes quite often, Thur/Fri/Saturday, always went to work the following morning!

Matt Thomas… You tell me Alan, did I and was it obvious?

John Ward… Many many times.

Julie-Findlay-jones… Oh yes lol.

Jacquie Hinves… That’s what I was going to say Pete. Yes absolutely.

Graham Matthews… Oh yes, one weekend went to Toffs club in Folkestone on Friday night with a band then on to a Festival for a Film being made where I first saw Pink Floyd in 1970 aged 15, got home 6.30am Monday morning, quick clean up and cycle to work. Fell asleep going down a hill and wrote the bicycle off

Steve Thorpe… Yep, many times

Jo Turner… Too many times

Karen Sweatman… To be honest, I think I was still drunk on a few occasions!!!

Martin Stoggell… What’s work?

Kerry Jo Scotcher… Oh yes

Jules Stretton… Frequently

Jane Hartley… Yes and worked 2 jobs without sleep!

Ricky Long… Of coarse happy days xxx

Terry Har… All my life still do, well did

Jason Stainer… Yup. Early to mid 90s, DJing 5 nights a week in clubs and holding down an 830 to 5 day job.

Steve Reents… Still do every day.

Jill Lawrence… Lol yeah !!

Julie Finch… Of cause straight from party to work 12 hrs shift great times

Stuart Moir… I played till 3 in the morning many times and went to work at 9am

Read moreDid you ever party all night and still go to work?

Record & Popswop Mirror disco top 20 – 7th December 1974

Chris Gentry helped to compile this. Very odd number one?

Peter Checksfield… How Long – disco?

Mick O’Dowd… It got them on the floor

Andre Martin… I will have to go and find the 74 diary and see where I was gigging, that would have been the run up to Christmas Time ??

Mick O’Dowd… Very interesting no.1! Some great memories otherwise from the disco floor.

Curzon Cinema St Leonards closes in January 1977


Derek Clemans… I went to see Slade in flame there.

Dizz Corinne Ryder… me too!

Peter Houghton… Didn’t they used to call it the flea pit?

Alan Esdaile… That was The Orion, Pete.

Nick Prince… no the Curzon was the best in the borough at the time of closing

Janine Anne Scott… My Grandma was an usherette there in the 60s.

Dennis Torrance… Sad when it went Remember wet winter Sunday afternoons in there with old girlfriend they used to bring tea trolley around great service and some great films

Alan Esdaile… remember the tea trolley. Used to get the old film posters from the manager.

Christina Prentice… My auntie Winnie took me there to see escape from witch mountain!!!!

Mike Mitchell… Ah that wonderful tea trolley pushed along by a lady in a checked nylon house coat. Tea always came in cup *and* saucer no less!
And the manager was always standing outside in dinner jacket and bow tie to greet you. Happy days!

Nick Prince… The Curzon closed seven days after the Penguin did. A week later, the White Rock Pavilion showed its last film. It wasn’t uncommon to get several films a year there

Kevin White… My dad was a projectionist there in the 50’s or 60’s.I used to get in free as a kid as he knew the manager at the time. Mum used to send me down there with some sandwiches during the summer holidays when I was getting on her nerves,bless her cotton socks.So quite often

Ralph Town… I saw a re run of “Man who fell to Earth” in 77 too.I got press book,poster,photos THE LOT!

Patrick Turner… I worked as a projectionist there in the 60s great times. Patrick Turner also Brian Warne

Colin Bell… My local cinema, only lived a few hundred yards away. That Manager was a lovely gentleman, and tea & biccies in the intermission, I hate Multiplex’s in comparison!

Ian Quinnell… I used to go to school (PR) in the 60’s with a guy whose father was manager of the Curzon and I think the Classic in Queens Rd. Think his surname was Searcy or similar

Colin Bell… Yup, thats the guy in the closure article Ian.

Patrick Turner… I also went out with 1 of the usherets in my youth

Kevin White… Patrick Turner, did you know my dad Ivor White,it may have been the 50’s when he worked there though,I’m not sure. He was also a projectionist at the Ritz where Ocean House is now, where he met Richard Attenborough. He also worked at the Roxy at Silverhill where the Carpet shop is and at Battle cinema. This is Ivor showing a young Sir Richard Attenborough, the projectors at the Ritz cinema in 1948. This is taken from our family website.

supplied by Kevin White

Patrick Turner… Sorry Kevin l do not remember your dad. He might have been just before l was. l am pretty sure it was 1962 when l was first there. I think her name was Sandra, can’t remember her surname.

Kevin White… Patrick, I think dad was there a few years before you were there.I also realized that some of my info was wrong about the cinema in London Road,where Ocean House is now,it wasn’t the Ritz,because of course that was in the town centre where ESK is now,it was the Regal Cinema.I remember sneaking in there as a kid when it had been standing derelict for a while. I could have only been about 7 or 8 at the time,there were three or four of us and we climbed in through a broken window into some sort of storeroom, and as we opened the door to go exploring, there was a loud shout from inside the building,we turned and ran like hell. We legged it down into Kings Road and went and hid in Woolworths. What idiots we were.

Alan Esdaile… Woolworth in Kings Road, another memory.

Kevin White… Used to love going and getting a bag of pick n’ mix sweets for a shilling or something like that.

Jane Hartley… Saw Towering Inferno on TV the other day. Took a younger friend who was too young to see it without an adult, to the Curzon to see it.