Playing Subbuteo in the 1970’s

shared from Lee Cavan O’leary. photo source: unknown

Lee Cavan O’Leary… That’s exactly what I had in the 70s GOOD TIMES.

Michael Linskey… We use to run different tournaments diner times at school in the main hall , each one of us would bring our team into to play , Funtime’s and great memories

Kevin White… Michael, great times

Michael Linskey… Kevin, Definitely as kids then we had imagination adventure within us and done many things without having money to do so with , making go carts etc or over the woods making dens etc etc , and we were fearless and tough as old iron not like the kids today wrapped in poppy plastic and get depressed or upset if the Mobile phone gets broke or taken off them or band playing computer games for a while lol

Dave Weeks… Collecting the accessories and new teams was probably better than the game itself

James Johnson… Finding a mate with a big dinning table

Andrew Turner… My brother had one and he wouldn’t let me near it because I wouldn’t leave the lights alone (I think that was the reason) well I was only 6!

Lyn Humphrey… Until we placed our hardboard pitch onto the dining-room table, we had it on the carpet, & broke SO many Subbuteo players by kneeling on them! We even had to create our own rule–if your knee touched the pitch it was a penalty–and that reduced wastage a lot. AND…..we still meet up & play a couple of times a year!



SMART coffee meet report number 73

Our 73rd meet and it was a wet and windy day but didn’t stop a great turn out. Among the newbies this time were Rose Pearsall and Jude Montague. Rose was chatting about her favourite sixties singles and Jude was talking about her duo Montague Armstrong and her fine art printmaking studio shop in Kings Road St Leonards, as well as working on her research into ‘Grey Owl’. Peter Ellingworth had with him books of The British Trolley Bus Scene 1950 to 1969 and British Trolleybus Centenary 1911 to 2011. Both featuring a few Hastings and St Leonards photos and a couple of wonderful photos of ‘Happy Harold’. Anthony ‘Nan’ Morland had a great photo of the ABC cinema from 1971 and a bizarre heavy piece of merchandise from The Beatles! It was a boxed brick from the Salvation Army children’s home at Strawberry Field Liverpool with certificate of authenticity. Mick Thwaites has been delving into his massive collection of Rolling Stones memorabilia and had with his a range of small kaleidoscopes from the Voodoo Lounge tour, Sticky Fingers cd in a wooden shaped box, Rock and Roll Circus dvd and cd box set, as well as some fishing floats made by Mick Erends. Paul Mulry had a couple of interesting vinyl album releases with him. The 60th anniversary edition of Booker T & The M.G.s Green Onions, in green vinyl and Mirwood Records Northern Soul compilation. Linda Boiling had a photo of the Dick Whittington pantomime from 1963, which took place at St John the Evangelist Church Upper Church Road St Leonards and featured a very young Nicholas Ball, who we sadly lost recently. Merv Kennard came up with some more rare pirate radio cassettes, cd’s, videos, records, from Radio Caroline, RNLI, Hauraki and more, as well as a recording from the Radio One Roadshow in Bude in 1978 and the single ‘What shall we do with the drunken DJ’!  Chris Stovold had some interesting cd’s with him ‘The Psychedelic Years compilation set, Family, The Idle Race, Nuggets and Wishbone Ash. Ian Marketis had a number of Meat Loaf releases, including tour programmes and cd’s with one autographed. Alan Harding had albums of his wonderful photos and Pete Prescott was chatting about his new group ‘Stealer’ who have a number of gigs coming up and you will be able to see them live at the Bexhill 70s Explosion on Saturday 20th July.  This is just a small bit of what I remember. If you had anything interesting you were talking about or anything I missed out or got wrong! then please feel free to add or correct.

Claire Lonsdale… Thank you Alan. Was lovely to see everyone despite the foul weather. X

Monica Bane… Very enjoyable afternoon. Meeting more new interesting people. I know how much hard work you do, so thanks again Alan x

Merv and Cris Kennard… Thanks Alan for organising another meeting, great to see everyone and swap yarns.

Mick O’Dowd… Another good Meet Alan. Thanks!

Jim Breeds… Sorry didn’t make it. Had been up all night watching election.

Claire Lonsdale… Jim, me too! But that didn’t stop me! You’ve got no stamina Jim!

Jude Montague… loved meeting you all thank you Alan

Stephen Moran… Thank you for the report Alan, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to join you on this occasion.

Mick O’Dowd…  Good vibes and talk as usual. Chris Gentry and myself were talking about some of the strange venues that we had been booked into over the years. Great memories. Well done Alan for yet another interesting MEET!

Carrie Downing-Waite Sawatzky… Had forgotten Kings, went there a few times

Fads Homecare Centre Queens Road Hastings – Fire 1978

Fads Ad 1981

Andy Clarke… I lived 3 doors away from that

Merv Kennard… I seem to remember Pete Prescott was concerned about his home brew as he lived in a flat above the shop.

Andy Clarke… I don’t think there was a flat above fads. Next door was the COOP funeral parlour where my mum and dads friend lived and worked. Next door to that was our neighbours and then us. The buildings were owned by coop and had tied accommodation above. My dad and our neighbour worked in coop furnishing down queens parade.

Pete Prescott…That’s right. Its true about the flat. Next door to Fads was the Co Op menswear Dept run by my father in law Mick Lewsley (lovely man.He got us the flat) We had the flat above that. I was only a few door away from Fads. When I got there the first thing I saw was a few firemen laid on the pavement overcome by fumes. The road was closed. it was chaos ! I wasn’t allowed in. There was also a flat above the menswear Dept (it was a double sized shop) they were ok. Both our flat’s smelt of smoke for weeks. It took a while to clear. I Cleary remember a postman stepped over the barriers the fireman had erected and still posted the mail as if nothing was happening ! He seemed oblivious to all that was happening ! He walked through it all delivering the mail and stepped over the next set of barriers as if nothing had happened !

Andy Clarke… Pete, you must’ve been in 199a then? Front door was on Queens Rd? We was in 200a and door was at the back with steps going up by the side of St. Andrews market. It was also the same way up to get to 201a. 202a was above the funeral directors and door was between them and fads. We moved into 200a in 1970 and my parents were still there till 1997ish. If I remember right in 199a the bath was in the kitchen when I first went in there.

Pete Prescott… That’s right. 199a. I wonder if the bath is still in the kitchen !

Nadia Compagnone… I worked in Sussex Stationers in Queens Road when this happened. I remember a really nice chap who used to work in Fads. Queens Road had so many lovely shops and people who worked in them at that time.

Madeline Reade… Joanne, this was after Fine Fare.

Andy Clarke… I remember it well. We lived 3 doors up from there.

Did anyone go on the Magic Bus coach trips in the 1970’s?

Leigh Mitchell… No – but I’d go on one now at those prices

Rebecca Roach… What a memory – delighted to find this – I went on the Magic Bus to Athens from Kings Cross station in 1972/3 (?) stayed at The Funny Trumpet hostal in Athens – that was an experience!

R Stene… Yes. London to Athens in 1978. I was the oldest person on the ride (36) and best dressed it turned out. No head rests for three days and a memorable toilet stop for two girls on the side of the road in Yugoslavia in the snow. Lots of interesong smoking going on in the back seats.

Mike Curtis… No. Cos it was “too much”

John Wilde… Yes twice to Amsterdam.

Vicki Campbell… Yes, Athens to Amsterdam 1975. Yugoslavia we broke down near Skopje.  Pretty rough travel but the price was right! I remember how happy everyone was to cross into Austria! The fresh produce in Yugoslavia was the best anywhere.

Heather Sidery… Yes.. France and back. We we’re stopped in UK, and searched by police. Nothing found…..

Julie Findlay-jones… My uncle used to drive for them in the 70s.

David Hamblett… Went to Athens 1979, it cost £28,Should have been 3 days but took 4 as Yugoslavia police stopped the bus and took away the driver, Fantastic

Amanda Darling… David, I was on that bus too! My son was conceived on the roadside in Yugoslavia when the bus driver was taken off by the police!

Joan Hicks… I (a Kiwi) traveled Athens to London 1976. Alan was the lone driver. He had his kids Claire and Roger with him. Alan had a kidney stone attack in the Alps, so the whole busload baby sat until he came back. Also got stuck at the Yugoslavian border, the border guards demanding $200 US for a Visa I already had. Also got an unplanned day in Amsterdam. Brilliant trip. Made some good friends and still keep in touch with a couple of them. Traveled on with Alan down to Cornwall and stayed with him and his wife Flora for a few days. Happy days!

Meryl Gay… Yes, I took the 3day trip in 1975 from London via France, Italy over the ferry at Brindisi to Greece down to Athens. What a adventure. We had a puncture in France! Had many happy memories.

Peter Ellingworth… I didn’t myself but my youngest cousin Moira, sadly no longer with us having succumbed to cancer, and over from Australia at the time (1975-8) on their traditional overseas rite of passage, did so with her Canadian flat mate she lodged with in Shepherds Bush…..and ended up in Athens marrying a Greek. Did the bus go from the old coach station half way up Pentonville Rd., (now an upmarket restaurant) or from outside King’s Cross Rail station itself, most likely in York Way ?

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Summer Special – Ritz, Smokestack Lightning, DC Disco – Falaise Hall 30th June 1978

supplied by Smokestack Lightning Facebook page

Mike Mitchell… You don’t see an apostrophe at the front of the word phone these days. Oh how standards have slipped

Neil Partrick… Yes and a “disc jockey” too. Great poster.


who remembers stink bombs?

Sophie Ash… Dr Megit (chemistry master at Hastings Grammar School) was pretty constantly aghast at the general availability of these, saying that H2S is lethal in parts-per-million concentrations!

Dennis Torrance… Never knew it was lethal but as a kid used them rather a lot

Arthur Sutherland… Well, did anybody die? You don’t see a lot of joke shops which used to sell them.

Andy Morrison… I’m 26, they were available at a local joke/magic shop when I was at school but not seen them since

Jeff Belton… Remember them very well. Especially school days, one morning whilst in assembly, the headmaster telling over 300 lads ( all boys school) the weekly news, when alot of us could smell this horrible smell, then I noticed the teachers could smell it. Then the headmaster. He noticed a boy laughing, he said , Was that you, if so stop it ! To our surprise the boy shouted back, Yes Sir which way did it go ? . The Head didn’t look very happy at first , shouted at him, but started to laugh. But the lad got detention he was found with the stink bombs on him, and let off that morning.

Darren Holmes… Our year got banned from the Grammar School Service after a rampage of stink bombs were let off around the town, Stade and Old Town were let off. After that day only the ex Priory Road boys in our year were allowed to attend!!!

Steve Mann… Me and some one who will remain nameless did every shop in Ore village, Ore library, , lots of houses when windows were left open and broke one in half and poured inside my brothers shirt – all in one summer holiday and we were still at Red Lake Primary.

Clifford Rose… End of year school assembly were popular.

Alan Esdaile… I think you used to be able to buy them from Maxwells beginning of George Street by the lift.

Darren Holmes… you use to get them from Toybox opposite Disc Jockey in Queens Road



Don Estelle & Windsor Davies – Hastings local lottery and Charities Fair Hastings Pier 22nd June 1977.

promoting the local lottery

John Mcewen… Don Estelle lived in fairlight. Used to see him and his wife walking their dogs on the fire hills.

Darren Rose… Love these two! They used to come and play the piano on their time off at my aunt’s bistro and bar, Dubarrys in Berwick Street. Used to listen to them cracking one-liners when I was young. Lovely guys.