Anyone remember a 60’s Bexhill group called The Spirits?

David Betts asks… I was in a band called The Spirits,in Bexhill in the sixties and would like to track down any pictures that anyone might have or memories.Band line up was me,Dave Betts ,lead guitar,Colin Watford vocals, Dave Neal bass,Johnny Orchard rhythm guitar and Dave Gibbs drums.Hope this might ring some bells.

Alan Esdaile… Not Johnny and The Spirits, Dave, who supported The Rattles on the pier?

David Betts… No sorry not them.

Dave Nattress… The Spirits – sort of. Bexhill. Dave are you the brother of Sue Betts? Went to school with Sue from infant to Downs Secondary Modern and my old dad, long gone was a friend of Jack Neal who I think was Dave’s dad. Pretty sure Sue had an older brother who played guitar. Also, what I definitely remember is a graffiti of “The Spirits” on a wall by the Downs Secondary School – girls side back then. It was there for a long time – early band graffiti like I say, faced out by the footpath that led to the kitchen/dining room. All, a very long time ago.

David Betts… That’s me,Sue still lives in London Rd the graffiti was on the old railway arch.

Phillip Earle… I’m sorry to tell you that Dave Neal passed away at the end of last year after a long illness.

David Betts… Sorry to hear that,Dave and me were schoolboy buddies an knocked around together. I remember a Stuart Earle and Earle’s bakery, any relation?

Laurie Cooksey… Dave Betts was in my class briefly at B’hill Down Boys’ School and I remember he lived in a white weatherboard cottage in Belle Hill, just above Barrack Road, long since demolished. The Spirits were the first live band I ever saw and it was on the same Sat eve that Brian Poole and the Tremeloes performed their 1st single, ‘Twist little sister’ on Thank Your Lucky Stars. The Spirits’ gig was at Victoria Hall, Town Hall Square, Bexhill. The Spirits’ painted name remained on a brick wall next 2 the Downs Infant school until not that very long ago. Hope that’s of interest. I’d love 2 meet up with Dave again. Best wishes, Laurie.

Sarah Whites… The Spirits…what a band!! Often had ‘gigs’ in halls around the town and in Sidney. I especially remember them playing in the hall opposite St Peter’s in the Old Town. The mid 60’s were very special!! Does anyone remember the monthly ‘Beat Raves’ at the De La Warr?? I think organised by a very enterprising Malcom Christmas??…. Some fantastic bands. Long John Baldry, The Foundations?? The Spirits were very close to my heart and very very sad to hear about Dave Neal. Dave Betts, I think had a sister called Marie who was a professional dancer in London?? I remember the graffiti….the band had a very strong and loyal local following.

Tony Court-holmes… i think you mean sidley not sidney thats a hell of a way to go for a gig

David Betts… Still searching for pics of the band from that era if you ever come across any,let me know.I still get down to Bexhill at least once a year.

Jane Kenyon Bell… I remember the Spirits and went to school with the Betts and the Christmas’ as mentioned above at Bexhill Downs. I saw Long John Baldry there (actually a search on him led me to this page). Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of the Spirits.

David Gibb… So pleased to find this Dave. I joined The Spirits together with Johnnie Orchard, or perhaps he introduced me to you. We were at school together at Bexhill Grammar. (Sadly, I found out a few weeks ago on a nostalgia trip, the school is now nothing but a row of iron railings.) What great times with The Spirits. Sadly I have no pictures of the band either. I joined Tony Kenward’s band the Defiants in Eastbourne with Noel d’Abo after leaving your band. We eventually toured Europe for a few years, changing bands from time to time, as was normal at the time, but I finally left the music business in 1968. It was the most amazing time to be young and playing music. Every town on the south coast, and many villages too had umpteen live music pubs or clubs or theatres, and if we weren’t playing we would be watching one of the other local bands. Just great to see you are still around Dave. I now live to the west of London, but long retired, so do get in touch if you would like to meet up for some “Do you remembers” (My answers are likely to be ‘I don’t think so’ though.)

The Town Council Sweet and Neat 7″ Single

supplied by Monica Bane

Jackie Hersee… Oh dear. My ex husband wrote this. Remember those days so well

Monica Bane… Lots of people remember the Town Council Jackie X

Tony Court-holmes… i do

Carol Arnold… So do i

Alan Esdaile… so do i

Mike Waghorne… Look at that futurama guitar from mid 60’s

 

Unabridged Telephone Directory – Regent Hotel Ad.

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Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

Josie Lawson… Regent Hotel, wasn’t that where the Reades lived, the Scalliwaggers

Kevin Burchett… his was before the Reades took over, Josie

Robert Searle… Great picture

Harry Randall… I’m So Glad, was one that always reminds me of them! Where are they now?

Lloyd Johnson… Dave Johnson ! Remember him well from Ore Youth Club!…he played with Kenny Comfort ,Melvyn & Lynn Grant for a while I think or it might have been The Redcoats …Dave had the newsagents in Westfield in later life I believe he died some time ago….

Pete Millington… Don’t remember Dave playing with The Redcoats Lloyd. Must have been Johnny Smith and the Chevs was really early. The first time I saw him he had his jean jacket draped over his floor to tom to deaden it. That was at the Market Hall.

Lloyd Johnson… Yes! You are right! I can remember him talking with Kenny and Melvyn a lot …Brian ‘Bonzo’ Redfern was Kenny and Melvyn’s drummer…I Loved The Market Hall it was so funny seeing Henry with his nose almost on the Chevs guitarist finger board saying things like “Oh! That’s how you do that” or “No! No! That’s not right” taking the piss and trying to put him off….all in a spirit of camaraderie. Is my memory right in thinking there would be The Talismen set up at one end of the hall and Johnny Smith and the Chevys at the other..I always think of it as a battle ground…’Battle of The Bands’ so to speak…Dave Bishop would get up with The Chevs and sing ‘it’s been nice’ a Marty Wilde ‘B’ side….really liked that song…silly teenage stuff trying to sound tough and grown up…

Pete Millington… Yes it was a feature of the MH to have 2 groups, one at each end, most groups had the pleasure of trying to outdo each other. We (The Confederates) had that pleasure.

Lloyd Johnson… I really liked the friendship and the good humoured pissing taking between the bands…didn’t Johnny Smith keep a milk bottle behind the amp for some reason.. Colin ‘Sid’ Tapp lived in my road…I made a guitar when I was a kid, tried to copy the Everly Brothers guitars, it was black with white binding.When it was built I painted it black and then varnished it…the vanished reacted with the paint and it ended up crackle finish…I sold it to Colin later .He told me it was his first guitar when we met up a year of so back….Barry Goodall and Pete Bailey and his twin brother were in my class at Priory road….

Dave Nattress… Great stories and some unbelievable band names in the last couple of weeks.  As I’ve remarked before, there’s me thinking weird band names only really started in the 70’s, “A Teardrop Explodes” – “Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark” – etc. etc. How wrong was I?  Where did the “Unabridged Telephone Directory” come from?

Colin Fox… they used to shorten their name to UTD, but it sounded like a sexual disease.