The Tornados – Hastings Pier 10th November 1962

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… Absolute Radio 60 – Just played the Tornados 1962 classic hit record Telstar, produced in North London by Joe Meek.

Andy Qunta… Loved Telstar! Still do!

Terry Pack… The great Clem Cattini on drums.

Pete Fairless… Telstar was at #1 the week before. I wonder how many times they played it?

Mick O’Dowd… They produced (with the aid of Joe Meek) a very distinctive sound. They were once Billy Fury’s backing band. Saw both Billy Fury & Tornados at The ABC( now ESK).

Jon McCallion…Clem Cattini is still I think the only member of the Tornados still playing under the Tornados title. Joe meak the driving force.  Good band

Mick O’Dowd… Clem was also a prolific session man on a vast array of big hits. Saw him perform these at a music weekend at Butlins. The show was just like a covers band and then he did a medley of Tornados hits! Roger LaVerne appeared on 24 Hours in A&E a year or so back.

Terry Pack… Clem’s very funny. He refers to The Tornadoes as The Torn Arseholes, and The Swinging Blue Jeans as The Swinging Pub Band. He was once standing next to Jess Conrad when a punter asked Jess if he’d ever met Elvis. Before Jess could answer, Clem quipped, ‘Not yet, but it won’t be long!’ Another friend of mine, Charlie Elston, who now does a Billy Fury tribute thing, used to play with The Tornadoes. He had some great stories about Heinz!


Jon McCallion will like this. Printed by Hastings Printing Company. Now I wonder if he has any other interesting items in the vaults?

Mike Raxworthy… Heinz was in the Tornados – Joe got him to learn bass and virtually forced him onto the band. He did get married to an air hostess he met on a flight to the States. In 1975 he was my next door neighbour for about 3 years in a little village called Maylandsea, Essex.”


The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more 5th November 1966 by Andre Martin

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot – the 17th Century English Rhyme used to go, and here we are Saturday 5th November 1966.And in and around Hastings & St Leonards, there is evidence of this being celebrated, The Happy Ballroom – no change, this is sad when you think of how this venue used to be busy all year, nothing has been mentioned about the future, all we can do is “watch this space” Our Friday night start with Ready Steady Go this week contains a varied selection of musical tastes, amongst the guests – Cream: Wrapping Paper & N S U, Bobby Darin: If I were a Carpenter and Manfred Mann: Semi-detached Suburban Mr James. This weekend at the Witch Doctor it is the return of top Scottish Band – the Gaylords and the Thursday night it will be yet again that raver from Maidstone – Steve Maxted with his own particular brand of entertainment and mayhem.
Radio & Television follow very much the same as earlier weeks. Saturday Radio [The Light Programme] Saturday Club with Freddie & The Dreamers, Pinkerton’s Colours, Cat Stevens, The Zombies, The St Louis Union and Toni Daly, with Brian Matthew in control. Noon it was time for Call It Country Style with Murray Kash and Jack Jackson with his Record Roundabout followed. Later in the afternoon we had Swingalong with David Hamilton, Music Parade, Saturday Bandstand, Pop over Europe and Have a Go with Wilfred Pickles from Birchington in Kent. The evening continued with A Night at the Music-Hall, Nord-Ring from Oslo, Time for Old Time and Dancing Round Europe with some top orchestras including Eric Winstone & His Orchestra from Butlin’s Holiday Camp, Bognor Regis. Later it was time for Pete’s Party with Pete Murray and the evening ended with The Derek Franklin Trio taking you to 2.00am and closedown. Sunday it was time for Children’s Favourites with Leslie Crowther, Mrs Mills & The Happy Gang, Keith Fordyce and Easy Beat and at lunchtime Two Way Family Favourites from London & Koln. A comedy afternoon followed with The Navy Lark, The Clitheroe Kid, and The Billy Cotton Band Show. Semprini Serenade was followed by Pick of the Pops and Movie-go Round. Early evening included Top of The Form and Sing Something Simple. Desmond Carrington was back later with more Open House and this was followed by Movie Go Round 2 and the feature film this week – The Idol with Jennifer Jones, Michael Parks, John Leyton and Jennifer Hilary. The evening ended with Frankie Howerd and The Jazz Scene taking the station to close down.  Television – Saturday afternoon Grandstand followed by Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs who had for his panel Brian Poole, Julie Foster, Dave Clark and Francoise Hardy. After the News, Dr Who, Dixon of Dock Green, High Adventure Film – The Spanish Main, The Val Doonican Show, The Lucy Show, Match of the day, The Late show with John Bird & Co. BBC 2 included in their schedule – The Danny Kaye Show, Breaking Point and the Midnight Movie – The Young Stranger starring James MacArthur. Sunday afternoon Movie was Carlton-Brown of the F.O. with Terry Thomas and Peter Sellers, later it was the time for Bilko Returns, The Woman in White – final part!! Sooty, Meeting Point, and religious quiz – Where was Moses? Songs of Praise from Warminster in Wiltshire, The early evening film – Let’s Make Love, with Marilyn Monroe and Yves Hontand. In the evening it was time for the Billy Cotton Music Hall and the Ballet Eugene Onegin and the evening ended with the Look of the Week.
Over on the Pirates the weekends top records were –Radio London Big L- Beach Boys : Good Vibrations, Manfred Mann ; Semi-detached Suburban Mr James, Spencer David Group : Gimme Some Lovin’, Ike & Tina Turner : A Love Like Yours & Hollies ; Stop, Stop, Stop. Radio Caroline South with Dave Lee Travis – Beach Boys : Good Vibrations, Paul Jones – High Time, Four Tops : Reach out I’ll Be There, Hollies : Stop, Stop, Stop & Manfred Mann : Semi-detached Suburban Mr James.  The evenings are now drawing in and with the return to Winter time, Christmas must be fast approaching – but more of that to come. I made a slight error that week, I have subsequently discovered that Battle Bonfire had been held on 29th October 1966 because of the Queens Visit to the area for the 900th celebrations, and I do have very clear memories of being at that event. But as to where I spent this 5th November 1966 – that I do not recall. I will leave you with me pondering that thought. Until the next slice of The History of The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier aka Hastings 50 years ago! You all take care.

Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

Geoff Peckham… Thank you, Andre.

The Flipsides – Sidley Fete – 29th May 1965

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photos supplied by Peter Horton

Peter Horton… The pics show a group that we named ” The Flipsides “. This group was formed to perform at The Sidley Fete on Saturday 29th May, 1965. We were formed on Wednesday 7th April, 1965 and we broke up following the gig. The line up was fairly flexible and several people actually came up on stage to play on the day. If anyone can remember who the vocalist was please let me know. During the afternoon we had multiple equipment failure and we never completed the set. Pictures of the audience indicate that they seem to be enjoying themselves.

photo 1 …  Tony Bird Lead/Rhythm Guitar LHS, unknown singer vocalist Centre Snap, Phillip Earle Drums RHS, Sue Walden Vocalist Shown just to the left of the right hand window.

photo 2… Tony Bird Lead/Rhythm LHS, Rev Stockdale Lead/Rhythm Centre, Pete Horton Rhythm Guitar RHS.

photo 3… Phillip Earle Drums Unfortunately 2 snaps were taken on top of each other but this is the only other picture of Phil that I have from that day.

Geoff Peckham… Great pictures. Being a Sidley lad at that time, I was probably one of the lads there in thrall.

Phil Earle… Gosh, I’d forgotten this. No idea who the vocalist is. This was the first of many kits I had over the years and was a red sparkle mixture of a Gigster bass drum, Olympic toms, and Gigster snare. Cymbals and hi hats were Zyn and super Zyn. I can even remember I used Premier L sticks bought from Bird Music when they were at the top of Sackville Road. Shame the photo of me was double exposed but hey ho still good to see. Following this group I went on to join The Shrew People which has been mentioned here before. I must look out the photos for the site.

Ian McGilvray… I must have been trying to get some tips from the Band. Believe it I’m in the bottom left hand corner of the second photo. (posing as normal)!

Robert Searle… Can’t miss you mate

Colin Fox… Not THE Tony Bird of Birds Music fame? lol

Gaynor Duke… I was just going to comment that I spotted Mac in the crowd

Ian McGilvray… That’s me Gaynor with My imitation Beatles haircut

Philip Holloway… Can you remember any more about the fete, when the group wasn’t playing? I could ask Tony Bird, but can’t get in the shop. I’m making a Facebook album on Sidley past present.

Nikki Terry… I remember Rev Stockdale, Tony Bird, Dave Easton, Mick Ingram, Stuart Moir, Graham Putland oh loads of names…….

Mark Randall… We recorded our first ever demo at Tony’s 4 track studio

Laura Stockdale… Hey! Revs daughter here, does anyone have any more pictures of my dad?

The Confederates – 1963 to 1965 Grove School, White Rock Theatre and Broadstairs.

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supplied by Peter Millington Hastings Groups from 1958 to the present

Peter Millington… (photo 1) Anyone who watched part 1 of the Sky Arts programme about Queen recently would have seen Paul Watts of EMI talking about Queen from the record producers point of view. Here is a picture of Paul singing with the Confederates in July 1963 at the Grove School Summer Dance with Peter Millington in the background (with the mandatory Hank Hornrims). Paul was a founder member of The Confederates with Peter Millington on Bass, Lucian LeCoix-Lead Guitar and Dave Saunders-Drums.  Record Collector in 1998 says… Justifiably proud, Paul Watts, then General Manager of EMI’s International Division, decided to commemorate the award(The Queen’s Award To Industry For Export Achievement) with the release of a special single. The choice of artist was easy: “The award represented the way in which Queen were so much a part of the fabric of the company,” he recalled. “They were central to what EMI was doing”. “Bohemian Rhapsody” seemed the natural choice for the record, as it was such a milestone and had been the single that had catapulted Queen into international superstardom.

To read more about the formative years of the Confederates/SPYKE/JINKS have a read and chuckle here –

(photo 2) THE CONFEDERATES playing at the Observer Christmas Dance at the White Rock Theatre – December 1965 – Posted by Peter Millington – Photo supplied by Margaret Ross

(photo 3) An early picture of THE CONFEDERATES from 1964. Playing in Broadstairs – L-R Tony Goodman, Dave Saunders, Johnny Conroy, Trevor Spears, Peter Millington.

The Happy Ballroom, David Bowie & The Buzz at Witch Doctor and more. 3rd September 1966 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

All too quickly the summer season ends and we start to return a more normal schedule, although as this was 1966 this would be still hectic for a few more weeks because of the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, as I write this we are remembering Saturday 3rd September 1966. The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier has The Tony Strudwick Big Band for this weeks entertainment, and the variety on offer has now been reduced to just the Saturday night – the Sunday Club ended on the Bank Holiday Weekend.
Along the coast, a distance that I was informed recently was just under 1 mile, the Witch Doctor is still following the Saturday Night live bands, and this week we have some chap, called Dave Bowie ?? And the Buzz, they have advertised them as Radio London Climbers! The remainder of the week is Record, but I understand that one of the most popular record spinners would be returning later in the month after a summer break. Our regular routine would for many have been Friday Night and Ready Steady Go with the show piloted through the bedlam by Cathy & Keith, on the show this week The Spencer Davis Group “When I come Home”, Wayne Fontana “Goodbye Bluebird, The Fortunes “ Is it really worth your While” & Sandie Shaw “ Run”. Lets take a look at the BBCs offerings – On The Light Programme on Saturday we had 10.00am Saturday Club with Don Moss sitting in for Brian Matthew, and the groups appearing included Alan Price, The Spencer David Group, Small Faces and Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. In the afternoon – Swing into Summer continues and this week’s artistes included Adam Faith, Vince Hill, The Ivy League & The Magil 5, for Brass Band Fans this was also the 114th National Competition broadcast live. The evening entertainments still with summer seasons in mind came from Great Yarmouth with Terry Scott & Hugh Lloyde, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Dallas Boys and The Countrymen. Later in the evening it was The Henry Wood Promenade Concert from the Royal Albert Hall. The evening ended with Dancing Over Europe and Simon Dee. Television – Grandstand, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Till Death Do Us Part, The Trouble shooters and Match of the Day. Sunday, was very much as usual – Radio – Children’s requests, Mrs Mills & The Happy Gang, Easy Beat. Three way Family Favourites – London, Koln & Singapore [BFBS were just about to move into their new studios in Tanglin Army Barracks on the island, that would be their home until the pull out of British Forces in 1972 from the Singapore Base – I remember it well] The afternoon was filled with the usual comedy, Melody and Movie times and later in the evening the main show came from Blackpool. The evening ended with Jazz Scene. Sunday was Educational till mid afternoon, then International Athletics, followed by It’s a KO – Blackpool v Lytham St Anne, Perry Mason and Ken Dodd. BBC 2 had Cricket and a feature on Animals in Trinidad.
On the pirates Tony Blackburn on Radio London Top Forty – Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers “ Got to Get you into my Life”, Lee Dorsey “ Working Down a Coal Mine”, Chris Andrews “ Stop that Girl”, Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band “ Big Time Operator & a band that I would work many times with a little later in the Decade on Hastings Pier – Episode Six “ Here There and Everywhere”. The top 5 on Radio Caroline this week – Dave Lee Travis on Caroline South – Roy Orbison “ Too Soon To Know”, The Beatles “Yellow Submarine, Manfred Mann “Just Like a Woman”, Small Faces “ All or Nothing” and Chris Andrews “ Stop that Girl”
So there we have another weeks memories of Hastings & St Leonards Fifty years ago! I hope that it brought back the good times, even if after all these years perhaps that not quite as we remember them – memory can do some strange things to the truth. Until next week, you all make the most the we week and the weather and of course there are some good things about to happen on the Pier as part of Heritage Open Days, but more about that next week.  Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016.

Andy Qunta… Thanks again, Andre. You took me right back there!

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell. Reviewing Yesterday’s Sunshine CD by Grapefruit.


Ive been looking forward to receiving this. I remember going to buy their debut single on my birthday in February 1968. Grapefruit were George Alexander (bass) and songwriter par excellence, John Perry, and brothers Geoff and Pete Swettenham (late of Tony Rivers and the Castaways). Formed in 1967 they were the first (and only) band signed to The Beatles newly formed Apple Publishing. Named and supported by John Lennon in particular they had everything going for them. Great songwriting, musicianship, looks and the clout of The Beatles to promote them. They couldn’t fail, or could they? That debut single referred to earlier was of course ‘Dear Delilah’ an insanely catchy slice of pop/psyche complete with phasing and a haunting whimsical melody. A perfect debut, heavy airplay, radio/TV coverage, Beatles patronage, it should have gone all the way but somehow stalled just outside the Top Twenty (at 21). Still very respectable. The follow up was to be ‘Lullaby’ produced by Paul and John (the only time the two of them ever produced together for another band). Unfortunately The Beatles went off to ‘find themselves’ in India and ‘Lullaby’ was shelved. However the aforementioned George Alexander came up with the upbeat soaring harmonies and again incredibly catchy ‘Elevator’ another near perfect sunshine pop single. It flopped. And sadly this was a pattern that continued to plague Grapefruit. An excellent cover version of the Four Seasons ‘C’mon Marianne’ (a personal favourite) did manage a rather lowly position (35). So where did it go wrong? In my view one word – Timing-. By the time the album ‘Around Grapefruit’ arrived it was 1969. If ‘Dear Delilah’ had appeared in 1967’s ‘Summer of Love’ together with the follow up singles and album im convinced Grapefruit would have had the success they so richly deserved. By catching the tail end of the classic psychedelic era they simply missed the boat. This compilation of 20 tracks (some previously unreleased) is hugely enjoyable and for anyone with even a passing interest in pop/psyche its an essential listen that will put a smile on your face and gladden your heart. And for those of us of a ‘certain age’ will bring back memories of a unique era. Enjoy.

For more information go to

colin-head-111x150-111x150Til Next Time….



Phil Gill… Nice story, and this looks like a great compliation too. Little known fact: John Perry played keyboards and sang backing vocals on a record I once played bass on. Other personnel were Wesley Magoogan, Andy Caine, Steve Demetri and Ray Fenwick. And of course, Jo Jo Laine – When The Boys Happy

A Band Of Angels – 18th March 1966 and part 2 of The Happy Ballroom report by Andre Martin.



supplied by  Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection L-R:John Gaydon, John Baker, Andrew Petre, David Wilkinson, Mike d’Abo.

Here is the 18th March 1966 extra report –
As you can see we are looking at Hastings 7 St Leonards some 50 years ago, although it only seems like it was yesterday. We at the local college – Hastings College of Further Education had planned for the college Rag would coincide with the 900th celebrations of that famous battle around 14 October. Because of the term dates, our main entertainments were scheduled for June and would be a 3 nighter on Hastings Pier, the Big event being the Friday All Nighter. To start the ball rolling we decided that something in March would be a good idea, and looking for a theme, decided against St Patricks Night and went for 18th March – “ The Ides of March “ the entertainments committee organised this, and for some unknown reason decided to book the Dolphin Ballroom on the floor below the Witch Doctor, at the last minute this was changed and we had a very successful night. The Programme was top of the bill, Pye Recording artistes and old Harrovians “ A Band of Angels” supported by two excellent local groups The Defiants and The Victors and the record spinning was left in my capable hands.[ its strange that the word Disco does still not appear anywhere] As we had 2 members of the d’Abo family amongst the college student body, the addition of Mike in A Band of Angels, would ensure that Mrs d’Abo would be along to see the boys appearing on the night, she was a real trouper and all the noise, lights and great number of young people, never flinched the whole evening – she was a Star!
We arrange for a personal visit from the boys to Alan Jensen in the Disc Jockey in the afternoon for PR exercise, record & photo signing etc – these were always popular and you could rely on a very happy smiling Alan to be buzzing around the shop, and he came along to the club that night as one of our guests. On another personal level, that turned out to be the start of another interesting time for me, as I was asked to take over the organisation of the entertainments for the Rag 3 Day event later in the year, so great things ahead. A Band of Angels were a great act and I think one of their best records, and one that in subsequent years would get a big following on the Northern Soul Circuit was” Invitation” As this was a Friday night – “Ready Steady Go” had set the scene, and on the show that week, we saw Billy Fury-“I’ll never quite get over you” : Barbara Lewis : Bob Lind “Elusive Butterfly”: Spencer Davis “Somebody Help Me”[ has to one of my all time favourite records of the year ] Irma Thomas and The Who “ Substitute “ – which was the first single that I played that night, having been given a copy earlier in the week by Alan Jensen as Reaction records were doing a heavy promotion at the time. It was an excellent way to start the night. For those of you who remember that night, I hope this addition to my weekly blog has brought back good memories, I certainly remember that weekend for all sorts of reasons. Back to normal in the next couple days when we look at the weekend of 19 March 1966        Andre Palfrey-Martin© 2016.

Alan Esdaile …..Not sure if this record was a hit but was big with the Northern Soul crowd. I used to go and play the piano for Mike ‘d’Abo’s mum ‘Primrose’. A lovely lady and very much missed.

Andre Martin….Very true – now being played in Japan in the Northern Clubs ! Hope Mike and the Boys are getting their Yen.


The Happy Ballroom and more 5th March 1966 by Andre Martin

Time marches on and we find that we have now reached the weekend of Saturday 5th March 1966 – and for the first time for a while we see activity on Hastings Pier, and to be precise The Happy Ballroom and reactivated the Saturday Night Dances, this week the top of the bill are Hedge Hoppers Anonymous. They had a hit record in 1965 with “Its Good News Week” incidentally produced by one Jonathan King! But that is not all on the Pier, because Disc Jockey Promotion have started a Thursday Night event known as TEEN BEAT Coffee Club in the Pier Restaurant, this week the music is provided by Mud Mulligans Big Boss Band. 7.30pm – 10.30pm all for 2/6d. That has to be a move in the right direction of having the Dancing Sign flashing again after so many months across the front of the Ballroom.
Friday Evenings started with the one and only MOD show – Ready Steady Go from London, and on the show this week, David Bowies & The Buzz :”Can’t help thinking about me”, Manfred Mann, Small Faces : “Sha La La La Lee”, Spencer Davis: “Somebody Help Me”, Yardbirds: “Shape of Things to Come” with Keith and Cathy to pull it all together in their great way.
The Witch Doctor was gearing up to more entertainment in the coming week – On Saturday headlining were Essex band The Symbols who were regulars at the club and would later go onto have a couple of hit records on the President Label. On that night the support was from another well know group in the club – The Blue Stars and as ever Johnny Mann spinning the records. Sunday afternoon Dance sessions were as popular as ever 2.30pm – 5.00pm all for 1/6d. Tuesday night it was “Candlelight Spin” 7.30pm – 11.00pm for a whole 2/-. Thursday Night was as ever the night for The Muscles Maxted Show. Friday nights were back on the programme from next week 11th March with the Anteeks. Even so, they all keep respectable hours and the shows would have been over by 11.00pm. On the Radio The BBC Light Programme, followed its usual schedule, some of the hi-lights this week included – Saturday Club The Animals, Yardbirds,Dave Berry & The Cruisers, Jackie Lee, and Mister Murray – Brian Matthew was in control and adding some new records. Later in the evening 6.30pm on Jazz Club were the very popular Kenny Ball & His Jazz Men. Sunday it was Easy Beat, Two Way Family Favourites with London & Koln [it’s been a while now for a link up anywhere else in the world] Pick of the Pops and Movie Go Round.
Television on Saturday included –Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs this week’s panel included Eric Burdon, Maloo Pantera, Gene Pitney and Briony Newton. That evening it was time for the Eurovision Competition this year the broadcast came from Luxemburg, and we were represented by Kenneth McKeller “A Man without Love” – The final outcome was that we came 9th with 8 points (thanks to Austria and Ireland) the winning entry was from the Austrian entry “Merci Cherie” by Udo Jugens. The commentary was from David Jacobs in the studio. Sunday was a combination of the regular drama and entertainments plus films.
The pirates continued to supply much of the pop mix for us all, and even Radio Caroline was returning to fairly regular schedules after the beaching a few weeks earlier. So there we have the first weekend in March, from all accounts the weather was dry and grey. Until the next instalment, wrap up warm and lets all hope for some dry weather and less wind that at the moment. Until next weeks – the History of the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier et al………..
Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016