The old Wimpy in Queens Road, Hastings. supplied by Nick Prince 1066 and all that Facebook page
Wimpy Pelham Place
Nick Prince… As Hastings looks set to get a Wimpy Bar again, its a great opportunity for some retro talk about some retro cuisine. What was your favourite? A bender in a bun? a double decker? A banana longboat? Mine was the Wimpy Brunch and a Knickerbocker Glory… So…. Is it true that Wimpy are returning to Hastings after two decades? The area covered by “1066 and all That” has had five Wimpy Bars dating back to the early 1960’s – Three in Hastings and Two in Bexhill. The Hastings ones were at Pelham Place (now an amusement arcade), Queens Road (now a travel agent) and George Street (now Whites Seafood and Steak Restaurant), while the Bexhill ones were situated in Devonshire Road (now Little Maroubu) and Western Road (now Bentley’s Steak House). Eventually becoming a British firm, Wimpy started off life in the US in Indiana back in 1934 and Lyons introduced the brand to the UK at their Lyons Corner House in Coventry Street twenty years later. Lyons went on to form Wimpy UK, which was totally independent to the USA version which has since disappeared. Wimpy were established in both countries before the world had been introduced to both McDonald’s and Burger King. At their UK peak, which didn’t actually come until the early 1980’s, there were 500 operating with many towns and cities having several, Brighton at one time had eight open at the same time and now the nearest one to that city it at Peacehaven. Half of the Wimpys became Burger King’s in a merger in the late 1980’s before a management buy out saved the name, which derives from the burger chomping J Wellington Wimpy from Popeye. At the beginning of 2016 just 86 survived and this has dwindled to 80 today. Two new ones have opened in Oxford and Surrey. However, Eastbourne lost their very busy one this May when its lease ran out and the site being used as part of the Arndale redevelopment. The chain will be reopening in Eastbourne. The one in Streatham has seen off the McDonald’s. Where in Hastings is it going? A lot of empty shops in Castle Street! What do Wimpy themselves say about returning to Hastings? They say; “Watch this space!” .
Ernest Ballard… Brilliant
Ian Mantel… 1979, Friday mornings- HCFE, lunch at Wimpy, Queen’s Road before BSM driving lesson with Hastings DJ, Johnnie Stuart (?) in his Triumph Dolomite Sprint .
Jan Warren… I’m sure they used to do some sort of “doughnut dessert”, was it called a “brown derby” (or something) …… maybe that was in the 60s??!!
Chris Meachen… Used to like a brown derby, ring donut covered in soft ice cream, drizzled in chocolate sauce with a sprinkle of chopped nuts… The wimpy by the deluxe used to be our biker’s base in the 70’s, we’d all meet up in there before going out for a ride somewhere.. The Mandovi brothers were always very welcoming, & traffic was so light in those days, we could line our bikes up outside.. I always liked the quarter-pounder burger, brown derby, & proper milkshakes..