Who remembers Dimarco’s?

supplied by Terry Huggins

Mark Praid… Wow, this brings back memories of the one in Hove. The best hard ice vanilla you could get.

Dennis Torrance… Ice cream was amazing there so good. I remember going shopping with my mum price rite then egg and chips lime milk shake on Friday night thanks for the memories

Wendy Belton… Remember it well. Their ice cream was amazing.

Rachel Rayburn… It was my very first job! Saturday mornings serving coffee

Keith Blizard… Not only great ice cream, a wonderful family !

Mick Knights… All meeting up late Sunday afternoon for egg beans and chips before deciding which film to see in the evening, we were creatures of habit in those days

Lloyd Johnson… I do! Tony Di Marco went to my school and I had a summer job along the seafront towards the Old Town working for the family in their ice cream shop, just before George street…

Nastassja Kaschevsky… Used to go in there a lot, lovely family.

Dennis Torrance… My mum worked in the dimarcos under st marys in the castle early 60s I used to play the machines and eat the ice cream there to mums name was Ivy Torrance

William Wallace… the one in hastings gave u the biggest cup of tea in the world lol

Keith Cowper… One of my favourite places in the 50s and 60s

Chris Meachen… Some of my earliest memories are of my dad taking me in there,- He seemed to be friends with the owners (Mr Louis is the name I recall?) I used to have an egg & tomato finger roll followed by one of their fabulous ice creams. Went in regularly all through the years until they closed, much better than a poxy macdonald’s.

Andy Caine… So much time spent in there! The interior was beautiful.

Harry Randall…  see a lot of comments about the Ice Cream! Well a lot of people don’t realise the Ice Cream/Cafe opposite the “De La Warr” in Bexhill is the same family!

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who remembers Top of The Pops – cover version albums

They used to play these in lots of shops, remember hearing them in Woolworth and the Wimpy bar.

Geoff Peckham… Before that, does anyone remember the EPs you could buy for about 3/11 that contained four current hits covered by session men? I had one with I Wanna Hold Your Hand, so that dates it to 1964.

Kev Towner… I saw some in a charity shop yesterday actually.

Darren Johnson… Could you get them free with petrol too I recall?

Jim Breeds… I have a couple of the LPs. And here’s a blog site dedicated to the subject.

Jan Warren… They were terrible!

Martyn Baker… Yes they were.

Peter Thomson… I once read that an album existed called something like “Thin Lizzy Sings Deep Purple” but I never found it. I might Google it quickly before some other smartass gets the chance. Found it Funky Junction.

Pete Millington… Many of the Top of the Poppers became Cliff Richard’s backing band in the mid 1970s. Have a listen to the cover of Bohemian Rhapsody created in days not weeks and you’ll realise what a stunning bunch of talent they were.

Pete Fisher… I played on recording sessions in 1976 with Alan Tarney (bass) and Trevor Spencer (drums), who were then also Cliff’s rhythm section, and Alan Tarney wrote and produced “We Don’t Talk Anymore”

Peter Thomson… I saw a Dutch covers band while living in Germany, who performed a note perfect version of Bohemian Rhapsody, including the operatic mid section. Queen, who I’d seen in ’76 in Hyde Park, could never do that live.

Dave Nattress… Well I definitely remember the covers!! – Woolies specials weren’t they? I think my Wife has some of these LP’s stashed away in the loft. If I recall correctly were the copies a bit dodgy on the vocals? i.e. not actually very good copies of the originals. Jaffa (Geoff Peckham) mentioned some cheap EP’s. Don’t recall those but I did buy a couple of single/EP sized (EP’s I suppose – Duh) which were I think on the “Disc-a-Fran” label – I did say I think, it was long ago, in about 1966. These had 6 tracks I think and seemed like a bargain – not original tracks but copies and noticeably different. I can’t recall the tracks other than I think Long John Baldry’s Let the Heartaches Begin was on one of them. God alone knows where they came from.

Tim Moose Bruce… When I left school and started work in 76 the factory i worked at had piped music with covers of the recent chart hits. Prob the same musicians. Eventually got radio 1 .

Alan King… Elton John recorded a few, TOTP albums as did David Bowie and the singer out of Uriah Heap, when they were struggling of course


Pete Billings R.I.P. (21st December 2016)


Tony White (Eastbourne Bands from 1960 on Facebook page) … Remembering Pete Billings, drummer with The Saints, Fifth Avenue and dep’d with almost every other local musician since the 1960’s. Sadly passed away on 21st December 2016.

Robert Searle… RIP Pete Billings

Laura Broadway… Sad loss, great drummer,great bloke.

Colin Norton… Had the pleasure of meeting and playing with Pete this past September. Together with Lawrie Broadway, Baz Cooper and Pete we were the Features. Here’s a pic of Pete on September 10th this year. RIP Pete.


Terry Pack… RIP, Pete. What a lovely bloke.

Eddie Sargent… Very sad loss brilliant drummer

Chris van Rock… RIP ……

Ernest Ballard… Oh. That’s a shock. He was a local hero. Nice bloke and good drummer RIP

Barry French… So sorry to hear this news, lovely man & brilliant drummer RIP.

Tony White has posted the funeral details on The Eastbourne Bands site... Pete’s funeral will take place on Friday 6th January 2017 at 1.00pm, at Beulah Baptist Church, Buckhurst Rd, Bexhill, followed by a family burial and back to the church hall for refreshments.

Charlotte Hutchinson… Dear Pete. We thought you were wonderful . So kind to us when we first met. So good to Chris , and a fantastic drummer. God bless you ,and may you rest in peace. You are going to be greatly missed  . Chris and Charlotte Hutchinson.

Dave King… The best drummer I have ever worked with. We played together as the Dave Allan Sound in the 80s and early 90s until I emigrated to France in ’92. Played together again at a couple of Saints reunions at the Winter Garden. What a lovely man, who didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody. This world could do with a few more like Pete. R.I.P. Mate.

John Harper… Grateful thanks to another old mate – Dave King – for telling me about this website in an email today from France. I can only second what he said about Pete. Dear old Pete was a good buddy who I’ve known and gigged with since 1970. Best drummer around and a lovely bloke. We were founder members of The BJ 4 along with Barry Jones on vocals and Les Saxby on keyboards. We were resident band at The Eastbourne Fishermens Club from 1973. Needless to say the band lineup changed over the years ( as they do! ) Les sadly passed away in 1988 and George Smithson joined the band on keyboards. When George moved to Spain Andy Winterborne became our keyboards. Mick Ansfield ( on bass ) gigged with us on and off. Stuart Coffee then became our bassplayer. We became City Rhodes Sounds when Barry left the band in early 80’s and Dave Hacker joined as lead vocals. Pete eventually moved on in the 80’s and joined Dave Allen Sound. Terry Mconnell became his replacement on drums. Stuart Coffee left in late 80’s to play jazz with his dad and brother and that’s when Bob Page joined the band on bass and vocals replacing Dave who joined Tony Bird’s band. Laurie Brookman joined us on guitar for a few years. We were resident at the club from 1973 to the year 2000.
Sadly several of the band have passed on now … Les Saxby, Mick Ansfield, George Smithson, Stuart Coffee, Barry Jones and of course Pete Billings. R.I.P. I’m pleased to say that Pete’s photo is on display at the club.

Geoff Peckham… Would this be the Les Saxby who was a friend and bandmate of my dad, Dave Peckham? My dad used to take me to his place near Alexandra Park in the 60s. I once showed him a copy of the sheet music of Donovan’s ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man”, which he played on his home organ and mocked it’s simplicity! Don’t know why I remember that. Did he also have a model train set?

Mark Mackenzie… I do remember you guys at the fish, Mick Ansfield played on some of our recordings we did in Eastbourne, he was a really great bass player.

Robert Searle… RIP Mick Ansfield

Did you used to watch Wrestling and who was your favourite?

photo source: www.mirror.co.uk  (Photo: Redferns)


Jo Avery… Yep seen them all! Used to go to the White Rock on a Wednesday. Had a massive crush on Steve Grey!

Chris Meachen… My mum was a fan of wrestling on tv, & she would shout at it too..

Dennis Torrance… Many years back saw big daddy wrestling was my first time watching. Was amazed at the woman there going mental running up to the stage shouting abuse was funny

Mike O’Dowd… Every Saturday afternoon with Kent Walton commentating. You all knew it was fixed but it was fun!

Anne Gower… Used to watch it with my Nan on Saturday afternoon

Wendy Weaver… I saw Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks (I think it was him) on the pier – late 70s. They just kept walking into one another’s’ stomaches until one fell over

Andre Martin… OMG Used to have to build the Ring for the Wrestlers at the White Rock Pavilion in the the 1960s, That had to be strong to take the weight and punding !

Alan Pepper… What a laugh that was ! Saturday afternoon after having fish and chips from Jones’s in Battle Road with all the family. What a fix though…. Ask him ref ! Noahh ! Noahh !

Tony Ham… Mark Rollerball Rocko, Kendo Nagasaki, Cyanide Sid Cooper, Mick McManus, Dave Fit Finlay, basically all the baddies.

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Wimpy Bar memories and new one coming to Hastings?

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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..

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