Witchdoctor Club – The Animals & The Who

Thanks to Lloyd Johnson for finding this. How Tony Powell became manager of the Witchdoctor.

Also a classic photo of ‘The Animals’  read the sign!


                                                                                                   Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

The Who at the Witchdoctor 4th August 1965

Mick Knights….The only face I can put a possitive ID to is still Colin Gilcrest (Mr. G) I recognise the first bloke looking mean and moody, but can’t think of a name. I’m pretty sure the girl dancing alone is Lill, but it was almost 50 years ago!!!!!

Gary Kinch….Alas, too young to see them in the 60’s although I do have a tenuous second hand link with the Witch Doctor during that period. My Dad was a Bouncer there, whether he was at this gig I don’t know without asking him. He would of hated the music though. He also worked at the Fiesta in a similar capacity during the 60’s…Anyway, one of my favourite bands and I’ve seen them a few times since. Sundowner in London, December 73 being a good ‘un. Mainly Quadrophenia (top 20 all time great albums IMO) with the odd Tommy track plus a couple of the older classics. The trip to this gig was organised by Hastings Students Union, at least one coach full of young reprobates went. Anyone else remember this outing?

Pete Fisher….saw them on the Pier, July 1969, and at the front it was so loud my vision started to blur, and I had to go out and grab some sea air, returning to stand further back. Moon threw out drumsticks at the end, and a mate from school won the scrum to get it, only because he was small and agile, and ran for his life out of the ballroom clutching his trophy, which he brought into school the next day! Only time rugby ever came in useful!

Mick O’Dowd….Thankfully most of us didn’t “Die before we get old!”

Iain Cobby… Hey Pete, I was there too in 69, July, the same evening man walked on the Moon (no pun intended).It was a Sunday Club gig, the first real gig I was allowed to go to. They were loud with an army of WEM and Marshall cabs all around the stage. They did the whole of Tommy if I recall,I then fell in love with wanting to play bass (what went wrong?) As waited for my dad to pick me up outside the entrance, Daltrey breezed past me. I cried out ” nice one Rog”…………….. he never even blinked. oh well.

Nick Prince… The Who video – wow!!

The Happy Ballroom – 8th May 1965 P J Proby by Andre Martin



Andre Martin… Here a little later than planned is the next episode of the History of the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, it’s weekending Saturday 8th May 1965. We find that the Pier Company have decided to present another recording artiste and this act I know with bring back memories for one particular reader – more about that later ! Top of the Bill was P.J.Proby – who everybody remembers not for his musical ability but for splitting his trousers on stage during his act, and bringing down condemnation from many !! The supporting group were another of the regulars to the town The Quiet Five. All this plus the usual Bar and snacks, 7.30 – 11.45 at the door 10/- [9/- in advance from the Toll House]
The weekend would have kicked off for many with the Friday night – Ready Steady Go, from Redifusion Studios in Kingsway London – With Cathy this week were The Everly Brother, Sandie Shaw and Unit 4+2.
Live music continued at the Witch Doctor with Saturday nights offering – Johnny B Great and The Quotation who had just finished supporting The Drifters on a UK Tour, and The Equals. Sunday Club saw Johnny B Great and The Quotations back on stage for the evening. Friday night saw the first visit to the club of the Bad Boys. The rest of the week was filled with the Thumping Disco Sounds with our local record spinners in control. A good 7 nights entertainment that kept the punters flocking to St Leonards in their droves.
What was the BBC offering for our listening pleasures – Saturday on the Light Programme, we had 10.00am Saturday Club, with Brian Matthews, and this week on the show – Sandie Shaw, Tom Jones, The Fourmost, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, The Cannon Brothers, The Settlers and The LadyBirds, so it was a busy and varied show. Saturday continued with Saturday Swings at 2.00pm – Unit 4+2, Sue & Sunshine and the Bill Rayner Quartet, plus Dave Macbeth plus “ some swinging discs “ In control was Bruce Wyndham. Ed – interesting to note that the use of discs rather than records is beginning to appear more and more. Brian Matthews would be back at 4.00pm with Top Gear this week featuring The Everly Brother, Cilla Black and Sounds Incorporated.
Sundays music line up with include – Easy Beat [10.31] Keith Fordyce introducing The Seekers, The Ivy League, Migil Five and the Johnny Howard Band. Mid day would bring the very popular link up with Families in UK and with the Forces Overseas, this week it was a 2 way link with Cologne and London.
There was no Juke Box Jury on the Saturday Night TV schedule – because the BBC Light Programme was presenting a special 25th anniversary of VE day – more talk and discussion than music.
ABC from Birmingham – Thank Your Lucky Stars – Brian Matthews [ that chap certainly get around] presenting Shirley Bassey, The Birds [not to be confused with the BYRDS from US] Chubby Checker, Marianne Faithful and The Searchers.
That is what we were viewing, listening to and enjoying in the town, 50 years ago. The Pier Company keeps trying to attract a regular clientele and will continue to change their programme over the coming weeks as we will see. Until next week, you all take care out there.  Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

Janine Anne Hemsley… Great read x

Mick O’Dowd… Top stuff Andre. I was there and he didn’t split his trousers but I did get crushed and hauled over the heads to the stage! The shame of it!

Alan Esdaile… Were you singing ‘Hold Me’ at the time, Mick?

Mick O’Dowd… It was more like Together up and over Alan!

Sylvia Sinden… can remember seeing him at brighton it should have been the walker brothers but they couldn,t make it so itwas pj instead i was so upset at the time

SMART 19 coffee meet 17th April 2015 report


Another great afternoon. Among the newbies this time were Kevin Burchett, Tony Davis, Dan Large, Natasha Kasschevsky and Iain Cobby. Iain brought along two rare Melody Maker newspapers from 1976. One featuring Stallion on the front cover and the other special edition 50 years of music. Pete Prescott had some more great photo albums featuring many local musicians. Paul Sleet had a very rare ticket from the Rolling Stones Earls Court gig in 1976 as well as some great photos of Paul and friends with guitars in the early 70’s. Colin Bell had a copy of his On The Record column when he reviewed the Canterbury sound cd’s and reminded me of when I went to Blueys club which was a popular haunt for Caravan. Wendy Weaver had some great photos of lots of dj’s that have appeared on Hastings Rock. Its back on air on the 2nd May and Sarah Harvey is organising a music fest on 31st May. Lots of talk on the announcement of the pier opening next year and who we would like to see perform. Also chat about the excellent Beatles Day, Scalliwags reunion, Factory, Carnival FM, record store day, late night cafe’s when on the road, Percy Sledge, vinyl sales rising, the recent hub talks, The Damned coming to St Mary in the Castle, Hastings Folk Fest, Pam Dor coffee bar, sheet music, Chris Farlowe coming to the White Rock, P.P. Arnold in Eastbourne, the beach concert, Genesis, The Dekorators plus lots more. This is a very small part of what went on and can remember! Anyone else, please feel free to post what they were talking about.

Kevin Burchett… had a great afternoon at the SMART group meet at the white rock hotel discussing the scalliwags reunion and catching up with people i hadnt seen for a long time.

Sarah Harvey… Another lovely afternoon with wonderful people!

Mick O’Dowd… Well done again Alan. All that running around at the Meet sure works wonders. How do you keep coming up trumps with this? Another good one although did not have time to speak to all I wanted to.

Jon McCallion… Great photo of Jed Nigel and Paul, seeing Jed soon I hope

Tony Davis… Really enjoyed my first afternoon with everybody. Nice to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. Work permitting I hope to make this a regular event.


The Happy Ballroom The Searchers & more Easter Saturday 17th April 1965 by Andre Martin


11014974_10205188186682283_1357693201982749425_n-21975165_10205188181922164_5390394287925641681_n-2 The Searchers (1965)

 cuttings  Andre Palfrey-martin collection.

photo Jac. de Nijs / Anefo. source Nationaal Archief

Hurrah! We have reached Easter 1965 – and this would have been the first break from work since Christmas, the Easter Holiday is a strange one, because many people still work on Good Friday. Here we are the Saturday 17th April 1965. The Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier was to be the centre of the Hastings Carnival Queen Selection, and its back to the world of Pop groups, topping the bill this weekend would be from Liverpool “The Searchers” supported by another group from Merseyside The Paramounts. The youngsters would have to brace themselves for the short walk from the Promenade to the Ballroom, as the weather for that weekend – “Rain, Wind and below average temperatures “ Bank Holiday Monday there would be the Easter Parade with the best Bonnets and fancy dress – Dancing from 10.30am to 1.00pm in the Happy Ballroom.
The weekend had kicked off with Ready Steady Go on the Friday night, thanks to Rediffusion broadcasting the London ITV programmes in Hastings. This week as a special was alive outside broadcast from the Ricky Tick Club in Windsor – a well know location for the Mods and some serious music. Cathy McGowan interviewed George Harrison and John Lennon. The music was supplied by Adam Faith “ I need your Love” : The Kinks “Everybody gonna be Happy”: Hermans Hermits “ Wonderful World”: The Yardbirds “ For Your Love” also on the programme Doris Troy, and Don & Dee Dee Ford.
For those who had made a Friday night venture to the Witch Doctor, they were entertained by The Echo’s – Dusty Springfields Backing Group. The weekend continued with Saturday night a double bill with The Washi9ngton DCs and The Shevelles. Sunday Club – it was the return of The Voodos. Bank Holiday Monday saw the WD favourites John L Watson & The Hummelflugs. Friday night’s live music was provided by one of Hastings best –The Talismen. The other nights discs with the WD crew playing the best music about.
One of the good things about the weekend is that BBC radio made some changes to their normal schedule, but there was an increase in the pop music – influence of the Pirates? Who knows? 10.00am Saturday Club, with Brian Matthews, on the bill this week –Hermans Hermits, Doris Troy, Moody Blues, Kenny Ball and His Jazz Men, Tony Rivers & The Castaways and Brian Jameson. 2.00pm Saturday Swings – Rosemary Squires, Jerry Allen Trio, Mike Redway, The Yardbirds and some “ swinging discs “ played by Bruce Wyndham. Brian Matthews was back at 4.00pm with The Animals and Goldie & the Gingerbreads on Top Gear. Later that evening from The Ricky Tick Club, Windsor – Tony Hall presents “Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames.
Sunday morning Easy Beat – Dionne Warwicks, Roger Miller, Val Doonigan, The Sorrows and The Johnny Howard Band, Keith Fordyce and his selection of the latest releases. 12noon – an institution – Two Way Family Favourites – this week it was in fact Three Way, with the inclusion of BFBS Cyprus from Nicosia. Sunday lunch at Easter was a special fro so many households – Roast Chicken with all the trimmings, and for the youngsters like us – was many Easter eggs as you could manage !!
Bank Holiday Monday for some it was sports programmes, for others more music programmes – 10.00am Holiday Pop – Anita Harris, Donovans, Unit 4 plus 2, Tom Jones & The Squires [ was this a rehearsal session from next weekend in the Happy Ballroom] The Hollies and The Artwoods. 12 mid day – Record Spin with Don Moss. 2.00pm Happy Holiday Beat – The Searchers, Mark Wynter, Maureen Evans, The Seekers, Sandra Brown, The Raindrop and Don Wardell “spinning a few discs”. 4.00pm Yeh!Yeh! Tony Hall with Gerry & The Pacemakers, Elkie Brooks, Roger Miller. The Bank Holiday ended with Teen Scene – 10.30pm – News Gossips & views Plus discs from the world of Young People in the chair Barry Chambers.
Television on Saturday featured – Juke Box Jury, with David Jacobs, Tony Bennett, Marianne Faithfull, Ertha Kit and Ted Rogers. Over on ITV – Thank Your Lucky Stars – Brian Matthews introduced, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, Tony Rivers & The Castaways, Manfred Mann, Adam Faith & the Roulettes and The Honeycombs.
For many of us, the most important entertainment was the Radio, and as I have mentioned before – The Pirates, and how they were influencing charges in the music and entertainment scene.
That was Easter 1965 – how many of you remember making a trip to Eastbourne – The Continental on the Sunday or Monday? it was just the norm, as we had visitors coming over to Hastings to visit the PamDor or Witch Doctor.
Next week, we see the pop music is back with a Welshman would was just about to start taking over the world, yet again Hastings Pier Ballroom was in the forefront ! until next week you take care.          Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015.

Mick O’Dowd… I shall miss “togetherness dancing” but there we go. The Paramounts were the band that morphed into Procul Harum. Used to listen to Two-Way(3 Way and more) Family Favourites at Sunday dinner time.

SMART coffee meet 19 – White Rock Hotel. Friday 17th April 2015.

SMART COFFEE MEET 19. The next SMART coffee meet is  Friday 17th April 2015 – 3.30pm at the White Rock Hotel. Please bring any photos, cuttings, records etc that would be interesting for others to see or just bring yourself. Always looking for new people to join us.

Jeanette Jones… Sadly I’ll be gone. Looking forward to attending in the autumn:-)

Jim Breeds… Are geranium cuttings allowed Alan?

Alan Esdaile… flower power!


Suspects – field & guitar shots.

10842123_10153653798163272_3362976312346966273_o 10582923_10153653798183272_5496787184295550534_o


supplied by Karen Sweatman Was Blackman.

Karen Sweatman…. Found these other Suspects photos.  Thought you might be interested. Don’t think I’ve provided them before.

Alan Esdaile… Excellent Karen. Have not seen these before. Anyone confirm the line up was still the same, David Easton, Peter James Shaw, John Unwin, Peter Blackman, Mick Ingram?

Peter Gladwish… Line-up confirmed.

Peter Millington… Well if I didn’t know better I would have put Dave Easton down as a headmaster rather than the “wild man of pop”.

Alan Mitchell… Great picture, two Hofner Veri-thin guitars. I’ve alway’s like them.

Karen Sweatman… Mum still has Dads. Unfortunately, it is not playable anymore. Looked at getting it fixed, but will cost a fortune. It’s still lovely to look at.

Martin Richter… my silvertone looks like the one on the right – nice geetars!

Terry Pack… Is that Mick Ingram on the left?

Karen Sweatman… I believe it is

Terry Pack… Haven’t seen him since the early 1980s. I wonder where he is.

Robert Searle… Photos get better. I bet Dave got all the bookings.

Colin Fox… There’s a little bit of Buddy Holly in Dave. Ooooooh eeeeer miss’s.

Pete Shaw… Dave did exactly that..by BT phone of course! He rode round on his Vespa and often directly into the Sidley rehearsal hall, driving round in circles wearring his hat and a silly grin! I have no idea exactly when and where these photos were taken (I was no doubt high on Tizer…) but as the band met in Bexhill mainly, I would expect there!

Karen Sweatman… The group ones were out Friston/Jevington way Peter I believe. There are a couple of Dad taken at the same time with his number one groupie – my Mum! 🙂

Pete Shaw… Thanks Karen for posting the photos…I had never seen them!

SMART coffee meet 18. Friday 6th March 2015 – White Rock Hotel.

SMART COFFEE MEET 18. The next SMART coffee meet is Friday 6th March 2015 – 3.30pm at the White Rock Hotel. Please bring any photos, cuttings, records etc that would be interesting for others to see or just bring yourself. Please mention it to other like minded people and new people are most welcome to join us.

Kevin Burchett… must try and get there

Paul Dove… yeh gonna make it at last, got some bits to bring along, Dovey

In remembrance of Del Shannon 8th Feb 1990 by Colin Bell

del shannon

Colin Bell… Today the 8th February marks the 25th anniversary of the sad suicide of a deeply depressed Del Shannon.
In 1964 I got a £1 record token for my birthday and the first record I ever bought was Del’s ‘Keep Searchin(We’ll Follow the Sun)’. I bought it in Hornbrooks in Kings Road, St. Leonards (thanks Andre for jogging my memory on the name of shop!). Every time the fair came to the Oval when I was a kid you would always here ‘Runaway’ belting out.
I just loved Del Shannons ‘sound’ compared to all those mundane Bobby Vee’s Bobby Vinton’s Brian Hylands and the like Del was harsh and edgy with a unique sound. When his 60’s hit period was up he seemed to languish in the shadows, confined to the ‘oldies circuit’. However in 1989, just months before his death his star was firmly on the rise. Slated to replace Roy Orbison in the Travelling Willburys, after Roys death, he was recording what was to become his final work with Jeff Lynne. That album was Rock On, released posthumostly in 1991 was, I believe his finest achievement, the lead track ‘Walk Away’ an instant classic. Imagine it as a ‘Willburys’ track and im sure it would have been a massive hit. There isn’t a duff track on the whole album. Sadly I never saw him play live, a friend insists he played Bexhill or Hastings? If Andre? Mick? or anyone in SMART could confirm this and post anything would love to see it!
R.I.P Del thanks for the music and ‘Rock On’ with George and Roy!

Jim Hobbs… FAB tune, another prime cut. Oh the memory of Hornbrooks in Kings Road, St. Leonards – from a time when Kings Road was a joy to visit, especially Hornbrooks, an aladin’s cave for a young gadget fan like me.

Peter Gladwish… Great song. Great singer. His voice is very reminiscent of Frankie Valli.

Mick O’Dowd… One of the better American imports of the time and he could hold a good tune.

Will Cornell… Tom Petty produced a pretty decent comeback album for him in the 80s but its timing was a little off and overshadowed by a very good Mitch Ryder comeback produced by John Mellencamp.

SMART 17 coffee meet report.

img849Wow and Flutter001

Vangelis001 cellars

Vangelis ticket supplied by Eric Cawthraw

SMART 17 Coffee meet Report. We made it to 2015 and a great turn out to kick start the new year. Among the newbies this time was Brian Wood. He was guitarist with the band The Flirts and had some interesting photos and posters which featured Michael Wheeler on vocals , Paul Wiseman guitar and a young Steve Demetri on drums. Colin Bell was talking about starting a record review column on the website and brought along a great photo of him in the studios at Hastings Rock interviewing Roger Daltrey. Usual chat about the future of the Pier and much love for Andre’s regular pier column. Stinger new magazine was handed out and Eric Cawthraw was complimentary about the record shop in Claremont called Wow & Flutter. He also had with him the ticket for the Vangelis Royal Albert Hall gig from 1976 and made the suggestion that we have various band photos in their youth on the site but what about the rest of us! Archie Lauchlan turned up to film the proceedings for a future pier documentary. Talk was about the sad loss of Paul Burton, The Beatles Day, The Dharmas, Denny Laine, Pink Floyd’s pulse lighting on the pier, The Who, John Peel, Bexhill clubs, recording processes, Fat Tuesday and more. Mick O’Dowd brought along a copy of a very interesting book called Best of Cellars The Story Of The Cavern Club by Phil Thompson which was a bargain from Poundland. Phil Gill mentioned Highway to play Queens Head Icklesham on the 8th Feb. Pete Prescott had some more photo albums with him and some great cuttings which I missed before. Too many people to mention but everyone had a great time. Lots I missed , so please feel to add any further comments here.

Eric Cawthraw…  Vangelis ticket  only 39 years ago! Ticket -£2.00, a small fortune then, I probably paid in pennies. The set was ‘Heaven and Hell’ with approx 40 kettle drummers in tow. When they gave them a good thumping – it sounded like thunder, nearly as loud as John Bonham!  With regard to Wow & Flutter I popped in to this shop in Claremont – a good selection of LPs and singles and they know their stuff. I hope they can make a go of it – definitely worth a visit, albeit that the shop is a bit small.

Justin Bridger…Next one x

Mick O’Dowd… Another great Meet from the organisational skills of Alan Esdaile Johnny Mason! Thoroughly enjoyed myself and met new friends as well as old ones. Interesting talk and items. Had a good chat with Peter Millington. Archie Lauchlan lurking in the background filming although he didn’t catch the obsenely big portion of cheesey chips that Michael Mepham was devouring before he left for his gig at The Dolphin. The atmosphere, as usual, was laid back & friendly and well done Alan for another great Meet. Roll on the next!

John Kingdon… When and where do you meet next please Alan, I would love to get there next time.

Alan Esdaile….Hi John you would be most welcome to join us at the next SMART meeting. The next one will probably be early March. It will be posted here as normal and I will send you a separate email at the time to advise you.


Year End Episode of the History of The Happy Ballroom 1964 by Andre Martin

Here we are at the end of the year episode of the History of the Happy Ballroom for 1964; we have just experienced the Christmas and Boxing Day entertainments, and all the additional activities that would have been included on the Pier for your entertainment, the Bingo, the Coffee Morning Dances and not forgetting the Fishing. The next big date will be NEW YEARS EVE featuring the resident band – “The Percy Howe Orchestra “the Pier Company had offered some special rates for the 3 days: 6/- single and 10/- ALL DANCES. – That does seems very reasonable for what’s on offer, or is the competition very strong from alternative venues? Only time will tell.
So what else have the youngsters been up to over the Festive Season – please tell us in no less than 100 words c/o The Hub, White Rock, Hastings via email 1066heritage@gmail.com – we will select the best answers and publish later in January. I will speak with the CEO[Simon] and see if we cannot get a small prize to be given out.
Of the published activities, we would have started off the weekend on the Friday 25th, with an hour long Ready Steady Go, not bad – on the show this week – Dave Berry & The Cruisers, Wayne Fontana & Mindbenders, The Four Pennies, Herman’s Hermits, The Nashville Teens, The Searchers and Sandie Shaw and complete with Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan. But it would have been a different night, as there were very few places to go I can only recall one pub in the old town – The Anchor, and clubs and ballrooms, with the exception of some hotel, where it would have been for guests only. The Witch Doctor did follow with tradition and open for a few hours around lunchtime on Christmas Day for a Record Spin, and it was FREE 12.00noon-2.00pm
Boxing Day saw the Pier and Witch Doctor back in full swing, at Marine Court it would have been a festive day, starting with Junior Spin at 10.00am – 2.00pm : 2.30pm-6.00pm Live Music with the Outcasts. 7.30pm – The Unit 4+1 and local attractions The Talismen. All day ticket from 10/- and that would cover till 11.45pm as it was a Saturday Night, and no late extensions. The Sunday Club featured the Voodoos, Wednesday was the visit from The Mindbenders – if my memory serves me correctly, there was a good crowd in the club that night, and the Mindbenders came out on stage and as they struck the first note there was a bang, all the electrics went, and we were only left with emergency lighting. They were unable to reset anything for that night, and the show has to be cancelled. The Big problem was that Thursday Night was New Years Eve, and the problems had to be resolved so that 24 hours later everything would be geared to that – it was on 31st December, the acts at the clubs that night were John L Watson & The Hummelflugs + The Blues Creatures plus records 7.30pm – 01.00am all for 7/6d. Friday Nights 1 January 1965 – The Migil 5 took centre stage.
BBC Light Programme for the Boxing Day did a classic Saturday Club wityh Brian Matthews including Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, Joe Brown & The Bruvvers and The Beatles. Saturday Swings [2.00pm] Gerry 7 Pacemakers, The Searchers, Sheila Buxton, The Vicounts, the Seekers, and the man they cannot keep off our Radio – Wout Steenhuis – rumour has it that some fans of his keep writing the Controller General of the BBC and request this artiste to be included!!!!
Juke Box Jury that weekend on BBC TV – the Panel Alan Freeman, Nyreen Dawn Porter, William Rushton and Susannah York.
The next episode will take us into a brand new year – 1965 – and all that was going to change – but more about that as we tell the story of the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier.
On a personal note, New Years Eve 1964, I spent with several friends from the town in Trafalgar Square, we had gone up in the afternoon of 31st December in 2 cars, from memory I recall that amongst the party were, Dave Bargioni, Lester Tilbury, Hans Herald, John Gillies also I thought the 2 Pats from Bexhill, but I cannot recall any other names – it was an experience.
Till next year – take great care on NYE……..
2014© Andre Palfrey-Martin

Andy Qunta… Great write-up, as always, Andre! Just about every artist you mentioned I loved, even the Juke Box Jury panel! In those days I loved every record I heard! Not so now!

Alan Esdaile… Agree Andy, Andre makes it really interesting and brings back so many memories. I used to love Juke Box Jury and remember most of the time disagreeing with my parents on what was going to be a hit.

Andy Qunta… See, I even like this! Of course, it sounds like The Shadows, so I’m bound to like it!

Mick O’Dowd… Well done Andre on a fascinating and informative series of posts this year. Memory joggers and nostalgia rolled into one. A big thanks to you and keep your pen sharp for 1965!