SMART Coffee meet number 50 report

Wow! What can I say! A brilliant turn out for our 50th Coffee meet. A big thank you to everyone for making it so special. Among the newbies this time were Trevor Chenery, Jack and Janice Irving, Jim Westlake and Malcolm Sharp. Trevor was talking about his band Tzar when they were on the bill with Ashton Gardner & Dyke and Shaft on the pier back in 1972. Also talking about Daisy when he was a roadie for them. Jack Irving had with him a number of photos of Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages, as well as a very interesting video of the Joe Meek Tribute Concert that took place in 1991. Jim Westlake was chatting about the successful gigs he does with Eric Harmer at The Drift In Bar and Malcolm Sharp was chatting about the amusement machines that have just arrived on Hastings Pier. Pete Prescott had a previous engagement but managed to quickly pop in a cutting about Ray Fenwick and Forcefield from the Guitarist magazine January 1987. Colin Bell had with him a rare Eden Kane and His Brothers photographs, discographies, autographed biog book that Peter Sarstedt gave him in 1997 when he promoted The Tunbridge Wells Festival.  Peter Houghton arrived with bags of albums including an autographed album of The Love Affair and Hawkwind, as well as a signed tank top t-shirt from Van Halen. He also had the new Lonerider album that features Simon Kirke from Bad Company and the new CD Jobcentre Rejects that features Die Laughing.  Seeing all the logos inside the new SMART leaflet David Smith remembers years ago a friend passing through Rome airport carrying a Disc Jockey shop record bag! Andre Martin did a very nice speech and on the advice of others and against my wishes decided to put a bucket around for donations which raised £140.31. I have decided to donate this to The Bladder Scanner Appeal for De Cham Ward at The Conquest Hospital. Thank you to everyone and also for your lovely comments . A great time was had by everyone. Now the goal is to make it to 100 meets! If you have any interesting stories you were chatting about please feel free to add here. 

photo Kevin Burchett

John Busbridge… Sorry I couldn’t make it but I am on crutches!

Wendy Weaver… It was very nice today Alan. Meeting old friends and new.

Elaine Roberts… Great get-together! Thank you x

Jim Breeds… Good to see everyone there today. Congrats on organising 50 of these Alan.

Wendy Belton… It was great to see so many there. Congratulations on your 50th meeting Alan.

Geoff Peckham… I’m glad it went so well. Well done Alan! I’d have joined you had it not been for my friend’s funeral.

Eva Neuke… I’m very disappointed that I couldn’t be there..

Monica Bane… Allan! did tell many friends about this today! Would have been there, but my friends and I were out with Senior Forum, for the day, hope next month!  All the best Monica!

Peter Houghton… Well done Alan it was a good meeting today thanks Pete

Lucy Pappas… Sorry to miss it

Deborah Mould… A great event Alan, thank you

Mick O’Dowd… Try and top this one Alan. Contained all the whistles & bells and more. Did us proud with the eats. Without you we wouldn’t exist.

Jan Warren… Great pic Alan!! – I just wish I could recognise Pete (Houghton) in there?? – come on Pete, tell me ……. I know its been many years and we’ve all got older, so, come on Pete, don’t be shy, which one is you?? Happy 50th Meeting to all you lovely old youngsters!

Mick O’Dowd… Pete Houghton is 2nd from left Jan Warren!

Mark Harris… Great to have a good chat with Andre about the old Archway Management days and the gigs he used to get for us in various army camps around the south east!

Mick O’Dowd… Fame at last! Front page of SMART mag & in colour too!!!!

Andy Knight… Any pics of Tzar?

Alan Esdaile… Sorry Andy, Trevor did not have any photos.

SMART 47 coffee meet report

Great start to the new year and one of our busiest meets so far. Among the newbies this time were Tony Court-Holmes and Cedric Paine. Tony had lots of memories of working at The Anchor and also chatting about when he worked in Prinny’s George Street and remembers it when it was The Sombrero Cafe. Cedric was chatting about Blind Faith and the Isle Of Wight Festival and had some interesting stories of when he was working with Eric Clapton and George Harrison. Paul Morfey had with him his vinyl collection of Claire Hamill LP’s and was talking about the Claire’s track You Take My Breath Away which was on The Voice last week. Mick O’Dowd arrived with some interesting Mod & Northern Soul cd’s. Barry French had with him the rare LP version of Grand Funk Shine On with the original cover in bi-visual 3-D and fun was had looking through the blue and red lensed glasses to view it. He also had his Status Quo ticket from when they appeared in Alexandra Park. John Busbridge had with him his photo album of cuttings and tickets and John Parnell had an old photo of his dad’s furniture shop in Norman Road. Sarah Harvey was talking about Hastings Rock meeting has just taken place and information will be available soon and Barry Taylor has confirmed he is putting together another Barefaced Music charity event later in the year for St Michaels Hospice. As expected lots of chat about the future of the pier and also the funny Mark Steel Radio 4 show on Hastings. Positive response to the changes at The White Rock Theatre with regard to the seating, what future now if any for HMV and lots of interest in the mods outside Dimarco’s photo from 1964. Sorry if I didn’t get a chance to chat to you but this is just a very small bit of what I remember, anyone who wishes to add anything interesting you were talking about, then please feel free to do so.

Andre Martin… Great way to start the New Year aand to see so many old faces.

Mick O’Dowd… Nearly standing room only. Great Meet. Well done Alan. Where do you keep finding theses interesting people?

Caz Simpson… Thank you Alan for your warm welcome to the SMART meeting, we really enjoyed ourselves xx

 

 

SMART 46 report

The sun was shining for our last meet of the year. Lots of newbies including the mayor Nigel Sinden, John Parnell, Deborah Mould, David Smith and John Busbridge.  Nigel Sinden was chatting about the Hastings Friendship Group and the new cd from One Hastings Many Voices. He also confirmed that he will be live on Conquest Hospital Radio on Christmas Day 12.00 til 2.00 on the Chris Gentry show, reminiscing about Christmas past. John Parnell was talking about the changing face of Hastings and The Grove school and Deborah Mould and David Smith were remembering The Specials on the pier and chatting with Mick O’Dowd about the Jimi Hendrix gig. John Busbridge had a pile of 7” singles and a whole album of photos, cuttings, membership cards etc mainly from the 60’s. Including The Scotch Club, The Flying Machine, Sign Of The Fish Coffee Bar, The Fiesta Club, Witch Doctor, The Hi-Fi Club, The Nest Club, Kavemen, The Sound Casters and more. Pete Prescott arrived with a bundle of old gig posters, as well as leaflets for the Christmas Soul Party at St Mary In The Castle on Saturday 8th December. Barry French had a bag full of interesting books and bits and pieces including Gene Autry stories, Lone Ranger 1967 book, Silverhill Tavern cutting, the boxer Freddie Mills autograph, Leisure Music leaflet, certificate of the opening of the channel tunnel, The Regent Hotel postcard, sheet music and more.  Mick O’Dowd had with him a surprise find, when he visited the St Michaels Hospice shop in Ore, of a photo of him at Sandown School in 1961.  This is just a very small bit of what I remember, anyone who wishes to add anything interesting you were talking about, then please feel free to do so.

Mick O’Dowd… Great Meet some nice newbies there!

Josie Lawson… Very interesting

Jan Warren… Amazing stuff going on here, I just hope one day soon I can re-join your meetings xx

SMART Coffee meet 44 Report

Our 44 meet and were pleased to be joined by the new owner of Hastings Pier Mr Gulzar who was talking about his future plans and was happy to listen to our ideas and suggestions. Among the people this time were Cliff Wootton who was talking about the band ‘Perfect Strangers’ reforming. Pete Millington was going through his group photos and some crazy pictures of his bands in frilly shirts and loon pants. Laurie Cooksey had more information on the local band The Spirits. Iain Cobby arrived with framed lyrics to Lucky Man signed by Greg Lake. Gerry Powell had with him a Brooke Bond dividend stamp card, remember them? Sarah Harvey was talking about her group The Happy Maureens,  who are due to appear at Hastings Pride on Sunday. Sid Saunders arrived with bags full of cd’s and kind enough to donate to Conquest Hospital Radio for their next fundraising sale. Roger Carey had a poster of Stan Tracey from The Carlisle gig in 1975, as well as a rare London Marquee leaflet when Felix played and photos of Hat Trick. Among the albums on display was Back Street Crawler who had Terry Wilson-Slesser on vocals which Pete Prescott remembered he replaced in a revamped Geordie group called The Dudes.  Mike O’Dowd brought along  his album copy of Uppers On The South Down, as we have been talking about it on the website lately. He also had  A Teenage Opera soundtrack, Lets go down and blow our minds british psychedelic sounds of 1967 cd’s and 1964 and 1965 NME poll winners concerts on dvd.  John Petri had some more Guitarist magazine cd’s. and I finally managed to buy the cd One Hastings Many Voices from Trevor Webb which I look forward to hearing. This is just a very small bit of what I remember, anyone who wishes to add anything interesting you were talking about, then please feel free to do so.

Martin Richter… would loved to have been there – but I am certainly not worthy

Alan Esdaile… You would be most welcome to join us on a future meet Martin.

Geoff Peckham… I’ve spent a lovely afternoon in the company of some SMART people. Funnily enough, we were mainly discussing what it’s like being the age we are rather than what it was like being the age we were….and life’s good! Thanks Alan, once again, for organising it all.

Sid Saunders… Sheikh Abid Gulzar paid a visit to the SMART meeting today. It was a very happy and enjoyable meeting.

Jim Breeds… Sorry I missed this one. I spent the afternoon with cousins

Jeanette Jones… Hi Geoff & Ez, the stats bear out that the Oldens are happier than the Younguns Well until they’re not

Laurie Cooksey… I really enjoyed the meet this aft’noon, but then I always do.

Mick O’Dowd… What a comeback for Alan who’s looking much fitter now they have rebuilt him. This Meet kept him well and truly on his toes. Bit of a coup having a visit from The Sheik but interesting all the same. Many memories relived and new friends made. Well done

Josie Lawson… Very interesting….

Jan Warren… Sorry I missed it, had a doctor’s appointment…. hopefully next time!!

SMART Coffee meet 43 report

Our 43rd meet and among the newbies this time were Alan Pepper, Jan Warren and Gerry Powell.  Alan had with him a copy of The Federations Scallywags single which he gave to a very pleased Kevin Burchett, who has been trying to track down who sang this song, for years.  Alan was talking about his time as Al Richards DJ and when he did his impressions on a pilot for the First Impressions tv show. Jan finally made it at last and arrived with lots of Fusion Orchestra posters, The Beatles Hard Days Night souvenir book, The Kult photo, The Four Tops , Free and others from the Fairfield Halls Croydon, Rolling Stones picture disc and a pile of cassettes including The Walker Brothers, Barclay James Harvest, Spencer Davis Group etc. Gerry Powell was talking about when he was working on Radio Caroline as Tony Kirk and memories of the Dutch police raid on the ship. Also he had with him a very rare tour programme from 1967 featuring Chuck Berry and Del Shannon. Pete Prescott had with him Bob Harris The Whispering Years book, Claire Hamill Stage Door Johnnies LP, as well as some bizarre LP’s from Peter Sellers, Arthur Lowe, David Kossoff Larkin Singing cockney songs and many more.  John Petri  had with him a huge bundle of guitarist cd’s which he was happy to give away to anyone that was interested. He also had with him a  cd of the Ouzo Brothers, as well as a cd of his own work under the title of Only Johnny P which I’m looking forward to listening to. The Ouzo’s featured John, Grant, Nigel, Rick Pentecost, Steve Demetri, Phil Gill and Phil Thornton and has been copied across from old cassettes. Kevin Burchett made a very kind donation of £300 from the Scalliwags reunion for Hastings Hospital Radio, thanks to Sid Saunders for taking the photos. Andre Martin was very pleased to announce he will have the first interview with the new mayor, on the Chris Gentry show on Conquest Hospital Radio next Thursday. Andre was also talking to Mick O’Dowd about the pier history. Sarah Harvey and Tony Davis were talking about the success of Hastings Rock and the recent gig at Azur with Coda and Eclipse. This is just a very small bit of what I remember, anyone who wishes to add anything interesting you were talking about, then please feel free to do so.

Jan Warren… Thanks for your lovely, warm welcome and hospitality, so nice to meet you all xx

Mick O’Dowd… Perhaps you will come out from under your stone more often now Jan. Nice to meet you.

Kevin Burchett… at the Smart meet on friday while making the conquest hospital radio donation i had a belated birthday present from scalliwagger Alan Pepper, an original Scallywag record by the band Federation thank you Alan

Jan Warren… Hi Alan, thanks for including me in your report, especially my Fusion Orchestra pics, as you have probably guessed I’ve always remained totally dedicated to this band, one of the best bands I’ve ever seen, I went to many of their gigs, and Jill (Saward) inspired me to sing and play musical instruments, she’s amazing!! – apart from that, it was so good to finally get to your meeting and to chat with some lovely, musical people!! ……. I forgot so many things I wanted to say, my mind went “blank” as soon as I entered the roomful of people, the same thing happens to me when I enter a shop full of “music” ……. cds, tapes, vinyl, I start looking through and cant for the life of me remember what I’m looking for???? haha, I should make a list!! – anyway Alan, I just wanna say you’re a fantastic “host” to your guests at the SMART meetings and on your SMART facebook group, you keep things running very well and organised and thanks for making me feel so welcome, I very much enjoy being part of this group, music has always been a huge part of my life from a very early age (thanks to my Dad!) and Hastings has always been MY childhood seaside town and remains so today!!  – thanks Alan!

Jim Breeds… I only made it for a brief 5 minutes before my pier meeting, but nice to meet you Jan. Next time, I’m sure!

Pete Fairless… Likewise. May get to a SMART soon!

Tony Qunta… Very sorry I missed the meeting this time. Look forward to the next one!

Kev Towner… When are you going to meet somewhere ACCESSIBLE!! LOL

Judith Monk… Thanks for including The Seekers pics. My brother Jerry was part of this. I must try and get to your next meeting.