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
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!!
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.
Excellent turn out and one of our busiest so far. Apologise to many people I didn’t get chance to chat to but among the newbies this time were Leigh Wieland-Boys and Mary Cox. Leigh was chatting to Colin Bell about Bonitas and remembering him playing lots of James Brown. Mary was talking to Pete Millington with happy memories and photos of Chris Sayer. Tim McDonald was talking to Colin and Andre Martin about his time on the John Dunn Show for the BBC. Brian Wood remembers when his band supported a very early ‘The Sweet’ at the Witch Doctor. Also when The Flirts played the pier they had to get a special waiver to be allowed to play, due to Musician Union ruling at the time, as they were under 16. Loads of new cuttings and photos on display which I will get round to posting on these pages in the next few weeks, keep them coming. Roger Carey arrived with the early Rock A Nore promo photo of Stallion. Apparently they were told to dress smart and wear suits for the photo, except Tich who dressed as a skeleton. Happy memories of auditioning for a tour of Holland and juggling a job with gigs. Other bits he had on Stallion were an ad when they played the Iroko Country Club in London and a great photo of Tich Turner on the pier in 1974, as well as a playlist from 1975. Great very early photos of him and Phil Gill before they joined bands, with guitars, also Hat Trick photo and Felix reviews. He was also talking about the very successful tour he has recently finished with Steeleye Span. Len Benton arrived with a folder full of memories and lots of new items we have not seen before. Including a letter booking his band The Deep Purple at The Cobweb Ballroom for £15.00 on the 11th April, 1968. He also mentioned that when Episode Six played The Cobweb his band Deep Purple were also on the advert and posters for another date that week. Mysteriously Episode Six changed their name to Deep Purple shortly afterwards! Photos from his groups Pardon, when they played The Safari Club in George Street and also his band The Seekers. Amanda Brooks was talking about the group Ghostriders which featured her dad Roy Brooks. David Miller and Mark Harris arrived with photos of their various bands, including Beez Neez, Split Image and cuttings from Carina’s Night Spot The Queens Hotel. Also a great photo of the duo Second Chance and The Likely Lads. Tony Davis was talking about his recent trip to see The Giant of Rock at Minehead with the best bands of the weekend being Martin Turners Wishbone Ash, Manfred Mann’s Earthband, Deborah Bonham and Limehouse Lizzy. Jon McCallion was talking about the band Effigy, as Julie had found a gig ticket from 1971 at Clive Vale Annexe School. Trevor Webb asked if anyone has any merchandise on Smokie and did they play Hastings? Other talk was about who’s playing Fat Tuesday, The Mobiles, Music Festival at the oval, Beatles Day, Wrestling. With more people arriving and under pressure to finish on time, as the home secretary was due to appear at a function in the room we were in, we continued into the early evening in the bar area. 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.
Rachel Rayburn… Thanks Alan. Lovely to meet you and I appreciate the welcome. Look forward to the next one.
Jim Breeds… Sorry not to be there. We went north for a day out to see an exhibition that closes this weekend. Glad it went well. Looks like I missed a good one.
Josie Lawson… I enjoy reading the minutes of the meetings you have Alan…a great thank you to you all. It’s great you can all get together…
Carol Arnold… sorry i didnt make it this time
Alan Esdaile… Interestingly this has just come up in my Facebook memories. Posted on the 3rd February 2013… Coffee Get Together. I’ve been chatting to a couple of friends here and thinking of arranging a get together over a coffee in town. Just a general chat, catch up of music lovers, pier talk, old photos etc.If it works out maybe meet up on a regular basis. Let me know if you are interested and pass on to like minded friends and I will be in contact with details in the future.
Leigh Wieland-Boys… I made it at last! It was lovely to see so many old friends – thank you for the warm welcome
Sid Saunders… I wanted to go to my first one but was walking the South Downs Way yesterday, next time.
Pete Prescott… Very upset to have missed it.But ill make the next one !
Mick O’Dowd… Same with me but no-one would have appreciated me throwing up over them!
Andy Qunta… Sounds great! As usual, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to be there, but thanks for the great write-up, so I know what happened!
Lucy Pappas… Thanks Alan, sounds like a great afternoon x
Leigh Wieland-Boys… It was a great afternoon…even when Amber Rudd’s entourage evicted us from the room & we had to move into the bar we carried on regardless..! I found it all very interesting & enjoyable, thank you
Jeanette Jones… Ditto Andy