Happy Christmas and very best wishes for 2023

A Massive Thank You to everyone for all your support during the year, especially the people that regularly post and keep the SMART pages interesting. Also to the people that come to the coffee meets, thank you. If you are seeing friends or relatives over the Christmas period, we always need more old photos and cuttings that would be of interest and haven’t been posted before. One photo, can be so special for lots of people. It is a sad time for many but I hope some of the postings keep the happy times and memories alive. Very best wishes. Alan

Lauren Lamb… Festive Greetings Alan!

Dennis Torrance… All the best also to you alan

Pauline Sims… Merry Christmas Alan and a happy New Year, Px

Karen Sweatman… Merry Christmas Alan. Thank you for keeping a fantastic page interesting and going

Nastassja Kaschevsky… Happy Christmas Alan

Gerry Fortsch… Merry Christmas Alan. Peace & Love

Chris Jolly… Merry Christmas Alan!

Leigh Mitchell… Have a lovely Christmas xx

Andrew Clifton… Merry Christmas to you and a happy new year. Alan.

Jaffa Peckham… Merry Christmas, Alan! Thanks for all you’ve done bringing us all together. Happy New Year, while we’re at it! Have a good one!

Tracy Birrell… Thank you for what you do. Maybe one day I will be able to get to a meeting. A peaceful and healthy Yuletide to everyone.

Mick O’Dowd… And a very Happy Christmas to you and yours Alan! Thanks for another amazing year of Meets and website content.

Colin Norton… Merry Christmas to you and yours, Alan! Many thanks for all of the great work that you do!

Andy Qunta… Thanks, Alan! Merry Christmas to you & all the SMART fans!

Lance Collins… Have a great Christmas Alan.

Wendy Weaver… Merry Christmas Alan and a really good 2023. We are grateful for all you do. xx

Jeanette Jones… Will try to do better in 2023 Alan. We’ve been seriously under parr. Off line for at least half of 2022 but hopefully coming back strongly now. Thank You for all You do

Colin Bell… I know the behind the scenes effort that goes into all the work you do to run the SMART site and the coffee meets. You’ve completed another year of bringing people together & i and everyone thanks you for spreading the joy. Happy Christmas!

Claire Lonsdale… Merry Christmas Alan, have enjoyed the SMART coffee meets immensely and look forward to the next one. Thank you for all your hard work in all that you do to run them and this page . Xx

Cris and Merv Kennard… Well done Alan for another year of SMARTS. We wish you well for Christmas and the New year.

Dave Nattress… May I wish you a “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year”. And, as I’ve said a few times, once again won’t hurt, thanks for putting SMART together and in my case for cranking up all the names of the old bands and gigs and venues etc. of the local Rock Scene.  An absolute revelation filling in so many gaps in the memory from the days I was doing it with Damaris/Samisen/Prisoners/The Charts, but also, for bringing back so many more memories of so many things locally. Very best wishes.

Was this you at the SMART meeting in October 2022? asks John Busbridge.

John Busbridge… At the last meeting I was talking to a gentleman about recording and Garage Band and he told me that he had set up his own recording studio and about a superb guy on You Tube who was a great help to him . The person I was talking to told me the name and I remembered it until I got home and promptly forgot it, an age thing! If you reconise yourself can you kindly remind me who you recomended?

SMART coffee meet report 60

A Great turn out for our 60th SMART coffee meet and among the newbies this time were Rod Stapley, Mike Raxworthy and Lea Mason. Rod was chatting about when he was singing with The Silver Songstars one of the first boy bands with 12 in the group. Coming from a musical family, his dad was a drummer in a dance band. Mike was talking about his busy schedule of events coming up on The Stade which include Midsummer Fish Fest on the 25th & 26th June, 8th July Eddie & The Hot Rods, 9th July Big Band event, 10th July six groups playing and the nearly on the beach event is booked for the 30th & 31st July. Lea was talking about his happy memories when he was a dj for Mecca at The Lyceum, The Tottenham Royal and at The Locarno Ballroom in London. Dave Jenkins had a photo album of the Jimi Hendrix museum in London and remembers seeing him at The Upper Cut Club in Forest Gate on the 26th December 1966 and this is where Hendrix wrote Purple Haze. Mo Elms had with her an autograph book which included autographs of Junior Campbell, Miki Anthony, the actors from Please Sir and also business cards from Free Radio Association 1970 and Broadside Free Radio Movement. Pete Prescott had a bundle of albums including a rare ‘Free Story’ Canadian edition, also interesting photos albums with some of when he worked for Collins & Hayes. Merv Kennard had a massive collection of pirate radio station albums and radio books. Colin Tapp had a pile of tickets and cards of The Humperdinks and The Mix-Sirs. David Muriel had with him the invite card for his 21st birthday party which was held at The Pam Dor in Hastings and the band that performed was The Preachers which featured Peter Frampton and original drummer of The Rolling Stones Tony Chapman. He also had publicity info from the book he wrote with Bruce Veness ‘Gridlock Spumes And The Case With No Name’ which is a spoof on Sherlock Holmes. Among his photo albums were photos of his dad John Muriel when he acted in Treasure Island with The Hastleons. John ran a chiropodist surgery in Wellington Square. General chat was about the sad loss of Ray Fenwick and Martin Stringer, The Pier, Eurovision, happy memories of the white rock baths and our aches and pains! This is just a small bit of what I remember, if you had anything interesting you were talking about then please feel free to add.

Lucy Pappas… I think I missed a good one! xx

Lance Collins… Sorry to miss it. Will catch you next month.

Stephen Moran… Thank you so much for hosting yesterday’s SMART coffee meet Alan. It’s something I always look forward to.

Claire Lonsdale… As usual, I really enjoyed it , chatting to like-minded people and look forward to the next one. Thanks Alan for organising it. X

David Jenkins… Had a great time, so good to see new people . Thanks Alan, you are doing a fantastic job , looking forward to the next one. Dave.

Mick O’Dowd… Wow what a turn out & it didn’t, unfortunately, bring me any bags of sherbert lemons (see ad for Meet online). Loved the collection of pirate radio albums as it contained an album that I was always after on Jumbo Records & Tapes label about Caroline. Interesting
chats with Colin Bell & Stephen Moran among others. Great to see so many newbies coming along and against many would be newbies fears, they are all still alive! A great deal of credit must go to our leader, Alan Esdaile/Johnny Mason for his sterling efforts and hard work in putting this all together for us. THANKS ALAN!

Merv Kennard… Hi Mick, if you want the Caroline story on vinyl look on ebay, I’ve just seen several copies for sale.

Stuart Moir… I must make the effort and get there to reminisce as there are many memories that are interesting to remember.

Keith Veness… Will get there one day

Merv & Cris Kennard… Really enjoyed the gathering this month, I hadn’t seen Paul Hugget since his day’s of commentating at Lydden Hill rally x. And the last time I saw Eric Harmer was 1968 when I left school.

Happy Christmas and very best wishes for a healthy 2022

A Very Big Thank you to everyone for the great support during the year and especially to the people that regularly post and keep the SMART page alive. Also to everyone that turns up at our coffee meets and also tune in to the radio shows. Another tough year but SMART is still going strong. We always need more old photos and cuttings that would be of interest and haven’t been posted before. One photo, can be so special for lots of people. It is a sad time for many but I hope some of the postings keep the happy times and memories alive. Best. Alan

Mike Curtis… All the best to you too Alan!

Kathy Wood… Happy Christmas Alan

Cris Kennard… Thank you Alan for all that you do throughout the year.

Pauline Sims… Thanks for all you do! Happy Christmas Alan

Dennis Torrance… That’s nice and Happy Christmas

Merv Kennard… Happy Christmas to you and yours

Linda Delana… Thank you so much! ❤️ Merry Christmas

Julie Findlay-jones… Merry Christmas and happy New year to you from me and my family Alan xx

Julie Morris… Thank you for your contribute too Alan – it’s much appreciated.

Nathan Honey… I knew that was grandads painting as soon as I see it!

Geoff Peckham… Season’s greetings and all the best to you Alan! x

Leigh Mitchell… Happy Christmas Alan

Perri Ann Haste… All the best to you too Alan & seasons Greetings

Wendy Weaver… Happy Christmas Alan

Andrew Clifton… Thank you Alan and Merry Christmas to you too. x

Colin Bell… Happy Christmas mate, i know the effort you put in, well done on another year.

Linda Crane… Merry Christmas x

Phil Little… Happy Christmas, Alan

Ricky Long… Same to you Alan have a good one all the best ?

Yvonne Cleland… Merry xmas Alan and all SMART folk! xxx xxx

Jane Hartley… Happy Christmas Alan, hope to see you next year at an Old Gits meeting

Stephen Moran… Wishing you Alan and everyone in the SMART group a very Happy Christmas. Thank you and SMART members for all your help with my research into the popular music history of Hastings. I wouldn’t be able to do it without your support, I’m very grateful.

Glenn Piper… Happy Christmas Al

Peter Houghton… Wish You A Happy Christmas And a Happy New Year Yours Pete

Chris Jolly… Merry Christmas Alan… see you in 2022!

Sandie Carlyon… Happy Christmas Alan. Love Kev and Sandie Carlyon

Mick O’Dowd… All the best to you Alan in what has been a challenging year but you kept the group going. Well done Mate.

Lance Collins… Happy Christmas

Steve Maxted… and to you Alan, enjoy

Jacqueline Marsh… I enjoy reading and seeing all the things that you post happy Christmas to you and all xxx

Colin Norton… Thanks for all you do, Alan! Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and yours!

Pauline Richards… And you x

Andy Qunta… Same to you, Alan & all the SMART people!

Keith Rodway… All the best Alan

Paul Coleman… Happy Christmas to one and all, & may we all keep going ’til the next one!

Dave Nattress… Best wishes Alan. The website we all needed!! For me initially it was the music scene locally that was so appealing racking my brains which bands etc. I’d seen and where and when but broadened out to include so much about the town and local area the site and participants bring so much more!

Alan Pepper… Happy Christmas Alan ! And to all. Here’s a cracker joke – How does Good King Wenslas like his Pizzas ? Deep pan , crisp and even.

Tracy Birrell… Thank you for all the memories. Happy Yuletide to everyone. May you have peace and health.xx

Mike Raxworthy… Have a very Merry Christmas mate. Thanks for the Soul Party advert on the back cover of your SMART news letter!

Dave Trodd… Really enjoying the website – it’s bringing back so many memories and love meeting old friends – and new friends – at the meetings. Looking forward to the next one. Well done Alan and wishing everyone a happy new year for 2022.


SMART coffee meet No. 58 report

Our 58th SMART coffee meet and among the newbies this time were Mo Elms (Terry James wife), Simon Falla, Colin Tapp and Dave Boutwood. Mo brought along photos and cuttings of many local radio stations and dj’s, including Splash Radio, Arrow FM, the Earl Of Zetland ship, Terry James, Johnny Francis, Terry Kane, Ambrose Harcourt, DC Disco photos and more. Simon was chatting about Lazybones Disco and has found a photo of some of the Lazybones staff which he will be posting soon. Colin was chatting about his facebook page ‘Hastings groups from 1958 to the present’ and his many happy memories of working with The Redcoats and The Humperdinks. Dave had with him his excellent black and white photo sheets of local musicians.  Merv Kennard had a Mi Amigo postcard which was sent to him back in the seventies. Anthony ’Nan’ Morland  had a Disc Jockey record bag, Masons Music shop photos, various Queens Road shop photos, a photo of Dimarcos and The Humperdinks photos when they played The Yelton in the 80’s.  Dave Muriel was chatting about the tv series called ‘Wham’ when he was dancing with the Vernon Girls at the ABC Studio in Manchester. On the bill was Joe Brown, Jess Conrad, Billy Fury and others. He’s hoping to find photos of his  skiffle group The Jeanagers when they appeared at The Chatsworth in the 60’s.  John Busbridge had with him some 7” singles and Pete Prescott brought along the Box Of Pin Ups The British Sounds of 1965 CD set. General chat was about the sad loss of John Miles, future gigs tough for musician, the 70’s programme on channel 5 and aches and pains!  Sorry I didn’t get round to chatting to everyone. This is just a small bit of what I remember, if you have anything interesting that you were talking about then please feel free to add.

Colin Tapp… Hi to all in SMART seventies, I enjoyed the meet today met some old friends , and apologies not meeting everyone there, but hope to meet up with you next time.

Lloyd Johnson… it was fun Colin.

Andre Martin… Good to catch up after a long time. Good turn out under the current problems and a great to see some old faces.

Wendy Weaver… It was nice to see so many people.

Monica Bane… Thanks for the update! Hopefully next time, had been looking forward to coming Alan

Sid Saunders… Glad it went well.

Claire Lonsdale… Thanks Alan. Was a very nice meeting. X

Lucy Pappas… Almost made it today

Tony Davis… Sorry not to make it but have been away

Stephen Moran… Thank you Alan, it was great to be there

Keith Veness… Will get there one day

Paul Coleman… I intend to come to the meet every time but something always bloody comes up!

Dave Nattress… Bum!! Missed it, very busy at work!!

Graham Belchamber… Sorry I couldn’t get along this time. Glad it went well

Mick O’Dowd… You missed the mince pies!!

Alan Esdaile… Thanks to Cris Kennard, Mick.

Mick O’Dowd… Interesting as usual meet, under challenging conditions.

Pete Houghton… Hope to be at next one

Tony Howard… Very interesting reading about the chat .  I know Terry Elm’s very well, use to work with him many years ago.  Nan mentioned a Disc Jockey bag, I too have one of Big Al’s Disc Jockey bags i also have a genuine Beetles bag. Colin talked about the Red Coats group, I remember them playing at Northiam Village Hall, back in the 60’s with Pete Bailey playing with them, whom later year’s worked with him. I will try to get to the meeting some time in the new year. Till then have a good Christmas,and best wishes for the new year

Dave Trodd… Very enjoyable. Keep up the good work Alan.


SMART coffee meet no.58 – Friday 10th December 2021

Mick O’Dowd… Be there or be extremely square and probably rectangled too! So there!

Merv Kennard… Hope to there with a newbie

Mick O’Dowd… Sometimes I get the impression that people who are following SMART and say they want to come but always find an excuse not to that they don’t actually know what goes on! It is totally INFORMAL. NO stand up speeches/lectures. If anybody is sitting in the corner we make sure someone rescues them and gets them involved. You talk to who you like . Get a drink/coffee from the bar and just mingle. In his reviews afterwards Alan goes through what he has heard people talking about. Even I am surprised at what has been talked about. Just make the effort and leave the rest to us. EVERYBODY is welcome and we don’t have bouncers on the door in case you look dodgy! Give it a try I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! See you there!

SMART coffee meets – Back Soon!

Freak Flag… Finally, the return of civilisation

Wendy Weaver… That will be lovely.

Stephen Moran… Great news Alan.

Heather Sidery… This sounds sooo goood

Colin Bell… Well done mate

Monica Bane… That’s great news!!

Mick O’Dowd… Good to meet friends old & new again. I’ts been so long!

Tony Davis… Yeah good news

Mick O’Dowd… About time am suffering withdrawal symptoms!

Pete Millington… Looking forward to it Alan


Very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year

Very best wishes to everyone for the Christmas period and the new year and hoping 2021 is going to be better than this. Well it can’t be any worse!  A Big Big thank you to everyone who has supported SMART and kept the site and me going over these difficult months. The last SMART coffee meet was way back in February and then we had one booked for April but had to cancel due to Covid. Well looks like the next few weeks will get tougher and tougher. Here’s hoping we can all get back together sometime in the new year. As always still looking for more old photos and cuttings with a connection to the Hastings area, to keep the page interesting. Please feel free to post to the facebook page or email over to me, with as much detail as possible. Lots of love and whatever happens, they can’t take away our memories! Take care and stay safe xx

Chris Jolly… Have a FAB Christmas Alan! Take care sir… xxx

Steve Amos… Happy Christmas Alan!

Maureen Anderson… Merry christmas

Andrew Clifton… Merry Christmas Alan.

Jacqueline Marsh… Happy Christmas, keep up the good work, we all enjoy your postings

Kevin Burchett… happy christmas Alan missed seeing you this year

Pete Prescott… Have a wonderful Christmas Alan.

Wendy Weaver… Happy Christmas Alan. Hope 2021 will be better than 2020 and that we can all meet up again. xxx

Pete Houghton… Happy Christmas Alan Hope You Have A Great Time Yours Pete

Nick Shute… Great fun page!… best wishes

Peter Millington… You too Alan – I miss your gatherings as I’m sure everyone does. Keep well and let’s hope for a better 2021

Dave Nattress… Thanks Alan and once again, great appreciation for starting this website. Initially I was so pleased to find all the posts about the massive local music scene, (that keep turning up), but of course, the posts that give the memories of the local scene are also of great interest. Have as good a Christmas and New Year as you can and best wishes to everyone who helps keeping the memories coming back – till I forget them again.

Mike Vawdrey… Outside your geographical area by a couple of hundred miles or so but always find much of interest so keep on keeping on and raise a glass to better times past and future !

Mick O’Dowd… Thank you Alan for keeping this alive! really miss the SMART Meets. One day!!! More memories keep flooding back . Stay safe.

Mike Raxworthy… Happy Christmas mate – and fingers crossed for a better New year!!!

Jan Warren… Merry Christmas SMARTIES!!

Barry French… Merry Christmas Alan, much thanks for keeping the SMART site alive during these strange times. Hopefully, in the not to distant future, all us “Smarties” will be able to meet up again .

Stephen Moran… Wishing you a very Happy Christmas Alan, I very much look forward to seeing you again at future SMART meets.

No SMART coffee meet for April.

Due to the continuing situation with the coronavirus, I am very sad and sorry to say that we will not be having a coffee meet in April. I know a number of people will be disappointed and we like to think we are invincible but I think it’s the right decision. When things settle down, I will resume the meets. Stay safe and keep well xx

Jim Breeds… Seems the ‘smart’ thing to do.

Mick O’Dowd… A wise but unwelcome decision Alan! Who knows by April they could be locking up us oldies for stepping outside! Fully support you on this.

Lucy Pappas… Right thing to do, Alan x

Stephen Moran… Thank you Alan, it’s the right decision

Monica Bane… Well it’s the right decision to be making Alan. Hopefully by summer will reach its peak. Monica x

Pete Brazier… The right thing is sometimes the hardest thing to do! But always the wisest! Stay safe everyone I for one don’t want to loose any of you to this virus or the stupidity that’s following it! Wether your a believer or not God Bless You Al

Pete Prescott… The only decision you can make In the circumstances. Take care.

Coco Pops… when do we start painting a ‘PLAGUE CROSS’ on the front door.