SMART coffee meet report 71

SMART coffee meet report number 71

Wow! Wonderful! Jam packed turn out for our 71 meet and first off, I must apologise for not getting time to speak to half the people! 

Among the newbies this time were Alan Harding, Yukiko and Kazuhiro Hanai, Joan Fenner, Baz and Jane Cooper,  Diane Crouch, Sam Dook, Jim McCarthy and Brian Crowhurst. Alan was talking about when he worked for Vox and designed the amps for The Beatles and many others. He also had some of his wonderful photos of trolls woodland creatures and windmills. Yukiko and Kazuhiro (Rommy). He plays guitar for Japanese rock group ‘Ivory Gate’ and had flown in from Tokyo to see Robert Plant, they were made most welcome by everyone. Joan was chatting about here happy memories of 60’s and 70’s Hastings and especially the Fiesta coffee bar. Baz who plays keyboards with Dowliners Sect was talking about his new recordings and working with ‘The Rebels’. Diane was chatting about her memories of jazz in the caves. Sam was looking for anyone with a connection with working at Ponswood Industrial Estate. He’s interested in stories and memories as he’s working on making a radio show with the Parchment Trust charity. If you can help contact or the website which is a music and arts community group. Jim was talking about the music books he has written and seeing if anyone could add anymore last minute information about ‘The Move’ as his book is due to be published shortly. Brian was talking about the exciting times, when he worked for United Artists records and EMI. 

Roger Ferris was talking about his compositions and the track he has just posted on You Tube by Glo Macari called Part Of Your Heart. Kerry Watling had with her cd’s of Barry Dransfield and Mike Wells, Chris Stovold had with him a collection of Nick Drake CD’s and book, Dave Jenkins had his George Hatcher Band records and autograph, Mick O’Dowd had cd’s of Radio Caroline 70’s flashbacks and We Love The Pirates with hits and Radio London jingles. Jackie Hersee had a list with dates of all the groups she saw in Hastings in 1965 and 1966 at the pier and Witch Doctor. John Busbirdge had a pile of Beatles records, Anthony ‘Nan’ Morland had a dvd of him documenting the Hastings Pier fire of 2010. Peter Ellingworth had a book of Trams and Trolleybuses by Robert Harley, Merv Kennard had a Blue Peter badge and more collectable pirate radio recordings and books, Cris Kennard had a Britex record needles tin, Linda Boiling had a photo of her YZ bubble gum machine, Ian Marketis had ‘The Solo Collection book of Freddie Mercury that included the cd’s and Pete Prescott had a pile of albums and the Bexhill hop photos and was talking about his new group ‘Stealer’.  This is just a small bit of what I remember. If you had anything interesting you were talking about or anything I missed out or got wrong! then please feel free to add or correct.

Claire Lonsdale… It was great as usual Alan, but what an amazing turn out despite the weather. Thanks Alan for all your hard work xx

Pete Prescott… We had a great time !

Wendy Weaver… Thanks Alan. A good turnout

Cris and Merv Kennard… As usual a good afternoon catching up with everyone, thank you Alan for organising.

Colin Bell… Merv, Good to see you, interesting records!

David Martin… Thanks for all your hard work Alan I really enjoyed it & what a great turnout

Mick O’Dowd… Agree entirely. Wasn’t expecting so many because of the weather but I think it must have been a near record turnout. Not often you can rub shoulders and talk to a guy that was an recording engineer at Abbey Road on the Beatle tracks. That is one of the real beauties of these Meets is that you never know who will encounter. I was re-introduced to a young lady that was a girlfriend of a fellow DJ Simon Davis (aka Tony Kane(RIP) from 50 years ago! It’s also nice to see that we have a very diverse crowd now with growing numbers of ladies joining in. Keep going and don’t be afraid to come on your own. You are not alone! Well done to El Supremo Alan for organising!

Matt Thomas… I know there was a music merchandise wholesaler up on Ponswood

Jackie Hersee… Really interesting afternoon thank you

Roy Winchester… I was in bands with Colin and David.

Mick O’Dowd… This, to outsiders, is exactly what we get up to. Very diverse crowd of folks with a diverse group of interests and facts about our beloved town in the past. The music they witnessed when the Pier and clubs like the Witchdoctor/Cobweb at al made us one of the most important places for the big names to play. From Hendrix , The Who, The Stones and a wealth of other top names all played here. The Stones & Who several times. Hastings was an important stopover for bands. Next time give it ago and come along. You won’t be disappointed and you will be most welcome wether you have any things to show bring yourself.

Colin Bell… An excellent afternoon, great turn out & it was nice to talk to so many friends & re-connect with old friend Joan, after a mere 50 years! well done Alan, as ever, for bringing so many people together

Monica Bane… Yes Colin, Was a great turnout, So good to chat to so many! Good to see you x

Baz Cooper…It was great to finally make it along to a SMART meeting! In trying to look it up on line, to check the venue, SMART offered a site devoted to people in rehab from addictions!!! Maybe an addiction to 60s and 70s music???!!! Anyway it was great chatting to people there including my good friend Colin Tapp, who is also an old band mate and to various other interesting people, I only wish we could have stayed longer, because I would loved to have chatted to many more people there. Maybe next time!

Bob Searle… I was in bands with Stuart Moir Colin Fox and Dave Easton

Andre Martin… Well done Alan for everything to keep memories and old friends in contact. You will need to introduce a ticket in advance admission if this keeps this numbers.

Tony Davis… Sorry couldn’t make it but we had a gig at The Carlisle and the bands were arriving around 4pm. Hope to get there next time


Very best wishes to everyone and here’s to a healthier and happier 2024.

Wendy Weaver… Happy New year Alan

Phil Little… Happy New Year.

Colin Norton… Happy, Healthy New Year!

Jeanette Jones… Thank You Happy New Year & thanks for another Year of SMART

Lucy Pappas… Happy New Year to you, too, Alan x

Stephen Moran… Wishing you a very happy new year Alan

Brian Scales… Best wishes to you Alan

Ann Graves… Happy New Year to from Ann &Stephen.

Mick O’Dowd… Happy new year Alan and to all other SMARTIES!

Jacquie Hinves… Wishing everyone a wonderful, Happy, healthy and very prosperous New Year. All my love to you all. Xx

Tracy Birrell… Happy New Year everyone. May it be kind to you.


Happy Christmas and very best wishes for 2024

A Big Big Thank You to everyone, for all your support during the year, especially the people that regularly post and keep the SMART pages Alive. The SMART website has gone from strength to strength and had one of its best month’s in October with view of 15,484. Also thank you to everyone that comes to the coffee meets, and a reminder that the next coffee meet is Friday 19th January 2024. 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 many many people. Christmas is a sad time for many but I hope some of the postings keep the happy times and memories alive. Very best. Alan

Karen Sweatman… Merry Christmas Alan

Cris and Merv Kennard… Thanks Alan for all that you do throughout the year and organising the meetings.

Colin Bell… Well done, I know how hard you work to put everything together, enjoy a well deserved rest over Christmas.

John Wilde… All the best Alan, may 2024 bring you all the happiness you deserve.

Dave Jenkins… Happy Christmas Alan have a good one

Eric Harmer… You are doing a great job Alan. Thanks

Claire Lonsdale… Thank you Alan for all your hard work, greatly appreciated ! All the best for Christmas and the new year! Xxx

Janine Hemsley… Merry Christmas Y’all

Stephen Moran… Wishing you a very Happy Christmas Alan, SMART is very special and something for which you should be immensely proud.

Leigh Mitchell… Although I have moved away from the area, I still enjoy being kept in the loop about what’s going on and also all the music related posts. Much appreciated Alan 😊 Have a lovely Christmas xx

Colin Norton… Merry Christmas, Alan! Thanks for all of the hard work that you do keeping the Seventies alive. It is really appreciated!

Lucy Pappas… Merry Christmas, Al! Thank you for keeping all if it going, you’re a real star! xx

Edward Adams… thanks and back atcha

Mick O’Dowd… Happy Christmas Alan. Thanks for all the time and effort you have put in over the past year(AGAIN!). It has paid off as at one time we met in the corner of the bar at The White Rock Hotel! Well done.

Peter Ellingworth… Thank you too, Alan, for all the hard work you do on this site and in organising the White Rock coffee meets. Trains permitting, I intend to be down for the next meet in Jan.

Tracy Birrell… Wishing you and everyone a peaceful time and thank you for your company.

Wendy and Graham Weaver… A Happy Christmas Alan. Thanks for all your efforts.

Dave Trodd and Rose… Thanks for introducing us to the SMART meetings – we’ve really enjoyed meeting old friends and new. Have a good Christmas. Love from Rose and Dave.

Ray Nickson… Thank you for all of your posts.

Tony Qunta… Happy Christmas and fabulous 2024 Alan!

Jacquie Hinves…Alan, Thank you so much for all your hard work by keeping us all updated and still in touch with each other throughout the 70’s, 80’s ,90’s and beyond. Have a wonderful blessed Christmas and a very happy new year. Xxx

Andre Martin… Good work Alan now have a well earned rest see you in 2024

Andy Qunta… Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you, Alan and to all the SMART people!

Paul Crimin… Happy Christmas Alan.


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