Prince McBride and his Smuggler’s Band – St Clements Caves.1960


supplied by Jim Breeds. Source: 1960 Hastings Corporation There Is A Cavern In The Town

Jim Breeds… Prince McBride and his Smugglers’ Band. Seen performing in St. Clements Caves, this photo is scanned from my 1960 Hastings Corporation booklet “There Is A Cavern In The Town”. The book says “The sound of music in the caves is a particularly happy addition, and Prince McBride’s Smugglers’ Band provides melody that fits very pleasingly and naturally into its environment. The large main cavern is now a dance floor, lit by lanterns and with sitting-out places all around. With its surrounding caverns and alcoves, this part of the caves lends itself readily to its new purpose, and thousands of visitors have enjoyed the novelty of subterranean dancing there.”  “subterranean dancing”. Is that where Dylan got the ideas for Subterranean Homesick Blues?

Janine Anne Hemsley… This is great stuff. Worked with his son Alan. Alan played drums for the Ted Crouch Band .

Matt Thomas… Is this the same Prince McBride who would in the late 80’s/early 90’s would be entertaining upstairs in White Rock Theatre cafe on the organ?

Janine Anne Hemsley… It is Matt. Also the ‘Sunlounge’ , now Azur. Sunlounge would have been late 60s early to mid 70s.

Kim Abbott-Farrant…. Sun lounge was also with Gordon Rider. My grandmother Marjorie Chantler played the piano for them for years there.

Alan Esdaile… Janine & Kim, here’s Prince McBride and Gordon Rider in an advert for the Sun Lounge Easter 1972.


Chrissie Daniels… Hi everyone. I am the manager at Smugglers Adventure and am asking anyone with any pictures they are happy to send me and have displayed at the Caves to drop me an email on Hoping to collate them all and make some signage with some Caves history. Any tales, information etc anyone has would be greatly received. Thanks for your help!

Chris Baker… My Mum Brenda Baker was an occasional singer with Prince McBride.

St Clements Caves are looking for your photos and memories

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Chrissie Daniels…. Hi, I am the General Manager at Smugglers Adventure and would love to create a big signage board with pictures such as the above. If anyone is interested in sending me any pictures and a backstory we can of course credit you. My email is Hope to hear from you.

Please feel free to contact Chrissie direct or I’m happy to pass on any emails.