Needles Stylus/Styli – its that one!

Who remembers having to buy a replacement needle for your record player? Nightmare for the retailer, with some customers saying I know what it looks like if I can see it. With a 100 or so, different ones in stock and 100’s more available to special order in, unless you knew the number or had the old one with you, it was a bit of a nightmare.

Matt Thomas… Bloody nightmare working in a record shop

Tony Ham… Still buy them, got a record on the turntable right now.

Lance Collins… Stanton D50. Still got some somewhere .

Dave Nattress… Definitely remember having to buy replacement needles for my first half-decent deck – a Garrard SP24 or 25 or something like. I think there were 2 basic choices Diamond or Sapphire? Testing the memory this is. Also a bit of a fiddle actually doing the change. I had a cheap sort of music centre – stereo, before this, Alba I think and before that a Dansette mono job before the Alba with a 6 record auto-change for singles. Must have needed replacement needles. Way before, my parents had a wind-up 78 playing gramophone with tiny steel needles that didn’t last long?

Nigel Ford… I remember having to buy a “stereo-compatible” one for the Dansette Tempo (still in attic) in order to hear the new stereo albums “properly”, maybe “Their Satanic Majesties” or “Let it Bleed” I seem to remember being one of the first I had….. but then heard it on a good neighbours (RIP Tony) Bang & Oulufsen (? spelling) and SOOOO much better!

Tim Moose Bruce… Used to get my goldring styli from the Trading Post in Castle st. Got all the kit components and speakers to build my first hifi from there too. Talking of old school stereo stuff, found a shop in Kings rd the other day with a load of old stuff in.

Hastings Records Shops by Tony May for Hastings Town Magazine

As regular readers will know, I have a very soft spot for all things musical and have written a number of articles for H.T. about local record shops and characters associated with them.

Well, I’m delighted to inform you this month that a new website called ‘The British Record Shop Archive’ has been set up by another such enthusiast, Leon Parker.

The aim of the website is not just to record for posterity the name of every record shop to ever open its doors in the U.K. but to also make sure that the social interaction, culture and day-to-day way of life that was buying a physical music product from a real person over a counter is documented and remembered.

Having been in more record shops than Sir Richard Branson over the years I have been having a whale of a time contributing photos, memories and memorabilia to the site and you will be glad to know, have personally made sure that Jack & Sonia London’s ‘The Record Shop’ webpage has been royally decked out and the part they played here in Hastings for 44 years properly recorded.

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In fact, Hastings Town has played quite a large part in helping me to see that Hastings record outlets are not forgotten. As well as my article on Jack London, I have contributed my article ‘Remembering Alan Jensen’ about the man we knew and loved as ‘Big Al’ of The Disc Jockey and submitted the photos our sadly missed friend, Ron Fellows, sent me of Stylus Records.

Being a true ‘anorak’ I also sent in photos of a few old local record shop bags I found stored away in the loft as well.

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Its sobering to think now that at the height of the popularity of vinyl records in the 1980’s there used to be thousands of independent record shops in the U.K. In 2009 that figure had dropped to just 269 (according to The Independent newspaper).

Read moreHastings Records Shops by Tony May for Hastings Town Magazine