John Logie Baird remembered

supplied by Jim Breeds

Hastings and Area Past and Present… On 14th August 1888, television pioneer John Logie Baird was born in Dumbartonshire. He died on this day, 14th June 1946 in Bexhill aged just 57. In early 1923, and in poor health, Baird moved to 21 Linton Crescent, Hastings, on the south coast of England and later rented a workshop in the Queen’s Arcade in the town. Baird built what was to become the world’s first working television set using items including an old hatbox and a pair of scissors, some darning needles, a few bicycle light lenses, a used tea chest, sealing wax and glue that he had purchased.

Alan Esdaile… He should be celebrated more locally and have a dedicated major attraction to him.

Fiona Evans… Yes, we should make more of our local history & culture. Most famous date in history, birthplace of TV, May bank holiday celebrations, pirates, Alan Turin etc. Could we not impress upon the council to do more/encourage entrepreneurs to make more of Hastings?

Marcus de Mowbray… Hastings: Home of TV, Home of lousy TV reception!

Kate Recknell-Page… I remember coming home from Guides with Heather one night to find mum & dad sitting in darkness watching TV in black/white on a 14” John Logie Baird – our very first TV !!! Wow

Mike Waghorne… Baird House was by Bexhill station it has been knocked down and replaced by a block of flats aptly named Baird House !

Andy Qunta… What we would have missed without his invention!

Colin Bell… Andy, Why does Charlie’s Angels come to mind?!..

John Beeching… His invention was a bit of a flop. (There was nothing on worth watching.)

Rent or Buy Rediffusion TV from Abraham or Bryant 1966

Dennis Torrance… I rented in 73 from rediffusion a Doric the largest one when they put in my basement flat they struggled to get it down the steps so heavy

Mark Praid… Don’t forget the colour plastic that you could put on your screen for colour TV. Blue at the top, Orange in the middle and Green at the bottom……Total crap but The Clangers looked good.

Jan Warren… My Mum and Dad rented for years …………

Dixon Of Dock Green – the world seemed a lot safer in those days.

Brian Hepburn… Morning All

Stuart Moir… No internet to keep track of the Krays etc etc, I grew up in London and most people have no idea how bad it was then the gangland was more guns than knives and took no prisoners if you get my gist

Roger Collier… Why was he still a constable past retirement age?

Richard J Porter… I know officers that remained as a Constable for their entire career.

Mike Mitchell… Mind you, Jack Warner got shot in the end didn’t he?

Roger Collier… You must be thinking of the film, The Blue Angel.

Jim Hobbs… It was the Blue Lamp

Tim Anderson… He got shot in the film “The Blue Lamp”. He was brought back to life for the TV series Dixon of Dock Green!

Roger Simmonds… My mum loved him !

John Warner… Jack Warner, real name Jack Waters, brother of Elsie and Doris Waters, old time film and TV actresses.

Tony Ham… Evenin’ all.

Roland Clarke… You didn’t have 24 hour news telling you all the bad things that were going on not just here, but all over the world, plus with over double the number of people alive now, you would statistically expect crime to be twice as much!

Coco Pops… I think he was the first British Policeman shot on a British TV Show.

Rachael Cope… I remember PC Barry coming to school every month

Chris Jolly… Evening all…

Joe Bennett… “Ello ello ello”

Jonathan Mendenhall… How fabulous..I was 6 and remember Dixon followed Dr Who and white tv..Dr Who William Hartnell. best Dr ever..x

Pauline Richards… The actor that played the sargent in it lives locally and I saw him today!!!! Don’t know his name but I think his wife is German. I would recognise him in a line up!

Tony Ham… Nicholas Donnelly? He was also in Grange Hill.

Lyn Humphrey… The Krays never dared set foot in Dock Green!

Peter Checksfield… Not bad for a character that was shot and killed in the ‘Blue Lamp’ (1950). That Dirk Bogarde’s a bad ‘un.

Gary Dixon… I was named after him a few times in the school playground

Jeanette Steve Jones… Evening all

Stewart Rockett… Beat me to it!

Angela Frances Gardner… Goodnight all!

Harry Norcliffe-hic… This was back in the day that they saluted you.

Harry Randall… And back in the day when they walked a beat and new everybody especially rogues in the area! They used to clip your ear if you bad mouthed them! Respect not like this day and age when they don’t know what No means



What’s your earliest memories of children’s television programmes and what ones did you like?

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Yvonne Cleland… I like the Telegoons!

Andy Qunta… especially Bill & Ben! Flobalob!

Mark Praid… Bill and Ben every Wednesday at Nursery School with a Yoyo Mint Chocolate Biscuit and a glass of milk….Before the Pubs opened

Pauline Richards… Woodentops

Eric Harmer…  Does anyone remember FOUR FEATHER FALLS ?

John Sperni… Woodentops

Gaynor Lewry… Loved them all

Wendy Belton… Woodentops and Bill and Ben but also liked Tales of the Riverbank. Does anyone remember ones called Picture Book and Torchy the Battery Boy. Must have been very early 60s. My favourites were Camberwick Green and Trumpton. I particularly liked Windy Miller who lived in the windmill …Collies Mill I think it was called.

Mike Guy… My wife & I were chatting about Twizzle yesterday!

Jane Hartley… Tales from the riverbank

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A chance to get BBC2 in Hastings – launched on 20th April 1964

advert 1964 and 1965

Can you remember watching it, when it was first broadcast?

Paul Crimin… We could never get BBC2 on our tele. I think it checked out bank accounts before it would allow people to watch it. It was too posh for us anyway. lol.

Mike Waghorne… Redifusion Tv had it I think ?

Mike Cope… Television, Television? Eee thy were Lucky Lad! We only had’t Puddle end ‘ot’ Garden…

Jane Hartley… We didn’t have it til much later.

Who remembers Jack Hargreaves asks Eugene Hughes

photo © Simon Baddeley

Val Shoesmith… Out of Town. How.

Steve Cooke… I used to love Out Of Town – spring starts to spring, the cuckoo starts to sing…

Geoff Peckham… Our playground version was, “Say what you will, school dinners make you ill…”

Mark Asseenontv Scutchings-Stevens… ………….. the countryside is still.

Eugene Hughes… Say what you will, the countryside is still. The only place where I could settle down.

Geoff Peckham… Troubles there are _ so much rarer…

Eugene Hughes… Out of town.

Nick Prince… Enthralling television…. He had a great laid back style of presenting

Gary Sykes… I think James May, the re-asembler is a chip of old jacks programe with a modern twist.

Pete Prescott… Every Sunday we would watch him. Am I dreaming or did he say (as he was cutting cheese with cheese wire ) “the Japanese used to creep up on English sentries in the jungle and use this to kill them…bastards”. Anyone remember that. It seems unlikely thinking about it now. Sadly I still sing it in the car

Wendy Weaver… He probably did and they did .

Mark Asseenontv Scutchings-Stevens…. I though it was on Friday evenings, in the Gosport catchment area

Nick Prince… It was Friday evenings after Day By Day/Scene South East from Dover in Hastings area. Think it was followed by Mind Your Language/ Muppet Show and such like. Sunday’s toward end of Southerns days

Mark Praid… “Say what you will, school dinners make you ill, all the teachers died of Shepherd’s Pie.” I remember Olli Kite sometimes on as his fishing buddy. Jack was also a bigwig on the board of Southern Television. Shame they changed Max Bygraves to swirling Guitars and Harps when the Theme tune was changed. So slow…..I aways thought those Shire Horses wouldn’t make it to the end of the field!

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Who remembers Graham Kerr The Galloping Gourmet?

Nick Prince… Yes, he ended up in very poor health from eating far too many of his own recipes…. didn’t he cook everything in butter or brandy? Lol

Chris Jolly… Floyd as well! Let’s have a little splash of wine, haha…

Nick Prince… Floyd just died of drink. It made great television though.

Jan Warren… He liked a drink!!

Heidi Snape… Oh wow! That has just taken me right back to my childhood! Loved watching it! X

Andre Martin… I was told that he served with the British Army at one time in The Army Catering Corps [ACC] and then later he moved to Canada. Those were the days when you did not wall to wall cooking programmes in the schedule and he was always a very flambount character.

Andy James Long… ‘a quick slurp’ was his catch phrase as I recall!

Will Cornell… He pronounced his name “Care”, right? Deborah pronounced it “Car”, and everyone else I know with the name, it’s “Cur”. Go figure.

Chris van Rock… Yes …. he promoted vegetarian health back when it was virtually unheard of , turning his back on his style of cooking on his tv program full of fats and creams and dairy…his beliefs were laughed at even by his producer wife who suffered from ill health in later life …. he was groundbreaking in healthy eating and veganism

Jonathan Mendenhall… I remember him on TV very well…I was only very young even then thought he was a bit too smarmy..use to grab someone out of the audience and he almost “oiled” every time he took a taste of his completed dish…one of those 1970 TV “gems..”

Carol Ann Bolton… He was SO annoying.

Gerry Fortsch… He liked a drink so he can’t have been all bad.

Tara Reddy… I used to watch this with my grandma and wish I was in the audience and that I would get picked to taste the food!! X

Kev Carleonis… Yep. I was a kid then.

Nick Webb… I have one of his books lol

Jenny Morgan… I remember him drinking a glass of wine and picking a woman from the audience to share his meal- what a flirt!! Great though..

Rediffusion colour television advert – August 1976

Judith Monk… Got my first colour tv from them as a result of this ad!

Roy Penfold… Fond memories (not) of working for them when they became Granada and removing all of the big 26″ valve sets for upgrade to the ‘new’ transistorised ones….


Ian Quinnell… Lots of memories from working there in the 70’s. Workshop was HOT in the summer (esp ’76!) and cold in winter when heating failed, but coffee topped up from a bottle of rum and scotch helped

Nigel Ford… I wonder if the (redundant?) cables are still underground all over the town? How many towns had Redifusion, was it a southern thing only?

Roy Penfold… Many of the cables are no-doubt still in-situ. I have noticed a couple of houses that still have the outside boxes, although painted over now.
There is a website at that states they were global! Tony and Ian probably can remember my uncle (now deceased) – David Turner who worked as one of the techs. He was a bit of a strange one and disassociated himself from everyone in the family when his mother and father had passed on. I only found out that he was working in the same firm as me (on Ponswood) when I had left and had to collect his possessions from Brighton hospital once he had passed away. The house is still in my family – my parents, Mick & Gill (David’s sister) now live there. It was like a time-warp back to the 1960s when we first opened the house up to clear it out and sort things for probate etc.

Ian Quinnell… I was at Rediff from 1971 to 1977. I have a vague notion about a Dave Turner, seemed to be a bit of an odd character.but can’t be certain. However, I remember a Bill Penfold – was he related to you Roy?

Barry Newton… Good times working out of Ponswood. I think I did 7+ years with mainly a good crew. Worked Hastings, Rye, Eastbourne and Lewes, happy days. We liked to think of ourselves as erection speciatists, LOL it also had a good social side

Martin Richter… can you ask them to come and get their box – it’s still on the wall

Jacqueline Marsh… Do any of you remember Ron Kettle? he was a manager who came back from Hong Kong and ended up managing the Southern Region, based I believe in Ponswood. I seem to remember going there to collect him in the car when his was being serviced.

Josie Lawson… I rented a Rediffusion TV From a shop in Ore village…

Tim Moose Bruce… Used to work at Buss Foods opposite Rediffusion site at Ponswood. I remember an incident when the night shift were working at one part of the building while at another part,thieves were helping themselves to stuff! I think they tried to break in to the Buss food retail shop that night too, and some other places on ponswood got hit too.

Yvonne Cleland… We got our first tv from Rediffusion in Robertson Street! Used to have to go there every week for the payments. I remember when they first displayed colour tvs! They later had a shop in London Road, St. Leonards, as I remember.


Television – De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill – 14th June 2016


Stuart Huggett… Excellent, always just missed their previous reunion visits to the UK.

Dominika Hicks… The De La Warr Pavilion is incredibly excited to announce that Hannah Lurati (formerly of Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou) will be supporting Television on Tuesday 14 June.
Hannah has been performing all over the World and released four albums as a duo since 2010. She has played venues from the Royal Albert Hall to the Greek Theatre, LA, and the Ryman Auditorum. Now she is going solo and is due to release her debut album later this year.  Don’t miss, it is going to be an amazing evening of fantastic music.

The Happy Ballroom and more 15th Jan 1966 and David Bowie update by Andre Martin

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David Bowie gig 31st Oct 1964. Andre Martin collection

Time continues apace and we have reached the weekend of 15th January 1966, the Pier Ballroom continues to remain in darkness and no Saturday Night entertainments are scheduled, other activities continue – Bingo. Horse Racing and Fishing and the Bar and Restaurant are open, when will we see the Ballroom in action again ?
As you have gathered from reading these weekly reports, we do tend to settle into a regular pattern with the activities and locations included, and this week is no different. Friday Night Television entertainment would have started with Ready Steady Go or perhaps from some it might actually be “ Crackerjack” who knows ? RSG this week had a good line up including – The Kinks “ To the End of the Day” & “ Where have all the good times Gone”: Fontella Bass “ Recovery” :Lee Dorsey “ Get Out of my life Woman”: Patti LeBelle & The BlueBelles “All or Nothing “ & Over The Rainbow” also on the show that night was a Welsh future super-star Tom Jones.
Then for many it would have been down to the town and The Pam Dorr or The Fiesta or any other coffee bars, and a few might have ventured into the local Public Houses, The Anchor, The Pump House, and the like.
The Witch Doctor on the Saturday Evening would have on offer – The Mark Four and The Poor Boys, 2 groups that had an excellent track record having appeared several times before at the club, 7.30pm – 11.45pm all for 6/- [30p]. The Sunday Afternoon Record Session, were popular 2.30pm – 5.00pm and all for 1/6 – no licensed bar so it would have been soft drinks and the burger bar !!!. Tuesday evening we have the “Candlelight Pop Show” 7.30pm – 11.00pm all for 1/- [girls] 2/- [boys] and Thursday a regular crowd puller – Steve Maxted with his very looney show, 7.30pm-11.00pm for only 2/-. That’s how it was at Marine Court that week.
Radio & Television offered a very wide range of entertainments. BBC Light Programme, Saturday hi-lites would have included 10.00 Saturday Club with Brian Matthew – on the show that morning – Spencer Davis, Cilla Black, Kenny Ball, Swinging Blue Jeans, The Truth, Friday Brown, and the Johnny Pearson Orchestra. 12noon and it was a new show “Does the Team Think” Panel game featuring Ted Ray, Tommy Trinder, Cyril Fletcher & Beryl Reid – with MacDonald Hobley and Jimmy Edwards. 12.30pm, Jack Jacksons Record Show. 3.45pm, Saturday Band Stand with the Scottish CWS Band. 6.30pm Jazz Beat featuring this week – Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds, The Mark Leeman Five and George Melly. Later in the evening “Home & Away” from the Nuffield Centre broadcasting to UK & British Forces in West Germany on the show, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Julie Grand and The Ronnie Aldrich Quartet. Sunday offered amongst the regular show – Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce and 12noon 2 Way Family Favourites with London and Cologne being the hubs for requests from the UK and BAOR in West Germany.
Television on Saturday included 12.45pm Grandstand with David Coleman amongst the sport on offer – Rugby England v Wales. 5.15 Juke Box Jury –David Jacobs in the chair with Tito Burns, Libby Morris, Veronica Shaw and a Zombie ! The evening continued with some popular regulars including Dixon of Dock Green, The Western [film] Black and White Minstrels, Bewitched. Sunday featured Skiing from Switzerland, 14.50pm International Rugby League – England v France. 17.05pm The Lucy Show, 5.30pm David Copperfield followed by Pinky & Perky. BBC 2 had a real treat for Opera Lovers with Puccini’s – La Boheme.
Thank your Lucky Stars on ATV that Saturday night had on offer Jim Dale, Nashville Teens, Adam Faith, Rolf Harris & Paul and Barry Ryan.
That is how it was, 50 years ago in January 1966. To bring this weekly report up to 2016, this has been a bad time when you think of some of the names from the music industry who have recently joined that great concert platform in the Sky, but 3 in particular have links with Hastings. David Bowie – Played Hastings Pier with his group from Bromley – The King Bees, when they were booked to support Tony Rivers & The Castaways on 31st October 1964. Also in 1965 Davy Jones and The Lower Third headlined at the Witch Doctor on Saturday 17th July in that year. Also this week Tony Crombie the drummer with the Alan Haven & Tony Crombie Duo that released “Images”, they played the Witch Doctor on March 1965 with local group The Humperdinks in support. And the third was former manager of The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds – Georgio Gomelsky, who I meet a couple of times when he came down to Hastings with the Yardbirds in 1965 and 1966. Lets hope that we don’t get too many weeks like this.
Until next week you all take care out there, fingers crossed that the white stuff keeps away from the town and a little sunshine would be a bonus.
Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

Jim Breeds… Thanks Andre. Great stuff, including the Davy Jones bits of course.