Telham Tinkers – April 1984

Ted Bishop, Geoff Hutchinson, Ian Dobson, Russ Haywood, Martin Curcher.

Jon McCallion… Worked with Geoff years ago.

Tony Court-holmes… does the black horse still do the folk festival or did someone else take it over

Glenn Piper… sadly, no to both

John Beeching… Big Green Cardigan festival at Sedlescombe/Staplecross kind of grew out of it.

Geoff Hutchinson R.I.P.

photo Sussex Express more details…

Martin Curcher… I am saddened by this news. I knew Geoff well in the 80’s when I played for Telham Tinkers, we kept in touch for a while after I left. He was always encouraging and supportive of my endeavors. I went to primary School with Nadine, his daughter. Condolences to the family 🙏 God bless

John Wilde…Farewell Geoff, thank you for your tireless passion for music and history. You will be greatly missed, soar high.

Keith Veness… Lovely Man loved his music and stories RIP Geoff

Wendy Weaver… Such sad news. We saw him a couple of times as Jack Fuller. RIP Geoff.

Jennie Tocock… Oh no… Very sad. I worked with Geoff for 6 years – lovely guy. Sending love to his family. RIP Geoff


The Telham Tinkers – Scene South East Southern TV around 1979.

photo: Pete Titchener

Garry Blakely, Pete Titchener, Ted Bishop, Geoff Hutchinson, Ian Dobson.

Lee Twigge… Ian Dobson was my old English teacher. Top guy

Matt Thomas… Lee, Mine too and form teacher for my final 2 years at WP

Wendy Gladwish… My uncle Pete Titchener

Stuart Moir… Wow a Southern band from our past

Hastings Carnival Beer Festival – Hot Pursuit Alexandra Park 14th July 1983



poster and photo of Hot Pursuit supplied by John Williams

Featuring Sunstroke, Hot Pursuit, Jazz Caverners, Sturdy Beggars, Dr Miller Needs A Brain, Louis & The Bitterhalf, Telham Tinkers and Brian Boru.

John Williams… My old band in the Park – Hot Pursuit comedy show band. Featuring Derick Macey, Terry Tollan, John Williams, Patrick Green and Daniel Bruce Tollan. That’s me with the tambourine god takes me back, red suits.

The Telham Tinkers – Marrowbones 1980

Alan Harmer… Are you looking to buy this album? If so check out I have just listed a very clean almost mint copy under Slip Disc Records

Jim Breeds… Lovely. I’m not going to buy it, but I wanted to take a look at the listing – I don’t know what the Slip Disc reference is as it seems to have no connection with the listing but I searched for the LP title and here is Alan’s listing

Pete Titchener… I can provide a digital copy if anyone is interested.

Folk At The Black Horse – Plum Duff, Brian Boru, Telham Tinkers, 1976

black horse lp



all supplied by Tony Davies

Plum Duff photo…. Tony Davies, Colin Baldwin, John Towner, Reg Marchant, Phil Ratcliffe.

Dawn Leaney….Hey Tony davies on the left! I think thats one of the line ups of Plum Duff!  Yep.. my husband was Andy Leaney and he also played in Plum Duff with Tony at around this time!

Michael Mepham….The late and excellent John Towner in centre.

Tony Davies…. L to R, Myself, Colin Baldwin, John Towner, Reg Marchant, Phil Ratcliffe,, Reg and Phil came over to France in June to play in our village Musique Fest. It was 35 years ago the last time we played together. Good times.

Kev Towner….How fab – thanks guys. Still got a copy of this btw.

Matt Thomas….my old teacher Mr Dobson was in the Telham Tinkers…., i still call all of my old teachers Mr or Mrs – a habit i cant break and at 44 i still hide my cigarette if i ever see any of them lol

Nicolas Laruelle…..I found this record (Folk at the Black Horse) today at my parents home near Paris, France. I suppose my father bought it in 1978, while attending an English summer course in Hastings. With the record there was a couple of pink sheets of paper with the hand-typed lyrics of two songs from the album. I was happy to be able to recognize the pub on the picture (I had dinner there with my wife and children in may 2007 while staying at the nearby Brakes Coppice Park campsite !), and to hear new versions of songs I have loved for years (Jock Stewart,Carrickfergus..).
I have read on this website that Tony Davies from Plum Duff now lives in France and takes part in his village music festival. Anyone knows which village it is ? Thank you for the website and all the great information. This email has now been passed to Tony Davies.

Jim Breeds……Oh wow, haven’t seen this post before. That brings back the memories; I was there so many times …

Pete Fisher… this is where I played and sang live for the first time, would have been 1969, as a duo with my mate Tim Hodge, who had built a transistor amp/fuzz box into his acoustic, which incensed the finger in the ear crowd…drinking half pints illegally and catching the 10:30 bus home…rock’n roll!!

Wendy Weaver… I Saw the Yetties here in 1979.

Len Smith… Remember seeing some great ‘folk’ bands their, one in particular that comes to mind was Mr Gladstones Bag.

Philip Ratcliffe… The village in France (for Tony Davies) is Carquebout, near St Mere Eglise in Normandy. We will play there again someday. I am still playing and in contact with Reg Marchant, Colin Baldwin and others from the old days. I miss that old rascal Towner more than a bit. Rock on and never stop live music! Philip Ratcliffe (the guy with the stick-on black moustache on the right).

Jeanette Jones… Inspired my boy to learn the violin 🙂

No Home Jerome… What a fabulous photo. I remember John Towner and ‘Jumbo’ Davies so well from my days as a telegram boy. I was only thinking about playing cricket with John at Westfield just the other day. The last time I saw Jumbo he was driving an ambulance! Wasn’t Pete Sedgewick in Brian Boru?

Jim Breeds… Spent most Saturday nights there for a period in early 70s. Superb.

Martin Curcher from the Telham Tinkers by Tony May for Hastings Town Magazine

At age 45, my schooldays seem a lifetime away now but the other morning a surprise meeting with an old school friend was to remind me of a lot of things to do with that period of my life and of the Hastings of the 1970’s and early 1980’s.

To fill you in a little, I finished my school days at The Grove School in Hollington (now a Collage and soon to close forever) and took my exams there in 1981 and 82. I was never much good at school really, not because I was stupid but because I was a kid and thus was more interested in being a kid than learning in those days. Considering the way my life has panned out (all my own fault!) I wish I could have changed my attitude back then, studied hard and got some decent qualifications but I didn’t. None of us realize how important that really is though at age 14 or so, do we?

Anyway, as it was I ended up leaving school with just a solitary O’ level (English) and 7 C.S.E’s (if you can still remember what they were!) and went out into the world to find myself a job. Mad about music, I was a regular visitor to Stylus Records in Castle Street and The Disc Jockey in Queens Road in particular and any money I did have went on buying records. This eventually led to me gaining my first proper job by impressing the owner of Stylus, Nelson De Souza, with my musical knowledge. Working in a record shop was my idea of heaven and Nelson and I got along very well. In fact, he must have loved the set up as most weeks I owed him the bulk of my wages for records I’d put aside for myself!

Around the same time as all of this was happening, a school friend of mine, Martin Curcher, was just beginning to make some headway towards a musical career. Unlike me, Martin was a ‘proper musician’ and played the bass guitar. He was pretty good too and had been playing with a few bands whilst at The Grove encouraged by one of the teachers, Mr. Lyons, who played in a band called ‘Hooker’. I recall seeing Martin and his then band ‘Red Velvet’ support ‘Hooker’ at a special ‘gig’ in the school assembly hall once and he seemed a natural on stage. ‘Hooker’ was great too I remember and played a stunning version of ‘Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City’ by Whitesnake (I never did get Mr. Lyons to give me a cassette of some of their stuff!).

Martin’s playing ability soon came to the attention of the now legendary (but then relatively unknown) local folk group ‘The Telham Tinkers’ who were at that time on the look–out for a new bass guitarist. Martin joined the group and helped them to finish the recording of their now highly collectable ‘Hot In Alice Springs’ album in the bargain! Not only did he get to play on a few tracks, a photo with him in the band was chosen to appear on the back of the sleeve. Already playing with another local Hastings group by the name of ‘The Architects’, Martin was out performing a good few nights a week at this point and it made him somewhat of a celebrity at school!

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