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


SMART coffee meet no.71 – Friday 22nd March 2024


Gill Smith… Would love to come along! Been down here since 1976!

Alan Esdaile… you are most welcome to join us Gill.

Jim McCarthy… Hi I am Jim, currently writing a book on (the Move) living in Bexhill and talked to Colin Bell recently. I’d like to come along, I better put this in my diary thank you, hope all is well 

Alan Esdaile… look forward to seeing you Jim

Alan Esdaile… Pete Prescott will have on display the photos albums of Bexhill Hop 1980’s, for anyone who missed them last time.



SMART coffee meet no.70 Friday 19th January 2024

The next SMART coffee meet is on Friday 19th January 2024. Hopefully you can make it and please mention it to other like minded people. We usually do one, every other month but due to Christmas, the next one won’t be until January. Thank you as always for your support and would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and healthy new year. Don’t forget if you are seeing any relatives or friends over the Christmas period and think they might have some old photos that are suitable for the website, then this would be very much appreciated. Very best wishes. Alan

Claire Lonsdale… Happy Christmas to you Alan . I hope you enjoy the festive season. Xx

Mick O’Dowd… Remember to make a New Years Resolution if you’ve not been before. Make it in 2024 and see the superman who runs the whole shabang and is known as Alan Esdaile Johnny Mason.

Colin Norton… I really hope that I can make it one day! Would love to meet everyone!

SMART coffee meet report 68

Due to the train strikes, a number of regulars that had to travel down, were unable to make it but we still had an excellent turn out for our 68th get together. Among the newbies this time were Brian Scales and Sally King. Brian was chatting about happy memories of gigs he has been to and especially seeing The Sweet when they played The Aquarius Club in George Street. Sally was talking about her brother Julian Anderson and when he was doing discos at The Astral Club in Queens Road. As well as great memories of seeing The Kinks and The Move on Hastings Pier, she is a great supporter of groups and one of her favourites is Big Blue. Philip John arrived with a whole pile of ‘Disco 45’ magazines and Pete Prescott had a Jesus Christ Superstar programme and a table full of group photos and cassettes. Mo Elms came along with a very rare David ‘Kid’ Jensen’s The Original Roll ’n’ Rock pop music questions game. Dave Jenkins arrived with some collectable tour t-shirts of Knebworth ’80, U2 93 Zooropa Tour, a Marquee club sweatshirt and a Rolling Stones tour of Europe 76 Earls Court gig shirt.  Colin Tapp has found a cassette recording of his grandad Hastings fisherman ‘Noah Gillette’ and thinks this is the recording that the BBC came to Hastings and did a programme called ‘Down Your Way’ in the 1950’s. Noah used to sing regularly in local pubs. Ian Marketis had with him an impressive box set of Queen Live At The Rainbow 1974 which included cd’s, book, posters, badges, tickets and more. Tim McDonald was talking about the Music Resource Centre that he’s working on and John Busbridge had a photo album of photos, gigs and membership tickets. 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.

Bob Searle… I wished i could come

Alan Esdaile… You would be most welcome Bob

Monica Bane… Alan, Again couldn’t make it Will get there sometime

Mick O’Dowd… Another interesting Meet although some regulars missing because of train strike and other reasons. Had a very interesting chat with Tim McDonald ex BBC producer and also with Chris Gentry among others.

Eric Burgess… Sorry couldn’t make it this time. Had unexpected visitors. See u next time!

Cris and Merv Kennard… Thanks Alan, another good afternoon catching up with old friends and meeting new.

Linda Boiling… Sorry I couldn’t make it today. Hope to make the next meeting.

Lucy Pappas… Sounds like a good meet-up. One of these days, I’ll get there again x

Jackie Johnson-Lush… When is the next meet up please? X

Alan Esdaile… Usually every other month Jackie. So the next one should be around the end of October and will be posted nearer the time. You are most welcome to join us.

Lloyd Johnson… I’ll be at the next one Alan…

SMART coffee meet report 67

SMART coffee meet report number 67

What a Great afternoon! Among the newbies this time were Helena Kingshott, Micky Erends, Neil Cartwright, Jane Hartley, Sue Byrne, and David Martin. Helena was reminiscing about the great dances in Hastings with the regular Friday nights at the caves and Saturdays on the pier. Micky had some great memories of Ore youth club and the pier with Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Johnny Kidd. Neil was catching up with friends and fellow musicians that he has performed with over the years.  Jane was chatting about the music that’s happening this summer on the pier. Sue remembers seeing Elvis Costello and always enjoyed seeing The Teenbeats. David was catching up with old school friends and was talking about how good Pete Prescott’s music quiz nights are at The Dolphin. Mick O’Dowd had the hardback book with him called ‘Rock Odyssey A Chronicle of The Sixties’ by Ian Whitcomb whom you may remember had the hit in the sixties with ‘You Turn Me On’.  Mick said, it’s surprises what you can find in the charity shop for 50p!  Mo Elms turned up with a surprise, Terry’s original 70’s platform shoes! Anthony ‘Nan’ Morland had some interesting photos with him, including The Regal Theatre, The Maanav Star cargo ship when it run aground at Camber, Courts furniture shop at White Rock in 1978, North Seat viewing platform look out tower in Fairlight from 1960 and ‘Ransons’ corner shop, on the corner of Broadway and Fairlight Road. He also had photos from his cousin Roger of Pete Best in Liverpool, George Martin in Harrods and a Yoko Ono photo. Lynn Williams and Jane Moody had some great looking trendy photos of them from their teenage years. Paul Huggett had pages of lists of all the gigs he has seen over the years from 1964 to present. John Busbridge arrive with an amazing collection of LP’s & single records of Buddy Holly and Cliff Wootton had leaflets and information on ITT. Clive Richardson had Steamhammer posters and a large selection of 7” singles and Barry French had a Status Quo programme from Alexandra Park in 2006. This is just a small bit of what I remember and sorry was unable to chat to everyone. 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.

Stephen Moran… I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get to SMART today.

Jim Breeds… Apologies for my absence. I had some errands to run.

Cris & Merv Kennard… Another good afternoon catching up with lots of people. Thanks Alan for organising

Lucy Pappas… Sorry to miss another one. Hope it was fun! xx

Tony Davis… Sorry to miss another one was scoping out young bands in Brighton

Mick O’Dowd… You missed a good one there Stephen. Nice to see more newbies every time we have a Meet. Well done Alan!

Stephen Moran… I’m sorry I missed it Mick, we’ve got a family wedding otherwise I’d have been there. You are quite right, Alan does a great job.

Dave Martin… Priory Road Trio met up yesterday at SMART Coffee meeting at White Rock Hotel. Myself, Eric Harmer & Jon McCallion

Andy Qunta… Sounds great! As usual I’m sorry I couldn’t be there! Thanks for the plug for the Factory gig! Here’s a link for tickets –

Iain Cobby… Sorry to miss another bash Alan, on the school run in Tenterden!

Willie Wicking… Don’t look any different Dave


SMART coffee meet report 66

The sun was shining and a packed turn out for our 66th meet. Among the newbies this time were Dave Reece, Peter Ellingworth, Lynn Williams, Joan Moody and Alan Thwaites. Dave had with him a photo album of the many groups he has played with, including Cyril Stapleton Band, Daybreak and Love Together who hit the front of the newspapers in 1975, about Opportunity Knocks. Peter had a photo of Pulpit Gate house at the bottom of All Saints Street and his father did the woodwork on the building. He was in deep conversation with others on his interest in Hastings transport. Lynn and Joan had happy memories of The Pam Dor and Witch Doctor and had a photo of Chris Upton outside The Clarence pub in the town centre with his car. Alan was remembering seeing The Kinks, Curved Air and others on Hastings Pier. Cris Kennard arrived with an original Fisher Price Music Box record player and it still works! Also a huge collection of Beano and Dandy comics. Mo Elms had a whole array of Capital Radio merchandise, including a tie, bag, sweater, hoodie and a fun book, which her and Terry got when they entered a competition at the studios in London around 1976/77. Laurie Cooksey had photos of his first nursery drum kit, which he used in the group ‘Rael’ and had transfers of teddy bears and pandas on!. The group consisted of him on drums and vocals, Dave Austin on bass and Frank Isted on guitar and vocals. Ian Marketis had with him a very rare David Bowie 7” picture disc singles collection. Colin Tapp had a photo from an early 60’s dance at Ore Secondary School (Hillcrest) and a Humperdinks photo from Maidstone. Phil John had a photo album of him when he was working with Queen, David Bowie and Mott The Hoople and many interesting stories to tell. Anthony ‘Nan’ Morland tried to take a photo of the demolition of Ashdown House but wasn’t allowed. So he went on a double decker bus and took a photo from their! Cliff Wootton was talking about how much his group ‘All Their Kings Fall’ enjoyed playing Beatles Day and have lots more gigs and recordings coming up. Geoff Peckham (Jaffa) was talking about how well the rehearsals of ‘Factory’ are going and looking forward to their gig at The Piper in August. This is just a small bit of what I remember and sorry was unable to chat to everyone. 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.

Mick O’Dowd… Really enjoyed the Meet. Met up with some very nice people including Jaffa, Lol, Jim, Clair & Andre. Good Meet as usual Alan. Well done!

Merv & Cris Kennard… As always, good to see everyone. Thanks for organising Alan

Stephen Moran… I’m really sorry I wasn’t able to make it yesterday Alan. I look forward to the next one.

David Jenkins… Absolutely brilliant afternoon , as always, Alan

Jaffa Peckham… Another enjoyable afternoon, Alan. Thanks for making it possible again!

Peter Ellingworth… Excellent & enjoyable day yesterday at the White Rock Hotel thanks Alan, hope to make the next one or the one after. I took the 18.46 train from Hastings to London Bridge, this connected nicely with a Horsham to Peterborough service, itself connecting with a King’s Cross to Cambridge train at Finsbury Park, arriving home at 21.30.

Claire Lonsdale… Thank you Alan for another enjoyable afternoon x

Monica Bane… Alan, So very interesting the latest news, Thanks again, Monica x

Jim Breeds… Thanks Alan. Really enjoyed it. If only we all knew what the other tables were talking about or brought with them at the time

Joe Knight… Thank you for sharing this!

Tony Davis… Sorry to have missed it

Paul Huggett… Dammit forgot it was on, again !

Tony Qunta… Shame I couldn’t be at what sounds like a fabulous SMART meeting.

Eric Upton… I’m reliably informed by my wife who went there that Hillcrest was formerly named Hastings Secondary School for Girls.


SMART coffee meet 66 – Friday 5th May 2023

Dave Reece… Would like to turn up if that’s OK. Cheers!

Alan Esdaile… Your most welcome Dave

Dave Reece… Thank you I’ll bring me old clippings album. Tons of old toot!!

Susan McHugh… What a nice idea, you’ll enjoy that Dave

Peter Ellingworth… Intend to attend from exile in Hertfordshire.