Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, Lonnie Donegan – White Rock Theatre 14th October 1988


Yvonne Cleland…..Acker Bilk! I used to love him when I was a little girl. what was that number – Stranger on the Shore? Made me cry buckets. Probably still would.

Andre Martin….We used Stranger on the Shore when we did the filming “Searching for the PamDor” in the production back some 5 years ago at the Local Museum.

Matt Thomas….Excellent

Alan Esdaile….get your tissues ready Yvonne. You can call records brilliiant, wonderful but This is Beautiful.

Perri Ann Haste….Oh my goodness – Lovely Acker! – I seem to remember he played at a Beer Festival at Alexandra park back in the 80’s – Cant remember exact date though & it was at the Park gates end of the Park near the roundabout.

Joe Knight… Use to see these at the Black Prince Pub Bexley, just off A2

Mick Bolton… What a great night that would have been – Acker, Kenny and Lonnie. And George Chisholm. I saw Lonnie Donegan’s son there a couple of year’s ago playing his dad’s material.

No Home Jerome…  I remember that too.

Joe Knight… Sunday’s at the BLACK PRINCE BEXLEY KENT

Mick Bolton… Lonnie, Kenny and Acker and George Chisholm on the same bill – what a great night that must have been. And John Lill playing Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto. Great stuff.

Level 42 26th Sept 1983 and back again at the White Rock on 4th November 2022

Tickets supplied by Mo Elms

Romaine Fulton-hart… We attended the show in 83

Mick O’Dowd… I was there back then. Really excellent performance. Great live!

Matt Thomas… And look who’s supporting them this time… Mari Wilson.

Martyn Baker… My band Salvation Sunday supported them in 1986 at Wembley Arena and The NEC. I was a Hastings boy, Joanne, Steve and Robert were from Bexhill. Fun times!

Martin Richter… they are fantastic live!

The Three Degrees White Rock Theatre Hastings 30th June 1985

Mike Waghorne… This must have been not long after the referb because Joseph was on when we were working in the later part of the works

Dave Nattress… A hark back then to the two performances a night days of late 50’s and early 60’s. Still I guess some live bands do two sets. With the exception of Damaris, the later bands I was in sometimes did two sets or half repeated the first anyway! The intermission enabled copious amounts of refreshments to be taken so the second set was a little looser and we all seemed to find 11 on the volume controls on the amps and PA!!


The Flying Pickets, Elkie Brooks and The Nolans – White Rock Theatre 1985

The Flying Pickets tour –  4 days in Hastings 1985

Martyn Baker… I saw her as a singer in Vinegar Joe (with Robert Palmer I think?) on the pier way before this show. I was about 14, and I met a girl too. Loved that night!

Andy Qunta… Martyn, I saw them on the Pier too!

Matt Thomas… Famous for only doing a 30 minute concert

Mick O’Dowd…Thinking I might have been at The Pickets show. Used to love them. Very talented. First saw them on the Tube.

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel – White Rock Theatre 12th June 1990

harley ticket


steve harley

ticket & cutting supplied by Iain Cobby

Peter Fairless… Made me smile!

Matt Thomas… I was working the bar that night

Andy Qunta… I did a tour with SH & CR in 1981. A really fun time! Great songs, great band! After that, we recorded a couple of songs, which Midge Ure produced. One of them, “I Can’t Even Touch You”, is the last track on the “Cream Of” album mentioned above. Just a bit of trivia for you!

Tony Davis… If I remember rightly Mr Cobby it was you and I that started the singing of Oh Dear Look What They’ve done to the blues. It was a good night. I think I also got hit by a small piece of falling ceiling.

Iain Cobby… Your memory serves you well, Mr Davis and if I’m correct, we were both in a video of his shot at Brighton Dome. More trivia, the bassist of his first Cockney Rebel band Paul Jeffery died on board flight Pan Am 103 with his bride on there honeymoon. Steve often would dedicate ” Sebastian” to him.

Tony Davis… Saw Cockney Rebel at the Leas Cliff in Folkestone. They were touring the album Best Years of Our  Lives for it’s 40th. Anniversary. Steve Harley and the band were fantastic that night. Instead of a support  act they incorporated it within the band. 2 sisters from Austria who were multi-instrumentalists and during Cockney Rebel’s set they played a couple of their own tunes. Really glad I went.


Hastings International Folk Festival 22nd May – 25th May 1987





supplied by Mick Mepham

Also appeared Titus and Friends,  Blowabella, Ralph McTell, The Kipper Family, Barry Dransfield, Cecil Sharp, Ashley Hutchings, Bonnie Shalijean and loads more. Gigs at various venues and events took place throughout the town.

Robert Searle… Saw Tom Paxton at the Congress Eastbourne .The place was nearly empty ,so embarrassing for him and the audience. A really nice folky who i liked in the early sixties.

Will Cornell… I’d do anything to be able to see Blowzabella. They’ve played S.America a lot, but nary a nod to the ol’ USA. On my top 5 list of faves. Oh well, I do correspond with one of the guys quite a lot on matters re: Hurdy Gurdy!

White Rock Theatre Hastings – 1980’s? season

Peter Howard…

Graham Sherrington… Peter, she were brilliant!!!!!

Mark Rodrigues… 1982-1987 some point I reckon

Roger King… Could very well be 1986. By that time the Pavilion had been renamed Theatre, and crucially July 19 was a Saturday in that year.

Steve Hamilton… I was going to say it seems like 1980 – until I saw Flying Pickets who surely were not a thing until 1982/3? So what looks like a pretty decent line up for 1980 seems a little retro for 1986…

Margaret Trowell… Proper acts ..the real deal back then not the endless tribute acts we get now😊

Matt Thomas… I think this was after a major refurb and was billed as the summer of stars

Colin Bell… Although i must be honest and say there’s not many listed here I’d have gone to see, at least they were all proper ‘names’ unlike the poor second rate acts they now seem to endlessly put on



The White Rock Theatre vs The De La Warr Pavilion

Mick O’Dowd… Took a trip to sunny Bexhill today as it’s cheaper (very much) to park than in Hastings. (5p for 15 mins minimum!). had a hot X bun and coffee in a little tea shop and then went over the road to the De La Warr Pavilion. Looking at the forthcoming events I was amazed at the big names that regularly popped up. Now my question is. Why can’t the White Rock attract these type of acts? As far as i’m concerned White Rock is the better auditorium. Bexhill used to be a graveyard for name acts etc. Now look! What’s going on?

Paul Phillips… 100% agree. Just been sent White Rock brochure for this year…all tribute bands…De la Warr has much better

Virginia Davis… Totally agree. We struggle to find anything decent at the White Rock.

Emma Rix… I know it’s been years since they had any big acts

Sam Rosewell… Primal Scream are playing there next month – that’s pretty big

David Edwards… DWP get great acts and names Whiterock Pavillion just lookalikes and sound alikies.

Peter Fairless… All down to how it’s subsidised and booked

Mike Curtis… Seating at White Rock so uncomfortable and cramped.

Mark Randall… Sparks! For me tomorrow night

Sandie Carlyon… I do go to the De La Warr often. Been once this year and more booked. White Rock has really uncomfortable seats. I do like to see Think Floyd at White Rock. Too many tribute bands. De La Warr has amazing artists.

Peter Thomson… No longer local so view from afar with envy. Even in a smallish city we don’t get anything of the calibre that Bexhill enjoys these days. Definitely a management question for Hastings. On the covers debate, most people start out doing covers and, without people willing to do them to a reasonable standard, there will come a time when nobody gets to hear great music live eg Beatles or Beethoven.

John Gale… Saw Robert Plant at the dlwp last week playing with Saving Grace. It was fantastic. . I would go to the dlwp half a dozen times a year,,, the White Rock is nothing compared to the dlwp , the seats at the dlwp are comfy, well ventilated area(important atm) and excellent staff…. The last time I went to the White Rock it was like an oven, cramped seating

John Mcewen… De La Warr has been booking top names for years! White Rock is a complete waste of a good venue.

Judy Atkinson… Justin Hayward is at the White Rock in September, saw him a couple of years ago at DLWP, he was fabulous

Richard J Porter… We have seen Duane Eddy twice at the De La Warr. Other big names too. Duane Eddy said the acoustics were better than The South Bank.

Paul Huggett… They have someone with great contacts on the team at DLWP I believe… And maybe a larger capacity. Really do get some good stuff there as you say, can’t afford to see all those I’d like to!

Jackie Hutt… I’m not sure if it makes any difference, or if the councils have anything to do with funding…but De la Warr comes under Rother District as opposed to White Rock under Hastings Borough?

Mark Rodrigues… Agree, though Primal Scream coming to Hastings on 27th May.

Jane Freund… The De La Warr has worked very hard to raise its profile since it re-opened in 2005. They deserve their success. WRT is appealing to the lowest common denominator – mostly tribute bands and panto. I doubt it would survive without the massive amount of funding given by HBC. Which is a mystery when there is a really good venue in the town (SMIC) which does not get that support.

Matthew Bryant… White Rock definitely isn’t a better auditorium! Uncomfortable seats, can be really hot and stuffy, poor acoustics compared to the De La Warr Pavilion. And the De La Warr is a much more attractive building with a car park plus great sea views from the cafe balcony or the roof terrace.


Timmy Mallet – White Rock Theatre Hastings

supplied by Timmy Mallet

Timmy Mallet… Love White Rock Theatre Hastings. A favourite seaside theatre. I played sell out dates here with delighted cheering wideawakers! Were you there?

Jan Warren… Where’s his mallet? – Wacaday Wacaday WACADAY!! – Haha, used to love his”silliness” on breakfast Tv back in the 80s!!

Jacki Battershill… Yessssss😂😂 it’s wacaday

Sheila Maile… He had a cockatiel called Magic

Dawn Campbell… What a nut case he was, I used to feel sorry for the kids he used to bang on the head with his mallet, especially when they fell off their chairs – it always looked so hard

Hastings Jazz Festival October, year?

Mike Vawdrey… The only years which work in terms of when October 11 fell on a Friday would be 1985 and 1991. However you made an earlier posting on the 1985 event which definitely rules that out. Tenor sax man Eddie Miller died in April, 1991 which makes it most improbable that he would be billed as a participant 6 months later unless this was a very early piece of pre-publicity ? Food for thought.

Alan Esdaile… Thanks Mike, appreciated. If we went the other way could be 1974?