Hastings 50 years ago January 1967

Two weeks into the new year, Friday 13th January 1967 and we see life appearing in The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, and not just the Ballroom, but the longest Bar in the town and the Palm Court Restaurant, because it’s time for one of the BIG social events in the towns calendar – The annual KB Social Club Ball, and this year’s it’s no exception topping the bill at “The Black Cat Dance “ a big name from the world of Dance Bands – Bob Miller & The Miller Men. Dancing 8.00pm-1.00am and all for the price of 10/- [50p] This would have certainly added some sparkle to the weekend for many people.
Without “Ready Steady Go” to kick start the weekend, things were usually very quiet, the Pam Dor both the coffee bar and Les’s club up stairs – admission 1/- dancing to the Juke Box, and there were one or two of the smaller clubs – The Nest for example down stairs in Robertson Street [live music] or top floor of The Fiesta.
Along at the Witch Doctor, another up and coming group were booked in for that night, a group of up and coming young musicians from south London – The Herd, line up included Andy Bown [Keyboard/vocals] Gary Taylor [Bass] Andrew Steele [drums] and Lead Vocal & Guitar – Peter Frampton. The group had released 3 singles under Parlophone but none had charted, they now switched to Fontana and were under new management Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley and this was to prove a success in the coming months. The other attraction in the week, and for some this signified the start to the weekend, was the regular visit to the club from the Mad Man from Maidstone, who amongst his tricks and pranks, managed to find time to fit in some excellent music on disc that was a true reflection of the music that we all enjoyed in the town.
What would we find on Radio & Television this weekend 50 years ago – BBC Radio Light Programme offer us its usual mix – on Saturday – Saturday Club with Brian Matthew, Zoot Money Cream, Kenny Ball, Graham Bonney. Country Style, The Jack Jackson Show, Des O’Conner, Music from The Movies with Desmond Carrington, Saturday Swingalong, Saturday Band Stand with the Staff Band Royal Engineers Aldershot. Later you could have tuned into Have a Go with Wilfred Pickles, from The Ocean Club “Take a Bow” Cabaret show, Those were the Days, Bing Crosby, Forces Star-time from RAF Little Rissington- at the time home of the RAF Display Teams including the Black Diamonds pre runners of the Red Arrows [now the station is the National Fire Defence College] Dancing Round Europe and Pete’s Party.
Sunday radio, would again be very much the same, Easy Beat, Lunchtime 2 Way Family Favorites from London & Cologne, Ken Dodd, Jimmy Clitheroe, Billy Cotton Band Show, Semprini, Pick of The Pops, Does The Team Think, Movie Go Round with a special this week on Disney Films, Brain of Britain, Sing Something Simple, Grand Hotel, Sunday Half Hour, Men from The Ministry and later Jazz with Humphrey Littleton.
Television on Saturday would mean BBC 1 – Grandstand, Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs and his guests again were Simon Dee, Alan Freeman, Pete Murray and Jimmy S. Dr Who, The Monkeys The early film was Lost Word with Michael Renee & Jill St John, Val Doonican, Adam Adamant Lives, MOTD and The Late Show.BBC2 –Rugby Special France v Scotland, The Forsythe Saga, Whickers World and the Midnight Movie – Marlon Brands “On the Waterfront”
Sunday – International Skiing, Film Matinee “ Arise My Love” Ray Milland & Claudette Colbert, The Lucy Show, The Three Musketeers, Pinky & Perky, Film: “Cry from the Street” with Max Bygraves, Dr Findley’s Casebook and Leonard Bernstein Conducts.
Taking a quick look at the Pirate Radio Stations – Radio Caroline South with Steve Young: 1 I’m A Believer: The Monkeys, 2 Sitting in The Park: Georgie Fame, 3 Sunshine Superman: Donovan,4 Anyway You want Me : Troggs, 5 Standing in the Shadows of Love : Four Tops. Over on MV Galaxy- Radio London – Ed Stewart played 1 Monkeys, 2 Nashville Cats: Lovin Spoonful,3 Matthew & Son: Cat Stevens,4 Tell it to the Rain Four Seasons and Hey Jo The Jimmy Hendrix Experience.
So there you have a quick trip back 50 years to what was happening. I must admit that I did not go to the Witch Doctor that weekend, but spent the time with two chums in having a wander around the pubs mainly of the Old Town, we started in The Bodega Bar, then the Albion, the Pump House and The Anchor, and the we would have ended back at the Pam Dor for the late night bus. Kept us out of trouble. Until next week’s slice of History you all wrap up warm and be extra careful out there on the Pavements and Roads, it will soon be spring and improved weather, although we have not been too badly treated unlike some along the east coast and up north.
Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2017


Heritage Open Days


1066 Heritage won’t be running our annual list of what’s on in Hastings this year, instead check out the link to the National site below for more information.


For Hastings events, try this https://goo.gl/Dfmpt2

Best regards

Andre Palfrey-Martin

1066 Heritage

What’s happening?

Here’s the links to the event pages, these are likely to change as we get closer to the open days, so remember to bookmark them. In most browsers you can do this by typing Ctrl and D. Smartphone and Tablets may differ.

Sussex, Hastings Sea Front Shops

Thursday 10      Friday 11     Saturday 12      Sunday 13

You can download a paper copy of each day’s event from the links below. 


 Thursday 10  | Friday 11 | Saturday 12 |

Opening Event – ZEROH: Point of Decay (all welcome)


ZEROH present Point of Decay  Coastal Currents Launch Event
Fri 28 August, 7 – 9pm

Bottle Alley, Hastings/St Leonards seafront, Pier entrance.   FREE    All welcome, but please arrive promptly to receive your free welcome drink.

This year’s Coastal Currents launch moves away from the theatrical stage to the outdoors, celebrating a distinctive space that physically joins together Hastings and St Leonards.

We want to challenge your perceptions of another familiar and well-loved location, one so often missed but still surprising and amazing its visitors.

ZEROH will transform this space into a subterranean art installation to launch Coastal Currents Arts Festival 2015.

Bottle Alley Hastings is a unique site, revolutionary in its concept and half a mile long, in part made from recycled materials, built to provide a unique underground promenading experience. A series of simple repeating pillars, exactly spaced, frame the outside world, giving a sense of rhythm as you walk through the space, forming a vanishing point of perception, disappearing in both directions into a futurist vortex.

Embracing the current state of decay and celebrating the unrivalled geometric splendour of simple lines and form that frame the horizon of the sea, this work will collaborate with local artists to transform the space.

More details will be revealed at http://www.zeroh.net and here.
We hope you’ll join us,
ZEROH and the Coastal Currents team.

Silent Disco on Hastings Pier! FREE event



Silent Disco on Hastings Pier! FREE event

Explore what got people jiving, jigging, hopping, rockin’ and rolling through the years. A team of pop music historians, media researchers and producers have worked together to bring the pop culture heritage of the pier alive through sound. You will be able to enjoy this through your earphones as you walk or dance on and under Hastings Pier*.

Thursday 10 September, 5pm: for young people aged 16 – 24

Friday 11 September, 5pm: for over 24’s.

Meet at the gates at 5pm on each day. Event lasts approximately one hour. Spaces must be pre booked due to limited equipment. Max 30 people per tour. Event not suitable for children under the age of 16.

To book your place e mail peoplespier@gmail.com

Hastings Pier is undergoing £14milllion renovation and is due to open in March 2016. This is a special opportunity to gain access to the Pier as a construction site before the official opening. This event is delivered by the University of Brighton in association with Hastings Pier Charity’s Learning and Education department as part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme.

*with regret this event is not suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs or people with mobility challenges due to the steps and shingle beach.


Open Day Events


 This year’s event list is starting to go on the site, but bear with us since events and times may change. If you see anything you like the look of, best to check with the organizers or wait for the live site before making plans.

Lots of interesting stuff in the pipeline, including free use of the cliff railway and guided walks in the Old Town.  Many of the churches will be open to the public as well.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Andre Palfrey-Martin for 1066heritage