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Entertainment on the pier

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A history of the entertainment on Hastings Pier from creation to the 1960s

Publicada em: Diversão e humor
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Entertainment on the pier

  1. 1. André Palfrey-Martin MA BA(Hons) PGCE 1
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  3. 3.  Promenading the Pier  Concert Parties  Repertory Theatre  Bingo  Steamer Trips  Dancing – Ballroom to Modern - Disco  Fishing  Penny Arcade  Food & Drink  Speed Boat Rides  And the list goes on………………….. 3
  4. 4. A popular form of entertainment, to promenade the length of the Pier – in all weathers, its was both fashionable as well as healthy - 4
  5. 5.  The previous photographic Image from the era shows the wide open space between the shore end and the Pavilion.  From shore end – flagstaff – 910 ft  The Pavilion – also know as the Saloon or Concert Hall - situated at the sea end was capable of holding 2000 people  The style was described as oriental, with onion domes and tall finials  Also at the sea end were low-level landing stages, which were later enlarged to become stages for sea going steamers. 5
  6. 6. By 1910 – the clear areas were being reduced – here we see the Bowling Alley and The Joy Wheel Roundabout – its beginning to get that cluttered feeling ? Society was changing and promenading was loosing its popularity ? 6
  7. 7.  This is clearly going to be one of the mainstays of the Pier Entertainments for many decades, to come, indeed the Pier and Hastings Corporation had entered into a building plan that would see the construction of the Pier Band Stand, with covered shelters , the new entrance foyer with café and shops –  Then on 15 July 1917 – the much loved Pier Pavilion went up in smoke a fire that was thought to have been caused by a discarded cigarette end !! 7
  8. 8. Here from the Hastings Observer in 1920 you can see the reconstruction of the Pier Ballroom, into the size and shape that many would remember to the bitter end ! 8
  9. 9. Unknown Band taken on the Promenade in front of the Saloon entrance - 1890 9
  10. 10. The Golden Vanities - 1900 10
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  14. 14. The Aristocrats 14
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  16. 16. Ye Merrie Folke Hastings Pier 1913 The Periodicals Palagette 24 March 1914 16
  17. 17.  These have been part of the entertainments on the pier since 1884, when the Queen of Thanet was hired for 3 weeks, to test the market. On 2nd September that year the service started, it had been planned that this trip would be to Boulogne, but bad weather prevented this happening until the following Saturday, over the coming days several more trips to France, as well as local coastal cruises took place it was a success.  In 1885 The Hastings & St Leonards Passenger Steamship Co.Ltd was formed.  This raised £7350 which enabled the company to by the 192 ft Iron paddle steamer the Carrick Castle – which began regular trips from 18 May 1885.  In 1889 the Pier Company completed the new 300ft staging to accommodate more ships.  Many more ships were to follow including –  The Lady Brassey  The Seagull  The Alexandra  Cynthia  Bonnie Prince 17
  18. 18.  In 1905 the Hastings, St Leonards and Eastbourne Steamboat Co Ltd, the successor to the 1885 company, went bust !  Over the next few years, there were attempts to create further businesses based on both the Hastings and St Leonards Piers, but these unsuccessful, partly due to the decline of the town as a tourist attraction, and the lack of investment in new ships..  The interwar years saw the inclusion of the Pier to the visits made by vessels of the P&A Campbell Steamship Line.  These would continue until the early 1980s, when a combination of - few ships being in commission and the lack of landing facilities on the pier, brought this phase to an end.  The last of the steamship visits was in the 1986 by the PS Waverley. 18
  19. 19. Steamer leaving Hastings Pier pre- 1917 Steamer Alexandra - 1905 19
  20. 20. Casting Off Coming into Land Unknown Steamer approaching the Pier Head – 1930s 20
  21. 21. Did this trip take place – look at the date and time 21
  22. 22. PS Waverley – this is the second vessel to carry this name, the original was sunk during the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940. Both vessels have served the pier over time, until in the 1980s, the landing stages were declared unsafe, and now on the occasions of this vessel coming to the south coast, passengers have to use Rye. 22
  23. 23. A regular feature of the attractions on the pier were the speed boat rides, which operated from Easter – October and were very popular with visitors and resident alike. 23
  24. 24. Not strictly The Pier, but near enough – on the beach and under the pier when tide was right – a popular way to spend a few hours on the water, and for 1/- 24
  25. 25. Immediate post war years – around 1947 Dressed for all eventualities ! 25
  26. 26.  Created in the last 1920s, this was a 645 seat theatre, that would become the home for many years of Harry Hanson's Court Players a professional repertory Company.  In 1934 The Shore Pavilion was revamped to be in keeping with the Art-deco style that was a feature of the new entrance to the Pier facilities. The theatre was enlarged to now hold 740 and new dressing room and storage areas, plus offices behind the stage. 26 Interior of the Theatre showing some of the art-deco features
  27. 27. 27 Uncovered at HMAG Archive – The original Plans
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  29. 29. The Rep would operate Monday to Saturday, with and Sunday Concerts to complete the week – from the 1950s we can see this was provided by the Resident Band in the Happy Ballroom 29
  30. 30.  The Court Players continued in the Theatre till the mid 1964, when Harry Hanson retired. The numbers has been dwindling, and in the winter months, the company used to move over the road and use the lower hall in the White Rock Pavilion, much more cosy !  From The Hastings Observer Pier Advertisements for 1964 – I believe this was the final week of the Court Players 19th September, and the Bingo Operation started October that year. 30
  31. 31. Part of the 1914-17 development was the construction of the Band Strand and covered areas – East and West on the Apron. This was to be a great future over the years with regular band concerts in particularly during the summer months. 31
  32. 32. 32 Fashion Parade 1960sCyril Fletcher & Betty Astell 1960s Uncle Percy [Percy Press] 60s
  33. 33. 33 Scottish Dancing – 1930s Just taking the Sun
  34. 34. 34 Tridome: Built in 1966 to house the 1066 Tapestry. The Original Banstand was demolished by the Council in the early 1960s Portable Band Stand from 1980s – later moved to Warrior Square
  35. 35.  One of the most popular activity on the Pier from the very early days, as been Fishing, both Competitive and as a hobby.  It was also a very lucrative undertaking for the Pier, the number fishing was reflected in the receipts of licences, toll fees, day ticket etc that were sold. 35
  36. 36. But more seriously – 36
  37. 37. 37 Dancing, Concerts, Pantomimes, Wrestling, Conferences and from time to time Revivalist Meetings. I have covered much of this in “ The History of The Happy Ballroom” So here are a few images of different activities that have taken place over the years _
  38. 38. 38 The Happy Ballroom Dick Whittington Pantomime Hastings Pageant
  39. 39. 39 The Happy Ballroom Beverley Dance Orchestra -1947
  40. 40. 40 The Happy Ballroom Resident Orchestra in 1950s
  41. 41. 41 The Happy Ballroom Different views from the 1950s
  42. 42. 42 Other Attractions Amusement Arcades – mainstay of ALL piers The Pier had the longest Bar in Hastings Palm Court Restaurant Gift & Novelty Shops Betting Shop Candy Floss & Ice Creams Juke Box The Pier was OPEN 365 Days a year.
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  44. 44. 44 Acknowledgements Cathy Walling – Hastings Museum & Art Gallery Zoe Edwards - ESCC Reference Library Alan Esdaile – “SMART” Peter Fairless – “Bands We Have Seen on Hastings” Pier FB Site Kevin Atkins Collection André Palfrey-Martin Collection
  45. 45. 45 This has been a Two Donkeys Production For Scoobie Media Facilities ©André Palfrey-Martin 2014 Final credits