The Tony May Pages
I love writing for ‘HT’ and think of this magazine as a kind of community in itself so, whenever fresh news reaches my ears about a story previously featured here, I think its important I keep you all informed.
Remember Sue Butchers? I had the pleasure of interviewing Sue about her life in the music business and her belated return to the recording studio a year or so ago for one of my ‘Great Characters of Hastings’ articles. Well, the good news is that Sue’s album ‘Truth’ (which at the time of writing the article was available only as a Ltd CD) has now been officially released as a download and can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk.
Those of you who keep up with the Hastings Town Facebook page will have seen quite a few of Sue’s videos and remember no doubt the lovely, wistful and romantic ‘Ode To An Angel’ and fun, pop/punk ‘I’m On Facebook Again’. Both tracks are from ‘Truth’ so get your skates on and download your copy today.
‘I’m On Facebook Again’ has also been released as a single so with a bit of luck, if we all do our bit, we could help to get our Sue back into the charts where she belongs!
Shop Closes After 100 Years of Service to Bohemia
Next, I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU to Mr. Terry Foord of H.A.P. Munday & Son, Newsagents, of 54 Bohemia Rd who served the people of Bohemia with their sweets and papers for 52 years until the 30 March, 2013.
Walking past the shop a week or so ago I noticed that it had closed and on mentioning it to a few people was told that Terry had decided to retire. As I have written here before, some of my earliest childhood memories revolve around visiting Munday’s to buy sweets and comics and so news of Terry’s retirement and the subsequent closure of the shop are especially poignant and important to me.
After making enquiries, I managed to grab a word with Terry’s son, Graham, who told me that H.A.P. Munday was actually Terry’s Grandfather. Mr. Munday opened the Bohemia shop in 1911 (see photo) and it has been in the family for four generations ever since. According to Graham, Terry started working in the shop as a ‘summer job’ to help out his uncle. Now, seeing as he never left, that is one long summer!
A number of factors have brought about the closure of the shop. Technology has moved on so much since Terry started and with the younger generation looking to pay with their mobile phones etc. small, traditional shop owners are seeing a reduction in the amount of people willing to buy things with cash. Add to this the modern trend for the big supermarkets to install ‘mini versions’ of themselves on every High Street and it becomes hard for the small man to survive…
The GOOD news though is that the name H.A.P. Munday lives on! In a wonderful (and in a way heart warming) twist of irony, Graham has re – named his newsagents shop at 54, Havelock Rd in order to keep the Munday name (and tradition of warm and personal service) alive. Graham, whose shop used to be called ‘Huffey’s’ told me that he felt comfortable re – naming the shop.
“The name ‘Huffey’s’ meant nothing to me personally. While I have obviously had to do away with the & son part of the name it feels right to keep my Great Grandfathers name alive.”
Talking to Graham on the phone, I have every confidence that he will continue to add to the family legacy for friendliness and good service and he and I both think it nice that his shop is situated at no 54, Havelock Rd.
“ That my shop and the Bohemia shop where it all started over a hundred years ago both share an address with the number 54 in it makes me feel better about seeing the old shop close. That the Munday name has simply moved rather than disappeared is the impression that gives and the fact that the first three digits of my shops telephone number (01424 437835) are also the same is kind of nice”.
Terry, have a long and happy retirement. Make sure you have a nice few holidays, spend a few quid and enjoy yourself now because you deserve it! Lots of love to you.
Graham, 15 years service already – your Grandfather would be proud of you. In an ever-changing (and often scarily impersonal) world the people of Hastings need the Munday/Foord brand of real/friendly service more than ever. Best of luck for the next 40 years or so!
Favourite Bus Driver
We all know and love ‘Happy Harold’ – Hastings very special vintage Trolleybus but it seems the people of Hastings have their own favourite bus driver as well!
Stagecoach driver, Neil Webb, is renowned for his habit of shouting “Hold Tight” before every bus stop or when someone who wants to get off rings the bell. Always a jolly soul, in spite of the amount of idiots there are on the roads these days, Neil is a real character and a credit to Stagecoach.
Posters wishing “Hold Tight” a “happy birthday from your fans’ popped up in bus shelters all over Hastings the other week and really brought a smile to my face and I’m sure others.
Now, I don’t know the reason why ‘our Neil’ seems moved to shout “Hold Tight” before every stop but Hastingers have certainly taken him to their hearts for doing so.
A “Hold Tight” Bus Driver Hastings tribute page has been started on Facebook (where Neil is described as ‘a legend’) and Pete Fitch from London must have been suitably impressed on returning home because the following tweet can be found on Twitter…
Bus driver shouting ‘hold tight, please’ at every stop. Excellent start to the day. More of that please.
So folks, why does Neil think we should hold tight?
Could Neil be…
An old ‘Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mitch And Titch’ fan – “Hold Tight!” hit no 4 for them in 1966…
A secret ‘disco dancing soul smoothie’ – ‘Change’ had an American no 40 R&B hit with a song called ‘Hold Tight’ in 1981…
A massive E.L.O. fan – ‘Hold On Tight’ was a no 4 hit for them in 1981…
Or could it be something to do with the fact that Neil’s Facebook page is full of photos of FAST CARS and powerful MOTORBIKES! (lol)
Happy (belated) Birthday from all of us here at Hastings Town Neil!
Roomz is a Great Venue
Well, I started with a musical story so I’m going to finish with one. I had a fantastic evening on the 26th of April at The Roomz, 33-35, Western Rd, St Leonards when I stepped out to see Jonathan Martin’s gig there.
Jonathan, who has seemingly been around forever (yet still doesn’t look a day over 25 – the lucky pup!) put on a spirited performance jamming with a series of different musicians throughout the night and played a selection of his own songs alongside covers by Lee Peters, Radiohead and The Beatles; amongst others.
The Roomz is a great venue for local performers to show off their skills. Because of its intimate atmosphere and size it’s the perfect place to get ‘up close and personal’ with an audience and the on-stage -off-stage banter really adds to the magic of the evening.
You can catch Jonathan at The Roomz on the last Friday of every month at present. Why not pop along and see one of Hastings brightest talents? Having written songs for more than 20 years no two performances will ever be the same and knowing the wealth of talent we have here in Hastings, you just never know who will turn up to join Jonathan on stage…
For more information on visit his website at www.thisisonlymemusic.com
For more details about The Roomz telephone 01424 564 or check out their website at www.theroomz.org.uk
Until next time, have fun!
From the June 2013 issue of “Hastings Town”
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