Nostalgia for local night spot

Scalliwags SUS-150207-074646001
Scalliwags SUS-150207-074646001

Fond memories of a 1970’s Hastings nightclub led to a reunion which raised more than £2,000 for Hastings Lifeboat.

Scalliwags, on the seafront near Warrior Square, was one of the most popular night spots in town in the 1970’s and early 80’s.

Last year former Scalliwags reveller Kevin Burchett posted a video of the old Scalliwags song with some pictures of that era on Youtube.

It proved hugely popular with more that 5,000 views.

This inspired Kevin to join together with another Scalliwags regular Madelene Joyce Morton with the aim of organising a Scalliwags 40th Reunion in aid of charity.

Kevin explained the background: “The Reade family owned the Regent Hotel in the 70’s/early 80’s. Their son Derek thought it would be a good idea to open up a nightclub underneath the hotel and Scalliwags was opened on May 23 1975.

“The reunion was held in the Masonic Hall, St Leonards, on may 23 this year - exactly 40 years to the day of the club opening.

“We did it in aid of Hastings Lifeboat. Derek Reade, the owner of Scalliwags, was a volunteer on the inshore lifeboat in the late 60’s early 70’s.

“We raised £2,573.84 from the event and were also handed another cheque for £80 from the Alexandra Social Club in Bexhill so making a total of £2,653.84.

“We would like to thank everyone that supported the event and who gave there time free of charge to make it a success.

“We also had a bucket collection on the night for the Jake’s Splash of Delight charity which raised £275 toward his hydrotherapy pool.

The reunion was to have taken place at the Angling Club, but due to the huge interest shown it was moved to the Masonic Hall, not far from where the original nightclub was.

Ann Buckland and Madeline Joyce Morton worked hard to provide a buffet while DJ’s gave their services for free.

The nightclub was so popular that it even had a float in the Hastings Carnival in the mid 70’s with people dressed as Charleston dancers.

Hastings has had a lifeboat since 1858. In 1857 a sailing boat and all her crew were lost off the coast of Hastings. This tragedy led to a fund being set up in order to raise enough to supply a local lifeboat, which was stored in a boathouse at Rock-A-Nore – not too far away from the present location.

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