White witch’s calls for pier archive footage

White witch Kevin Carlyon with some of the old videos
White witch Kevin Carlyon with some of the old videos

A WHITE witch is hoping to make a DVD charting memories of Hastings Pier in a bid to help campaigners battling to bring about its restoration.

Kevin Carlyon, of Dane Road, St Leonards, well-known for offering Tarot card readings to residents, has branched out to copying old video films onto DVD, and discovered a lot of footage of the Victorian attraction, some dating back to the 1930s.

He hopes to create a DVD that can be sold in order to raise funds for the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust (HPWRT).

The pier was devastated by fire in October 2010.

Mr Carlyon said: “I don’t sit and watch people’s films through but as my computer is next to the recorders I do catch bits and there seems to be a fascinating amount of footage of Hastings Pier in its heyday. The earliest that I’ve seen is old cine film transferred to VHS which must come from the 1930s.

“There is a lot from the 1970s which are the years that bring back most memories to me, such as fishing on there, and watching the wrestling when I was training to be a professional wrestler, and of course the bands. In those days my favourite was The Glitter Band. I also helped Midge Ure (Ultravox) and other members of the teeny bopper group Slik set up their equipment and, of course, there is no forgetting The Radio Caroline Roadshow with their touring bus, The 319 Special.

“I am certain that there must be a wealth of old film of the pier and I am urging Observer readers to think about any old videos they may have in the loft, as some may have old footage of the pier. Should there be enough of it and readers are happy for it to be used it may well be worth thinking about a charity DVD. It’s only an idea at this stage, as it really depends on what material is out there.”

Simon Opie, chief executive of HPWRT, said the idea was ‘brilliant’.

He added: “We are very interested in assembling as much archive material as we can about the pier and its most valuable use will be to make it availble for the digital archive that will be part of the public offer in the visitor centre on the restored pier.” Mr Carlyon can be contacted on 01424 444201.