History of the Club

The club opened on 7th February 1992 at The Wellington, Steyne Road, Seaford with George Wagstaff as organiser and Clive Bennett as resident/compere.

The following year Clive was joined as resident by Dave Garner and when Dave left the area in 1994 Mary Barr took his place.  In 1995 George decided to give up the role of organiser and Clive and Mary were joined by Ian and Eileen Baldock as an informal organising committee.   Towards the end of 1996 the residents were expanded by the arrival of Hazel Rose and a family group 'Rigmarole' comprising Ann Gavin with son Rob and daughter Kathryn.   This group dropped out of the club scene in 1997 when Rob went off to university and their place was taken by Dave Earl.    In the autumn of 1999 the residents base was again expanded with the addition of Grace Morrison, a scot, newly arrived in Seaford.   In 2000 Hazel relinquished her role as resident and her place has been taken by Steve Nevill, singer and musician from Long Man Morris of Eastbourne.  Next, in 2002, Liz Randall and John Cave joined as residents and in 2003 the club was restructured with Mary, Ian, Eileen and Clive taking over the role of Organisers / Hosts and Steve, Liz and John providing support in the roles of Co-hosts. Then from 2004 Mary took over the day to day organising and booking of guest performers.

In May 2005, after a change of landlords and conversion of part of the club room in The Wellington to a restaurant along with the introduction, from time to time, of a disco in the main bar, the organisers were forced to seek an alternative venue and moved the club to The Beachcomber at the junction of the Sea Front with Dane Road, Seaford.  Here the residents again changed with the addition of Diane Nevill and Roger Resch and more recently John Cave and Steve Bennett while Clive’s appearances became rare due to other commitments.

In April 2009 with the future of the Beachcomber  unclear due to possible re-development the Club moved again - this time to the Seaford and District Constitutional Club, Crouch Lane, Seaford.  However, we only stayed there about a year and are now very happy with our new home at the British Legion Club, Seaford.

Earlier, in the autumn of 1999 the then five club residents - Mary, Clive, Dave, Hazel and Grace - together with a number of regulars were recorded by Tim Kent for his HAT RECORDS label and early in 2000 Tim recorded a solo session of unaccompanied traditional songs by Clive Bennett.

Copies of Friday Night at The Wellington [HAT CD 016] - featuring club residents and regulars and Roving Journeyman [HAT CD 021] - featuring Clive Bennett - are both available, at £10 each, from the club or direct from Tim Kent on tktw@mistral.co.uk

Full details of all available CD's, recording facilities etc can be found on www.hatmusic.co.uk