59 High Street

From Historical Hastings

59 High Street
General information
Address59 High Street
Postal CodeTN34 3EN
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Admin. Information
Electoral/Planning WardOld Hastings Pre May 2018
Prop. Ref. No.200003862889

Conveyed by Edward Milward to the Misses Maria and Frances Milward in 1811[1], this property became a popular cafe during the late 1950s[2]. By the 1960s, the business shifted focus, with a club - the HiFi Club in the basement, a restaurant with the cafe being variously known as 'Talkies' during the 1960s and 'Jooks' in the 70s on the ground floor and accommodation in the first floor[3]. The club took off, and during the 1970s, expanded up to the ground floor[4]

(During the 1960s) Alain a French guy had the Hi-Fi in the basement, very early on. he sold the club to Guy a Londoner that moved to Hastings. 1966/67 we’d just finished painting the front of Sid’s Cafe’Talkies’ in the OldTown High St, think the ‘High-Fi’ was in the basement. I think it is 66 as I was in Sweden in 65 and I’m wearing my bottle green corduroy jacket from CUE at Austin Reed where I work at the time. So this was probably a weekend activity, the painting of the Cafe front that is!..

— Lloyd Johnson via Nine Battles

Guy and Mungo kept us suitably well oiled. I was on fire every night dancing alone to the best soul and rock tracks. Then upstairs for the after party. Lots of Swedish girls and hornacious longhairs with marching powder chased down with the best afghani. Of course I am telling lies...

— John Wilde via Nine Battles

After closing down around a month before, the premises suffered a disastrous fire on the 1st of October 1977, with the owner in the first floor premises. Fortunately the owner escaped, however the ​building​ was razed to the ground. A planning application soon followed to re-build the premises, however this did not come to fruition. Since then the site lay largely derelict with a number of applications to construct houses and retail units on the site, non being completed until the present day - an application is currently live (2022) for the site to become housing[5].

A portion of the town wall runs under the site and was uncovered during an archaeological investigation carried out in 1984; current archaeological investigations have found the trench made in 1984 but not the wall, A number of small fragmentary items were found including 17c pipes and peg tiles and a few possibly earlier items believed to date to the 13th/14th century[5].


References & Notes

  1. Histories of Hastings' Houses and Properties in three volumes: J. Manwaring Baines - Hastings Museum and Art Gallery pg. 85
  2. Hastings Borough Council Planning application ref HS/AA/58/00246
  3. Hastings Borough Council Planning application ref HS/68/00463&&activeTab=documents HS/68/00463
  4. Hastings Borough Council Planning application ref HS/72/01125
  5. a b Hastings Borough Council Planning application ref HS/LB/21/00140