Research Document on Dancing on the Pier

Brenda Elliott, Brian Elliott, Rolly, Wendy, Arthur and Shirley. Brian and Brenda are fifth and sixth from the left; when this photograph was taken they were not yet married. A 1950s photograph by Pier photographer Gifford Boyd.

The 1930s were the heyday of the pier. In the first week of August 1931, a staggering 56,000 people passed through the turnstiles (the population of Hastings was then 66,000). There was dancing every night, daytime concerts, stunt diving, speedboat trips and even a searchlight fitted to the end of the pier for youngsters engaged in night-time swimming. Post WWI through the 1940s, the foxtrot was certainly the most popular fast dance and the vast majority of songs produced during these years were for foxtrots. The waltz and tango and even the lindy hop, while popular, never overtook the foxtrot’s appeal.

Hastings Pier Charity Volunteer

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