The recent death of Rick Wright, the keyboard player of the Pink Floyd, took me back to the rock 'n' roll history of Lewes.
For years I had heard rumours of that a number of famous bands had played at the Town Hall during the '60s but information was scarce. Certainly the Pretty Things had been there (they replayed the venue some ten years ago). Others said Paul Butterfield Blues Band had done the gig. And then there was the rumour of the Floyd, which I managed to confirm in 2007 when I discovered Vernon Fitch's extraordinary Pink Floyd Archive, which includes a complete list of Floyd concert appearances.
This is where it began to get interesting. For January 1968, he lists the following dates:
12 - University of Aston, Birmingham, Warwickshire,
13 - Winter Gardens Pavilion, Weston-Super-Mare, Avon, (Saturday Dance Date)
19 - Town Hall, Lewes, Sussex (two shows)
20 - Hastings Pier, Hastings, Sussex
What makes these special is that these were the only four gigs which featured the following line-up: Syd Barrett, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Rick Wright. In other words, Syd and Dave Gilmour on-stage at the same time. By the following month, Syd had left the band and the rest is history.
There the story might have rested were it not for the recent publication in our local magazine Lewes News, of the above signed poster. LN had been contacted by the promoter of the concert Norman Ashdown, who still lives in the town, and still has many original posters, tickets, account sheets and photos from the series of gigs he put on to raise funds for Lewes Football Club. Of such stuff are legends made.