The Top Hat

Littlehampton’s 'Top Hat' was the first music venue opened by the local "Beat Ballad and Blues" agency in 1962.

The location, a former restaurant, had a glass-floored stage with lights under it and was a very innovative club for its time.

The manager was Bob Gaitley, who also ran the agency and a band and artist management company.  The owner of the club was Les Tomlin, a local businessman who became Mayor of Worthing in 1964.  They also owned the Mexican Hat in Worthing.

The club ran throughout the sixties, finally closing in 1969.  During this period, all the south coast's popular bands played there, as well as a number of major rock stars such as Gene Vincent.