Well-known Hailsham singer Tony Kenward has now retired as singer with 60s based rock group The Saints.
Tony was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1942 but moved to Eastbourne at the age of two residing in the family hotel Kynance.
He attended Ratton School and met his future wife Joan Belton at St. Andrew’s Youth Club in 1960.
His first stage name was inspired by Joan’s surname as ‘Tony Delton’,
Forming a skiffle group called The Drifters , the name had to be changed owing to another band with this title but as The Deltones they entered the local music scene playing in coffee bars and other venues playing rock music.
The next band to be formed was The Saints, which included other well-known locals (Dave King, Terry Richardson, Dave Pearson, John Harper, Derek Kaye and Tony Cruise) .
In 1973, in another band named Performance, Tony released a vinyl record “ Funny Little Things” produced by Tony Rivers.
Later Tony formed The Defiants which has in the past included Peter Head, Colin Fox, Ray Harper, Peter Shaw, Pete Davis, Roy Sanderson, Rev Stockdale, Stuart Moir, Noel d’Abo, Dave Gigg and Paul Bennet.
Tony toured Europe and played gigs in, amongst others, Dusseldorf and Orleans.
Career-wise he was a printer working at Christian’s, Sumfield and Day, Bedford’s in Hampden Park and then forming his own firm with Joan and Paul Neville called Fingerprint in Hailsham.
At the beginning of the nineties Tony promoted rock and roll parties in conjunction with John Erridge and Noel d’Abo ( brother of Manfred Mann singer Mike d’Abo).
These well-attended reunions were held at the Winter Garden and included headline bands The Searchers, Freddie and The Dreamers, The Troggs, The Glitter Band, Mud, Leapy Lee and local bands Shelley and The Alexanders.
These parties raised a great deal of money for charities such as Cystic Fibrosis, a nebuliser for the local DGH and Arthritis Research.
Tony, now retired in Hailsham has three children - Sacha , Blain and Danny, and six grandchildren (so far).
Now at the end of his musical career, Tony leaves a formidable legacy in the archives of Eastbourne’s and Hailsham’s music history.