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C&H was run and ownded by a miserable bastard named Paul. Comment: Joseph Jones
(Aug 19, 2014)

mel said:Ha fairplay

In music it pays to be a good geezer as the music itself doesn't pay so you need to concentrate on persona a d rapor

(Oct 26, 2013) VanMan said: Paul is the son of Tom Jennings see wiki

Paul's assistant in the early 70's was the lovely Elaine.

(June 20, 2013) YankeeDisc said:The gentleman you refer to is Paul Jennings, who (owned?) and ran three branches of Challenger & Hicks.

I used to call upon him at the Dartford store, when I was a record company rep., and also visited the branch at Maidstone. Obviously the previous commentator has a reason to be descriptive, I personally found him to be a solid businessman, and supplied him with US imports between 1978-1980, from my own business.

(May 5, 2015) Challenger & Hicks was run by Paul Jennings. I worked in the music dept. upstairs at the original shop at Dartford in the early 1970's.I also worked at Jennings Electronic Industries which was run by Pauls father Tom Jennings. I have very fond memories of my time working for Paul and the family, who I always found to be fair in business. Comment: Andy Milner, Guitarist.

Name MAUREEN RUSSELL Comment: I Worked there in 1961-1965 for MR CHALLENGER the owner he was the best boss ever, kind and considerate. It had furniture upstairs where I was told MR HICKS worked as that was his department and MR Challenger had the downstairs for his piano`s , music and records , his office was in the back of the shop .Things was not the same after he sold the shop to Jennings so I left and got married shame really had good times there . It was popular RECORD AND MUSIC SHOP . Mick Jagger used to buy his manuscript paper off of us for his music . ( Dec 31, 2016)
It was an Aladdin's cave , I would love to say that like Mark Steel , the clashes first album was my original purchase, but Alas it was bright Eyes by Art Garfunkel
steve robinson
Good afternoon,
Is there anybody out there that remembers john James parkinson from jjparkinson in footscray swanscombe and bexleyheath doing radio and tv repairs for challenger and hicks, I have tracked down my grandfathers van now under restoration and believe this van may have been purchased from c,h, any photos or information will complete the mystery of the vans first 10 years after it was purchased from rooted of Maidstone with kind regards.
Richard Parkinson
Where is David James now, who worked at C&H in Dartford in the late '60s and later in the Maidstone branch?
Jeremy Greene
I now live in The east Sussex after losing my wife Trisha in 2008 and being adopted by my friend s at the cinque ports arms in 2007 Jeremy and Ruth sledding .I'm known as Bob the post take care
Bob Thorn
I worked for Paul Jennings in the late 70s till 1984 under David James and my dear Elaine
they gave me a lot of love and affection . My respects go out to them. It was fun. I'm 70 this 2021 so thank u Gus. Respect
Bob Thornton
Richard Parkinson, did you find out any more about the van? Your cousin, Roger Stevens.
Roger Stevens
I was based in K.Twos in Chatham (upstairs in the Pentagon) in the 70's which was part of the Challenger and Hicks chain. When they were short staffed at the Dartford or Maidstone branch, I used to have to travel over to whichever branch needed me. The Dartford shop was really old fashioned and I remember the 'HMV' brass finger plates on the door and wishing I had a screwdriver. The space behind the counter was so narrow, you had to go sideways!
Jo Wallace

I loved it! being a big jazz funk and soul fan I spent many happy school afternoons fingering through 45s 33s, 12s and imports - and when there was no one else in there, they'd play my favourite 12 inches of the time! r.i.p
Vin nie


Danny 2023
11 Nov 2023 at 09:46
I managed to buy the very first copy of Bad by MJ from the Dartford shop, let me have it 2 days before it was released
Al DMello
05 Apr 2024 at 08:11
Paul & Malcom Bell - were always good to me .. feed my DJ career for Coach, Masons, The Sally, Old Fellows, The Bridewell - The music in early nighties that made the Bridewell the best Nightclub for Locals. Malcom even went on to Dj there too - as he did a few times at Masons with me.
Darren Bowen
05 May 2024 at 12:19
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, C&H was my second choice for purchasing records, with OK Records being my first preference. I used to enjoy my weekends and after-school hours, especially when I got off the 96 from Bexleyheath. On Saturdays, the Market added to the mix, made my childhood even more delightful. The staff at C&H knew me well as the kid who always spent his earnings from his job at the Mandarin Chinese Restaurant (located on Market St) on MADNESS 45s, 12" and LPs.
Dave Harwood
06 May 2024 at 01:53
I found this piece on page 11 of the 'Maidstone Telegraph' dated 14th June 1974: “MAIDSTONE is to have a new specialist record and tape centre. Challenger and Hicks, who already have a hi-fi centre in Middle Row, are opening the new record centre in Colman Parade today. “Our shops have been successful,” sald owner Mr. Paul Jennings, “because we have always believed in hiring knowledgeable staff.”
... and this advert on the same page:
... and these congratulations from record companies on the same page:
“CHARISMA RECORDS congratulate CHALLENGER & HICKS on the opening of their new shop at: 12 Colman Parade in King Street, Maidstone, where you will find albums by: GENESIS, NAZARETH, MONTY PYTHON, CLIFFORD T. WARD, REFUGEE, PETER HAMMILL, BUDDY RICH and many more.”
“WEA RECORDS LTD. (Warner Bros. & Atlantic) - The big selling labels, congratulate CHALLENGER & HICKS on the opening of their new branch in Maidstone : ALL THE LATEST WEA RELEASES IN STOCK.”
... plus this address in the 2nd December 1988 edition:
Sophia James
10 Jun 2024 at 02:03
I’ve just stumbled across this thread looking up information about my dad, David James. It’s so lovely to see some of you mention his time at Challenger & Hicks - sadly David passed away in 2014. We still have stock from C&H which he had held on to all these years unbeknown to us. Would love to hear from anybody who has any fond memories of my dad to share.



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