Friday, 18 August 2017

John Hodges - An Apology from me.

Most people who know me will appreciate that I've missed John Hodges since he died last year (blog), and I wasn't even that close to him, but he influenced my life greatly. 

I miss watching and listening to him at Hastings Borough Council meetings, where he tore apart the rhetoric of others, I miss his welcoming me to those meetings, I miss his great knowledge of the history and politics of Hastings, I miss that I could go to him and he would tell me the reality behind what was going on, whether to do with Ecclesbourne Glen, the Winch Road, the Foreshore Trust, whatever. I miss we could talk about pubs and beer, that he used to provide me with his own articles for my blogs, and that I could use his knowledge to write blogs myself. I miss that I don't have him to pass on beer mats and pumpclips to, a hobby I could help him with, indeed, I hardly gave back much.

So I apologise to those who misinterpreted my use of his image regarding my last blog; his image was meant to represent "democracy" plain and simple, but some thought I shouldn't have used it when 'corruption' was in the reference. I can appreciate how that must have felt to some people, it wasn't my purpose.

I wanted to encourage people to ignore rumours and gossip, and to gain 'informed' knowledge, go to Council meetings, read the minutes, talk to your councillors, don't just accept gossip at face value, particularly as many gossipers have their own agendas. See democracy in action, find out why decisions are made, that, despite decisions apparently going against local residents, eg Ecclesbourne Glen and the Jerwood Gallery, there may well be good reasons, but these shouldn't be kept secret. We have a good council in Hastings, that does what it can despite annual reductions in it's income, thanks to 'austerity measures' from on high, and I'm including that councillors of all political persuasions should be used to discover the truths. I'll shut up for now...

John Hodges R.I.P.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Ice House, Health Centre or Waste of Space?

OK, I'm sure those who are living there now may disagree it's a waste of space, but, no-one wants to buy, or rent, the ground floor space in Rock-a-Nore Road, except doctors from the Roebuck Surgery... Hastings Borough Council Planning Committee will be considering the Health Centre application at 6pm on Wednesday 23rd of August at Muriel Matters House. 1,675 signatures were collected on a petition in support of the proposal by local GP, Craig Namvar MD, but Borough Council planning officers are opposing (back-handers of some sort?) and have recommended refusal to the Planning Committee. It may be interesting to go along and observe 'local democracy' in action, and perhaps see whether councillors will ignore the strength of local opinion.

John Hodges is sorely missed by constituents, a local councillor who cared for Hastings, we'll see what happens... but is there some sort of corruption here?  😢

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Hastings Museum 125th Anniversary Party, Wednesday 16th August!

Hastings Museum and Art Gallery celebrates its 125th anniversary this Wednesday, 10am to 4pm, with a 'free' event and activities for all the family to enjoy. This includes crafts, printing, Punch and Judy, Victorian games, tombola and miniature railway rides. There will also be a chance to see the Classic Cycle Group and 'Happy Harold' the trolleybus. "Victorian dress is encouraged" - see website.

Either bring a packed lunch and stay all day, or enjoy tea and cake, at a reasonable price, in an especially decorated tent. The formal opening ceremony will be recreated at 3.30pm. However, please note that parking will not be available at the Museum, though parking is available nearer the front, or it's just a short walk up the hill (Bohemia Road) from the town centre, or from the seafront opposite the Pier. 

There is also a 'special trail' available for children throughout the summer holidays. Follow the trail and answer the questions to receive a small birthday gift from the Museum. Of course, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery will have its usual exhibits on view, and I am planning to make a visit soon and write another blog; see website.

Pizza, yet again!

When I returned to Hastings on Sunday evening, I couldn't really be bothered to cook, so I returned to the Oregano Leaf in Queens Road for my tea/dinner/supper (delete as you believe appropriate), and I've said before, in a blog in December, how good and what good value the pizzas are from here! The oven itself isn't green anymore, as you can see from the photograph, so I thought I would share this too, delicious! 😋

Tuesday 15th - Walking and Listening to Music (later)

This afternoon, Tuesday 15th August, if you're free, please join with the Old Hastings Preservation Society (OHPS) for their regular Tuesday walking tour of Hastings Old Town, the "premier ancient Cinque Port" - meeting up at 2.30pm by the top of the West Hill lift. In the old town is a wealth of historic buildings, twittens and cat-creeps to explore; you will also find out why celebrities of their day, eg the Pre-Raphaelites, flocked to Hastings. Indeed, contemporary celebrities still do! A volunteer guide will lead the walk, which proceeds gently downhill, but, be careful, there are steps to manage here and there. The walk lasts about 2 hours and is provided free, but the OHPS would be very grateful for all donations given, many thanks, see their website.

It's worth wearing comfortable walking shoes, obviously, and, as the forecast suggests a light rain shower at 2pm, a shower-proof jacket or umbrella may well be handy (it doesn't look too strong a wind). Enjoy the afternoon!

Then, this evening from 9pm, there is the regular band, the Tune Raiders, playing mostly non-vocal Irish folk music, known as 'fiddly dee' locally, at the Dolphin Inn, Rock-a-Nore Road. Of course, Hastings has a wealth of free music venues most days, so most evenings it's worth a wander round town. The photograph above was taken on Pirate Day from the Stacey Marie RX134 (facebook), opposite the Dolphin. Enjoy your evening too!