Saturday, 31 January 2015

Hastings Pier Update

Yesterday, I was having a chat with a friend who is working on the pier, and it is certainly a bit behind schedule at the moment; probably well over a month. Confirmation of this can be seen at their website, where a useful page provides for frequently asked questions, a good source of information and well worth a read!

This is a photograph shared from the charity's facebook page, showing the lowering of the first new pile for the planned visitor centre, there are another 5 to position.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Sunday bus services reinstated

So, numbers 28 and 344 Sunday services are to be reinstated... 

Congratulations to the 'Don't Stop our Bus' campaign and the 4 Hastings Borough Councillors who voted on the Hastings Parking Board committee of East Sussex County Council to fund the reinstatement of these services with parking revenues. These services were cut by East Sussex County Council on the 16th of December, when all members of the East Sussex 'cabinet' voted to remove the previous subsidies. 

Good to see democracy working for Hastings!  

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Rail (dis) Satisfaction!

Going back to one of my earliest blogs about the railways and now confirmation that the train service down here isn't appreciated too much, see the BBC, for example... 

Steam Train in Hastings, not so long ago!

"Some of these problems can no doubt be blamed on the stresses and strains of running a progressively busy network, that was essentially built by the Victorians." I was recently talking about how much the Victorians did to build up the infrastructure of the UK, sadly not so good these days...

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Jamie Oliver in Hastings

So, Jamie Oliver was spotted interviewing people on the fishermen's beach a week or so ago, apparently for his television programme to be screened this Friday evening on Channel 4, Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night Feast, I believe it is called (sorry, I don't have a television, so I have to take people's word for it). Anyway, watch it, as it should be very interesting; he had to censor Tush Hamilton when he was talking about fishermen and skate, so I hear... 

Also, a little bird (not a gull) told me that Jamie has had his people sniffing around Rock-a-Nore recently too, so we may just be getting a Jamie Oliver restaurant in Hastings in the near future! Remember, you read it here first... 

£500,000 boost to Hastings

Hastings has received a boost with the approval of a £500,000 grant from the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) to contribute towards improvements to the seafront and visitor attractions and amenities in Hastings, including more bikes for hire, improved signage, information walks and trails and landscaping. The CCF estimates it will contribute towards the creation of about 260 jobs (website). 

Councillor Jeremy Birch said that this "is excellent news and really fits with the seafront strategy which we recently agreed. The restoration of the Pier is well underway, White Rock Baths will re-open this year as a BMX centre and we are putting money into refurbishing Bottle Alley and now we have succeeded in attracting an additional £500,000 to improve the seafront further." 

The creation of that many jobs looks to be a wee bit optimistic of the Coastal Communities Fund, but good to be receiving more finance at a time when central government funding of Hastings is being cut... a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing maybe?   

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Hastings & Rye Constituency

OK, a warning, I am not going to follow the campaigns of the various parties on this blog, so relax if politics isn't your favourite area of life. Indeed, I shall not be saying who I will be voting for myself, although I have the honour of a young student nurse once asking me "Why do you bring politics into everything, Steve?" 

Frankly, politics is involved in everything, from transport to housing policy, to health to defence, etc etc, so no case to answer, and I believe everyone should turn up to the polling station, even if only to spoil the paper... But that will not influence my decision to not overtly make this a political blog, but, as I said, politics is involved in everything, though, as much as possible, not in my blog! 

So, why have I brought it up, and I'm aiming to hardly talk about the coming general election at all, or at least as little as possible, excepting this specific blog, which was stimulated because I just read the latest copy of the Hastings Independent, picked up in Morrisons this morning. 

Now, I don't write for the Independent these days, but feel some credit should be given to how they are tackling the election, importantly, they are posing the same question to the candidate from each of the 5 parties with the most electoral support, ie the 3 older established parties, the Conservative & Unionist Party, Liberal Democrats, and the Labour Party, plus the United Kingdom Independence Party and the Green Party. 

In the most recent paper, only the sitting MP, Amber Rudd (Conservative), Nick Perry of their coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, and Sarah Owen of the opposition Labour Party, responded in time for their replies to be printed, but excellent that they are giving the opportunity to each party to share their policies and personal opinions/party lines. They are also providing a vox pop, with 3 contributors this issue, but presumably contributors should increase in number over the next few months. 

Strangely, about a third of the centre page 'General Election' coverage was given over to George Galloway and the Respect Party candidate, David Lofts, but that can be understood, as the paper obviously tries to present an alternative analysis, challenging the previous "state of local journalism."

A maverick approach, maybe, and not a surprise to me, knowing the individuals involved, but they are allowing the candidates of the 5 parties, that may not lose their deposits, the opportunity to regularly participate. Anyway, if you want to see what they think, pick up a copy before they run out, see their website for where to find a copy. 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Mardi Gras and even more music...

As we all know, Hastings does enjoy a good party and dressing up, and Mardis Gras isn't just for Tuesday! For venues, acts, and other associated events, go to the website, which is packed with information...

And don't forget, music and partying, and dressing up and wearing masks, as at the Dolphin above for a previous Mardi Gras

By the way, I recently mentioned other music venues, I have found out that Courtney Pine will be playing at St Mary in the Castle on the 10th of April:

For further information about events at St Mary in the Castle, also the venue for the Grande Mardi Gras Ball on the 14th of February, visit their website or their facebook page

Friday, 23 January 2015

Congestion in Hastings...

If  you had difficulty driving up the High Street today...

This was the reason why... Perhaps a width restriction should be enabled? Though it makes me wonder how double decker buses used to pass each other on this road when it was 2-way!


Good and/or bad news depending on where you live and/or work, and your personal belief regarding nuclear power... 

Dungeness gets at least another 10 years reprieve, see BBC.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Hastings Oldest Pub Part IV

By Steve the Beermeister 

Very soon after passing the sign welcoming you to Hastings & St Leonards you reach The Bull Inn, 530 Bexhill Road, Hastings, East Sussex TN38 8AY (website). Some may argue this is really in Bexhill, but The Bull falls within Hastings Borough Council's boundary and is licensed by Hastings, and is on the Hastings' side of this sign... 

Though I can think of something else!

The main building, bar area and kitchen of The Bull Inn is a Grade II listed property, built in the late 18th century, with an early 19th century extension added to the eastern side, ie to the right as you look at my photograph of the pub. According to licensing records, this building was first licensed to James Kenward in 1795, though records show a license was given as early as 1622, obviously for an earlier building.  

The Bull Inn

A couple of hundred years ago, the sea came up much closer to the pub and the port of Bulverhythe, but nothing now remains of that port except the ruins of the Church of St. Mary, which is close to the back garden of The Bull Inn. There is evidence to suggest that stone used in the construction of the pub is very likely to have come from the ruins of the church; church cornerstones, windowsills and window tracery are all in evidence, and much old stone work can be seen in the rear walls of the building. 

Stories of tunnels going 'to and fro' the pub and smugglers abound and, almost certainly, the earlier Bull Inn played host to the investigators of the wreck of the Amsterdam, the Dutch East Indiaman that was beached the other side of the railway bridge (which was built much later of course) in 1749, and which can still be seen when the tide is out, notably at Spring and Autumn tides. Though the last time I walked out to it, the deck was virtually full of silt and sand. 

The Amsterdam

The Shepherd Neame website mentions this premise, and also says that "in the eastern part of the old pub, John Keats sat and did his writing while looking out to sea. Part of the pub was used as a court house and in the basement under the bar were the cells where condemned prisoners were held before hanging at Gallows Hill." 

You can take it from this that The Bull is a Shepherd Neame pub, though with an interesting alternative ownership and brewery linkage over the years. Indeed, Thomas Breeds bought The Bull Inn a few years before establishing the Hastings Brewery in 1828; The Bull becoming one of the first pubs to trade under the Breeds’ name, as was the Duke of Wellington in the High Street. 

Warmth coming from the older end of the pub

The Bull was much later sold to George Beer and Rigden of Faversham in 1931, then Beer and Rigden was taken over by Fremlins of Maidstone in 1949. In 1967 Fremlins became part of the Whitbread group, before Lord Young's Beer Orders from 1989 restricted the number of 'tied' pubs that could be owned by individual breweries to 2,000. Shepherd Neame since bought many of the Whitbread pubs in the Hastings area, including The Bull Inn.  

A year ago, The Bull Inn was faltering, but the return of the present tenant, Dawn, and her 2 daughters, Jo and Lisa, has brought life back to the pub and its restaurant trade. When I walked into the pub yesterday, I felt very much welcomed into the bar, and I immediately noticed the beer handpumps, (well I am the "Beermeister") which I imagine are Victorian, art nouveau methinks! 

The handpumps caught my eye

Anyway, The Bull is now a Shepherd Neame tenancy, and 3 of their beers are served from the 4 handpumps. The pub is open all day every day, except on Mondays during this winter season, when it closes at 3pm and for the rest of the day. Food is served between 12 and 2pm every day, and from 6.30 to 9pm Tuesday to Saturday, with an impressive looking choice of 3 roast dinners every Sunday lunchtime. 

To the ales! I tried 2 of the 3 on offer, the Spitfire and the very good Kent's Best, which was nice and bitter, and both were in very good form, and well served by the affable chap behind the bar, yet another 'Steve'; as was the rather eatable BLT with salad on the side I enjoyed. The other ale was their Masterbrew, and they have plans to replace the Kent's Best with Shep's 3.9% Whitstable Bay Pale Ale, a very pleasant session bitter. 

Welcome back!

I also had a nice chat with Dawn, and I wish her well, my only suggestion would be to have a 'guest ale' from a more local Sussex brewer, but what do I know? Dawn's the person making a success of The Bull Inn, not me!   

Also, my thanks to John Hodges for suggesting I investigate The Bull Inn, and for sharing historical information that helped me to write this, cheers! 

Monday, 19 January 2015

A bit of a moan...

Me moan?!? Well, just a bit... 

I got to the public conveniences at the Azur Pavilion about 2.40pm, on my way back from a round walking trip to Bexhill (research purposes, and some interesting stuff to come from Steve the Beermeister very very soon, ie Part whatever of the Oldest Pub in Hastings Saga), and, though during 'winter time' it is meant to be open until 5pm, they weren't! A bit much as I regularly praise the public toilets in Hastings, sad person that I am. 

More austerity cuts? Not very convenient... 

I hear you groan at my joke! 

Oh yes, and I notice that even ministers are now moaning about the Rail service and the London Bridge (lack of) 'service', not very original, they should have read my blog/rant of 29th November, shame on them! 

Anyway, more to come very soon, as I said above, of the latest installment of the oldest pub in Hastings saga, sorry, but a bit tired now, but I promise, very soon... 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Reply to 'Giacomorilla'

Sorry I missed your comment 'Giacomorilla', but am having difficulty with comments on here myself... I will get it sorted out, I trust! 

The Harp is in Chandos Place, in-between Charing Cross Station and Covent Garden. However, now owned by Fullers Brewery, so unsure of how often they will have FILO ales on sale now, good luck! 

Hastings 'Gothic' Town Hall

The 'new' town hall was opened in Queens Road by the mayor, Mr William F Revill, on 7th September 1881, replacing the smaller town hall in the High Street (built in 1823), which is now the Old Town Hall Museum; itself under threat of closure because of recent spending reductions dictated to Hastings Borough Council by central Government. 

Hastings 'new' Town Hall

The architect was Henry Ward (1854-1927), who briefly worked under the guidance of local architect Walter Liberty Vernon when he first moved to Hastings, soon succeeding Vernon, and working for 50 years in Hastings, becoming a prolific architect, based in his practice at 8 Bank Buildings, Hastings. 

As a young architect Ward entered the winning design in the competition for the new Hastings Municipal Buildings. The site of the building was an awkward shape to deal with, and the winning design was a clever piece of ingenuity. It brought Ward recognition that ensured his election as an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects, an honour conferred only following significant professional success. 

Council Chamber

Consequently, one of his first designs was the Grade II listed 'Gothic Revival' Hastings Town Hall, which originally included the local Police Court and cells at the end of the ground floor corridor. The bench was at the east end of the room, with the dock in front, and the west end given over to a public gallery. Next to the court room was the police station, which took up the central part of the Station Road frontage. 

External walls were built using local blue stone, having Bath stone dressings, and the roofing was green slates. Inside, the staircase included scagliola marble columns and stained glass windows. The southern chimney place is made of Bath stone, having a carved statue of St Michael (the 'patron saint' of Hastings) and large painted tiles of Kings William and Harold. 

No more clocks -
Early sign of austerity measures?

Having recently visited the 'Council Chamber' I can confirm it is a reminder of Victorian municipal splendour, the Victorians certainly didn't hide their lights under bushels! Sadly, it is now showing slight signs of neglect, needing a fresh lick of paint at least, presumably another result of austerity measures. Indeed, the clocks outside the town hall disappeared ages ago, due to the expense of fixing them apparently. 

The opening ceremony for the town hall was followed by a luncheon in a large marquee in the adjoining cricket ground, with over a hundred guests enjoying fine food and the entertainment of a local band. Indeed, the first council meeting at the new town hall received a petition protesting about the cost to ratepayers of such an expensive event. The council refused to discuss the petition... 

Ward's Grave

Henry Ward died at the age of 73, at home in 22 Magdalen Terrace, Bohemia Road, having designed numerous other local buildings in his career, including many churches, the Observer Building, Bexhill Town Hall, and a few days after his death the Plummer Roddis department store (now Debenhams) was opened. 

A man of substance, locally a significant architect, he was buried in September 1927 at Hastings cemetery. 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

A Bohemian Rhapsody

By Steve the Beermeister 

On the corner of London Road and Tower Road is one of 3 good pubs in Bohemia, though this one is the 'bees knees', a CAMRA Good Beer Guide entry for a few years now, ie the excellent and very friendly Tower; so named as this was the last pub before the former toll gate and tower on London Road. 

The Tower Hotel first opened in 1866 with 12 rooms, 2 parlours and a bar. In 1943 the Tower was hit by an unexploded thousand pound bomb, that landed in the cellar, miraculously causing little damage. It was defused and lifted out through the cellar doors, a photograph of which event can be seen opposite the bar, to the right, as you enter. 

Now, the only danger is being a wee bit too 'merry' here, as the Tower is the best value real ale house in the Hastings area, with prices of their very well looked after cask conditioned ales starting at just £2.60 a pint, and rarely more than £3 a pint! 

The family-owned Tower was purchased in the 1990s, with Louisa the manager for 5 years now, and has been converted into just the one large room, with a lovely warm real fire in the winter. Over recent years, the different ales on offer have grown from 4 to 6 (4 usually regularly changing), with the addition of a sixth handpump just before Christmas. 

Being free of any tie to brewery or pubco makes this an ale lover's paradise, with at least 3 Sussex ales, sometimes all 6! Regular ales are from East Sussex Dark Star Brewing (website), and today they have 3 Dark Star ales: the virtually ever-present Hophead (3.8%) and American Pale Ale (APA, 4.7%), and a 'special' Hophead Vic Secret (3.8%), brewed with an Australian hop, 'Vic Secret', giving a hint of backcurrent aroma, but less fruit in the taste, pale and bitter. Both 'Hopheads' are just £2.60 a pint, nice one. 

There are also another 2 Sussex-brewed ales, the 1648 Hop Pocket (3.7%), a light pale bitter with a citrus hoppy aftertaste (website), and the most expensive pint today from Baseline Brewing (website), the strong 5.5% Dark Matter at £3 a pint, a darker full-bodied ale, with a fruity dry finish. 

The 6th ale came up all the way from one of my old abodes, Cornwall, St Austell (website) Proper Job (4.5%) at £2.80 a pint, a pale bitter brewed with malted Cornish-grown Maris Otter Pale barley and Cornish spring water. 

A great selection of ales there, and Louisa always a pleasure to meet, cheers! 

Beer & Politics in St Leonards, would you believe?

By Steve the Beermeister

A piece I saw in the Hastings Online Times about beer mats, posted before Christmas!

It amused me, but this design is the brainchild of Erica Smith who drinks at the Horse & Groom in St Leonards, and writes for the 'Times'. If you would like to read more about Erica's political influence at the pub, and her campaign against Ukip membership doos there, or wish to procure any mats I suggest you refer to the site

Me, I'm neutral, obviously...  

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Reply to Stephanie!

Hi Stephanie! 
I have to admit to not really understanding the technology re blogs, I can't follow your's either, but mine has been followed already, simply, apparently! But I've no idea, and I can't even reply on here!!  
I'll learn one day...
I started this blog up to replace my previously writing for the Hastings Independent, a friend suggested I start an on-line magazine, I decided not to do that, but write a blog, bit of a magazine/newspaper/current affairs, etc etc... Pretty much what I feel like writing, but related to Hastings either directly or indirectly.
Your's looks fun! 

Monday, 12 January 2015

19th Century Watercolourists in Hastings

Sorry for not publishing anything over the weekend, but I've just got back from a visit t' frozen north this evening, visiting friends, football etc, so here's another of my Hastings Independent articles, slightly amended, for your perusal... 

For nearly 10 years in the mid-19th century, West Hill House became a meeting place for many well-known artists, including J. M. W. Turner, William Henry Hunt, Samuel Prout, David Cox, William Collingwood and Peter de Wint, whilst the entrepreneur, collector and philanthropist, John Hornby Maw, himself an amateur artist, lived there. 

West Hill House

All of these artists had visited, sketched, and painted watercolours in Hastings earlier in the century, with the local fishing industry at the centre of their subject matter, so why did they return so often to the town? Well, the arrival of Maw was certainly a major factor, also, all these artists, including Maw, were members of the 'Society of Painters in Water Colours'.  

The Society had been formed early in the 19th century, when the Royal Academy was refusing to accept watercolour as a suitable medium for serious artistic expression. Although the Society folded due to financial problems in 1812, it was resurrected in 1831, whilst Maw was still living in London. 

Maw moved to Hastings in the late 1830s, and received tutoring here from de Wint, whilst the other artists already mentioned either came to stay with Maw or visited whilst they were staying elsewhere in Hastings, like Hunt, who regularly stayed at Rock a Nore. In the case of Prout, he had moved to George Street in Hastings because of ill health, arriving in 1836 following a pulmonary attack, until he finally left in 1845. 

David Cox: 
Fish Market on the Beach at Hastings

Maw's daughter, Anne, wrote that "Billy Hunt... stayed overlooking the fish market in humble lodgings" with his family from 1842 to 1849, that is, at the foot of the East Hill cliffs. Hunt wanted to be close to the subjects of his art, and most of his sketches and paintings are of the local people and their houses, the boats and net huts. Indeed, all the artists so far mentioned, and many others, painted similar subjects and, today, a number of early 19th century watercolours can be seen in the 'old town' museum in the High Street, eg Samuel Prout's 'East Cliffs' (1815). 

William Collingwood: 
An Antique Interior at West Hill House

Of 3 similar paintings of a woman indoors in West Hill House in the 1840s, that I am aware of, 2 are now with the Hastings Museum collection in Bohemia Road. Those in the collection are Maw's own 'Interior of West Hill House' (c.1842) and Hunt's 'West Hill House' (c.1846). The museum tried to purchase the third painting, by Collingwood, 'An Antique Interior at West Hill House' (1842), but lost out to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, where it can now be seen.  

J. M. W. Turner: Hastings: 
Fish Market on the Sands, Early Morning 

In 1849 the Maw family left Hastings for Devon, but these artists' legacy lives on, indeed, a large collection of 19th Century marine paintings of the Hastings area are part of the museum collection. Although not on show at the moment, having returned from abroad late last year, in 2006 the museum purchased Turner's 'Hastings: Fish Market on the Sands, Early Morning'. I am looking forward to seeing this painting again when it is next exhibited, probably in the spring!  

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Harold Godwinson

Back in October, I wrote an article for the Hastings Independent about research being undertaken to find the final resting place of Harold Godwinson, King Harold II of England, here is an update, as such, and a revamped version... 

On the 948th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, a scan was carried out at Waltham Abbey in Essex looking for evidence to re-write the history books and help prove that Harold Godwinson (Harold II) had survived the battle. 

Novelist and amateur historian Peter Burke believes that Harold recovered and lived for another 40 years, his theory being based on an early 12th Century document, Vita Harold, stored at the British Library. This document states that an old pilgrim called 'Christian' declared on his death bed that he was 'Harold Godwinson'.  

The Vita Harold was written by a novice priest who took the last rites of the older man. Mr Burke, whose trilogy, 'The Promise' is based on this premiss, believes that Harold had been "hidden in Winchester and brought back to health by a Moorish nurse. He tried to raise an army in Germany, but couldn't raise sufficient support, and he spent the rest of his life travelling as a pilgrim."

The scan was carried out by the same team that helped to locate the remains of Richard III under a car park in Leicester 2 years ago, and the results were said to be available within a week. However, no results have been published yet.  

As I said before, though, even if they do find the remains of a headless figure there, this would still be inconclusive, as they could be the remains of a fellow knight falsely identified by his common-law wife, Edith Swannesha, to hide the fact he had been taken away to another location, or even of one of Harold's 2 brothers, also said to have been buried at Waltham Abbey.  

A previous attempt to prove that Harold was buried secretly by the sea, as 'William the Bastard' decreed (the contemporary name of William the Conqueror), was turned down in 2003, when the Chichester Diocese Consistory Court refused permission to re-open a tomb that had been mistakenly opened in 1954 at Holy Trinity Church in Bosham, West Sussex. A coroner had examined the bones in 1954, which were said to be missing the head, the right leg and part of the left leg, the same injuries suggested by alternative legends to his being shot in the eye.

Statue in Marina Gardens, St Leonards

The Chancellor of the Diocese of Chichester, the Worshipful Mark Hill, said that he was far from satisfied with the proposal, it was a "matter of conjecture whether any human remains will be found in the coffin; such remains as may be found are highly unlikely to be those of Harold since the vast preponderance of academic opinion points to him having been buried at Waltham Abbey."

The research continues, though, and we eagerly await the latest results. I previously conjectured that the head and legs may be at Waltham Abbey, and the rest of the body at Bosham, but we'll have to wait to find out! 

I have contacted Peter Burke for an update, and he told me "the scan went well. the results will be revealed through the up-coming documentary on Harold in the spring."

The wait goes on... 

Update on Debbie's collection boxes

Yesterday, we counted up the money that had been donated at the FILO and Anchor Inn to Macmillan Nurses in honour of Debbie McSweeney, as I have already explained. There was a combination of money being placed directly into the collection boxes, and a more significant amount in return for piccalilli and hot spicy pickled onions, as made by her good friend Paul Denny. 

From those 2 pubs, a total of £302.62 was collected, and our thanks goes to all those who contributed. Certificates will be provided by Macmillan Nurses once they receive the money, as appropriate, and these will be presented to the respective pub. 

There is still a collection box at the Jenny Lind in the High Street, and one at the Olde Bell in Rye, should you still wish to donate to Macmillan Nurses in honour of Debbie. These will be collected soon though. 

In addition, Paul will be running in the London Marathon in April, and I believe he will be running for the same charity, I shall keep you informed of his plans plus, of course, of the 2 collection boxes still to be brought in. 

In memory of Debbie McSweeney R.I.P. 

Music in Hastings

We're pretty lucky in Hastings, with plenty of live music to enjoy most days of the week, and sometimes an act sneaks in quietly that has much acclaim, eg on Fat Tuesday every year. However, I only noticed this one because of a wee poster I spotted in the FILO, where tickets can be bought, but little other advertising, as far as I can see! 

The James Hunter Band (link) will be playing in little over a week, at the Masonic Hall at St Leonards, Friday 16th January. A previously Grammy-nominated artist who has backed Van Morrison, this one has definitely been kept quiet, for what reason I do not know! 

So, I thought, who else is coming to town, and looked at the St Mary in the Castle website, but nothing advertised there in the coming months yet, though I'm sure an interesting act will soon be playing at that venue too... 

Consequently, I thought that if anyone knows of outside performers coming to town, outside of the usual pub venues, please feel free to share them with me, and I will share the information on this blog, cheers!  

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Hastings Winkle Club award goes to...

Yesterday evening the Hastings Winkle Club (website), supporter of local causes and charities, not forgetting famous members past and present, awarded The Dolphin pub at Rock-a-Nore with... 

Marl Little, the landlord of the Dolphin, was pleased to receive the award of "Best Collection of a Pub in 2014", ie the money collected in the collection box at the Dolphin was more than that collected in any other pub in the area! So, congratulations to all those who donated, as well as to the Dolphin, Mark and his family and staff... proves what a great bunch of folk work and drink down opposite the Fishermen's Beach! 

The Trophy was awarded, together with a certificate signed and dated 'Richard Read, Chairman, 5th January 2015', but the Winkle Club is yet to announce the total of monies collected at the Dolphin, or monies collected overall. 

Whatever, congratulations to a great cause! 

Bottle Alley

The 'cabinet' committee of Hastings Borough Council (news link) yesterday evening approved funding to restore the Sidney Little designed 'Bottle Alley', following much speculation, congratulations to them!

6th January 1066

On this day in 1066, Harold Godwinson was crowned King of England, Harold II, following the death of Edward the Confessor the previous day...

... and we all know where that got us, more of very soon!

Monday, 5 January 2015

De La Warr upgrade

The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill is to have its air handling system upgraded.

The work starts this month following a £412,000 grant from the Arts Council, funds from Rother District Council, and private donations, including £80,000 from the Pavilion's patron, Eddie Izzard. For further information see their website.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Jamie Murray R.I.P.

Update on the deceased, R.I.P. Jamie Murray; see BBC.

A man has now been charged and due to appear at Lewes Crown Court on 23rd July (BBC).  

Friday, 2 January 2015

Sad start to 2015...

My thoughts and warmest wishes go to the family and friends of this young man who was killed in a 'hit and run' accident early yesterday morning, R.I.P.

Reported on the BBC website