Sunday, 31 May 2015

Breakfasts West of Central Hastings

Following on from my blog 2 weeks ago (also an adapted article I wrote in the Hastings Independent plus more photographs), I have since eaten 'traditional' Full-English breakfasts west of the centre, essentially at St Leonards, and my already extensive waistline has increased yet more! 2 breakfasts were at a similar cost, one of the venues has an excellent view, and a great value breakfast was produced at the third. All three served up a very decent meal, two provide a 'vegetarian' alternative at the same price, and the Azur has Egg Benedict as the closest to a vegetarian option.   

First up, a good meal with an excellent view of the sea was enjoyed at Azur, opposite Marine Court, TN38 0BU (tel: 0845 812 1066). This isn't somewhere I had expected to find a Full English breakfast available, but I spotted “The Sussex Breakfast” on the menu when my brother and I had a coffee on their balcony overlooking the sea a while ago, and a 'full English' they certainly do provide!

The breakfast included 2 'butchers' pork sausages, 2 free range eggs, 2 rashers of dry-cured bacon, tomato, a decent portion of mushrooms (though not "field mushrooms" as advertised, as they are out of season, a reliable friend has since made me aware), and a slice of granary toast. The meal was a reasonable £6.95, and a pot of tea for one was £1.95; the Egg Benedict costs £5.60.
Azur Sussex Breakfast

My second meal was at the Love Cafe, 28 Norman Road, TN37 6AE (tel: 01424 717815), recommended to me by a friend. I thought it was a playschool when I had first spotted it many moons ago, but no, it is a very fine cafe in which to enjoy your breakfast, and with a large outside area (where children could certainly play!). There is a plethora of interesting articles and decorations inside that kept me interested, even though I was alone with a newspaper provided by the cafe, notably a fine glowing rabbit table lamp; you have to see it to appreciate what I mean.

The breakfast again cost me £6.95 and included 2 thick rashers of smoked back bacon, a fried free-range egg (which could have been poached or scrambled), 2 very interesting and tasty sausages (I asked why they were so different, and it's because they are unique, indeed, especially made for this cafe and containing very little cereal), tomato, baked beans, button mushrooms, and 2 buttered slices of quality granary toast (could have had white bread instead). A pot of tea increased the cost, that is a very large pot for one in an 'elephant teapot' (consequently, many cups of tea!) for £2; though I could have had a mug of tea for £1.50. The vegetarian option has 2 'non-animal' sausages, sautéed potatoes, a grilled tomato, mushrooms, baked beans, an optional egg, and toast.
The Love Cafe breakfast

Third on my list was the friendly family-run Cafe 17, 17 Bexhill Road, TN38 0AH (tel: 01424 420839), and another recommended to me by the same friend, and another great suggestion! This is a short walk west of the Bo-Peep pub, on the south side of the road, and their breakfast cost just £5.50. All their food is 'locally sourced'; notably there is an excellent butchers (Appleyards) a few doors back along the road.

The breakfast included 2 rashers of back bacon, 2 fried free-range eggs, 2 good quality Cumberland/Lincolnshire sausages (I should have asked, but I didn't, silly me, but they were nice, whichever!), tomato or baked beans (I had the beans), a decent portion of mushrooms again, and 2 hash browns. There were also 2 buttered slices of toast and a mug of tea included in the price. Good quality and excellent value, indeed! Their vegetarian option includes an egg, 2 Quorn sausages, mushrooms, hash browns, beans or tomato, 2 slices of bread and butter or toast, and tea or coffee.
Cafe 17 breakfast

I received a good quality breakfast at all 3 of the venues; the view from Azur is excellent, the interior of the Love Cafe is spellbinding, and the friendliness and value at Cafe 17 would be hard to beat... whichever you visit, enjoy your breakfast! 
Next time I shall be heading east from the town centre, indeed, I have visited 2 of my chosen 3 cafes/restaurants already...  

Saturday, 30 May 2015

The General Havelock

The General Havelock has reopened under new management, OK, this may not be the most new news, as it reopened a wee while ago, following its closure on Jamie's departure, but I thought it would be worth writing about, as it is a very interesting building, indeed. Now I'm not one to frequent the place, certainly not in the evening anyway, but it has a lovely interior and interesting history, and is a pleasant hostelry in which to enjoy a glass or two of ale during the afternoon!   

The General Havelock is situated between Cambridge Road and Havelock Road in Hastings town centre, and is included as one of Britain's Real Heritage Pubs because of its exceptional tiled paintings, indeed, the Tiles & Architectural Ceramics Society describes the interior as being among "the candidates for the best turn-of-the-century pub tile scheme in Britain."  

Following the death of General Sir Henry Havelock, soon after the relief of Lucknow in 1857, Passenger Station Road was renamed Havelock Road. The Havelock Hotel was opened at number 27, and later became the General Havelock pub in the 1880s, at the time covering the larger overall building to the south too.  

In 1889-90 a refit was carried out by the local architect, Henry Ward of Bohemia Road, who also designed many other well known Hastings buildings, eg Hastings Town Hall and the Observer building. Ward brought in A. T. S. Carter of Brockley to fit fantastic pictorial tiles, that were designed by either John Eyre or John McClennan of Doulton of Lambeth; who became Royal Doulton soon after, in 1901.    

At the Havelock Road entrance is the first image, ie of General Havelock himself sitting on a white horse and dressed in ceremonial uniform. Inside, on the east wall, are 3 pictorial panels, with an image of Hastings Pier and the ruins of Hastings Castle in the centre. Either side of the Castle are much larger images of the Battle of Hastings to the left, and local fishermen doing their bit for King and Country, boarding a French vessel, to the right. Indeed, this side of the pub used to be an alleyway between Cambridge Road and Havelock Road, and a public right of way, I'm not so sure about the legality of the right of way these days!    

Although the General Havelock used to be a multi-roomed hostelry, as with many pubs these days, it has been made into a large single room. It was closed for a year in 2011, then originally reopened following sympathetic refurbishment with a new manager, Jamie Butler, who helped to re-establish the pub as one well worth visiting. Now it has reopened again under newer management you can see for yourself the wonderful interior, enjoy!      

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Macmillan Nurses: Where the donations came from!

You may remember that over the Christmas period, and earlier this year, Paul Denny raised £359.62 for Macmillan Nurses by making homemade pickles and leaving collection boxes at a number of sites, as mentioned in earlier blogs. He since ran the London marathon and raised a further £891.53, thus bringing the total raised to £1,251.15, again blogged about here previously (and don't forget, another £100+ in 'gift aid', so he probably raised over £1400 in total!).  

He took just over 5 hours to complete his 12th marathon; 10 London, 1 New York and the Hastings Marathon in 2008 (only staged every 100 years!). Though not his fastest run in a marathon, taking into account he injured his ankle 2 weeks previous to the race, which prevented him training, and that the same injury reoccurred at the 10 mile mark of the marathon, it was some achievement just to complete the course, so very well done Paul!  
So, where did the extra £891.53 come from? 
Well, money raised at John the Cobblers amounted to £110.00, here is Paul presenting John with the certificate from Macmillan Nurses. 

The Dolphin raised a further £62.00. 

The Jenny Lind contributed a further £50.00. 

Together with a little more 'pickle money', the First in Last Out contributed a whopping £669.53 more!  

Debbie McSweeney (1962-2014) R.I.P. 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Winch Road - FLAG response

I am very grateful for the following response from FLAG, which says pretty much what I said in Part 2 of the Winch Road saga, though it puts a bit more meat on the bones! 

"The Hastings FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group) was successful in obtaining grant funding towards the upgrade of the Winch Road and improvements to lighting along part of it. This is a key component of the Hastings Fishing Beach Improvement Programme that seeks to improve the working environment for the inshore fishing fleet and encourage responsible visitors.   

The Winch Road will be resurfaced in reinforced concrete with an exposed aggregate finish. The project will also improve lighting and security along the eastern section of the Winch Road and is jointly funded by Hastings & St Leonards Foreshore Charitable Trust and the Marine Management Organisation. A compound has been set up on the beach adjacent to the RNLI station and work started on Monday 18th May and will last for approximately 11 weeks until the week commencing 20th July (weather dependent).   

Paul Joy and indeed the fishermen are all fully aware of the planned works and have been closely involved in securing the funding and planning the works." 

There you go then, one shouldn't believe gossip...

Monday, 25 May 2015

Hastings Summer Craft Fair on Friday!

Hastings Handicraft Summer Fair (website) on this Friday 29th May, at the White Rock Theatre, 11.00 to 16.00, looks fun! 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Hastings Fishermen's Museum... and Dunkirk!

With the memorial and Commemorative Service in Dunkirk today, in honour of the 75th anniversary of the "Little Ships" and the relief of the British Expeditionary Force, and French and Belgian troops (nearly 340,000 soldiers were evacuated to Britain to fight again), I thought this would be an excellent day to blog about the Fishermen's Museum.  
The first exhibit you reach at Rock-a-Nore
The Old Hastings Preservation Society created and opened the Museum in 1956 in the former Fishermen’s Church of St Nicholas, a mission chapel that served the fishing community from 1854 until the building was requisitioned by the military authorities during WW2. The building is Grade II listed, and rented from Hastings Borough Council. See more about the building and museum at their website.
The Enterprise

I have to admit I was surprised to find out that no fishing boats from Hastings actually sailed to Dunkirk in 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo, though most of Hastings' larger fishing boats were requisitioned and sailed to Dover in case they were required. One of those that did sail to Dover is the first exhibit you see when you walk into the museum, and you could hardly miss it! That is, the Enterprise RX278, and outside, amongst the boats, huts and anchors, and behind Tush & Pat's hut, is the Edward and Mary RX74, that also sailed to Dover in 1940.
Edward and Mary, and other exhibits

However, the Cyril and Lilian Bishop, the first Hastings' lifeboat built with an engine, did take part in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk. She was built in Cowes and came into service at Hastings RNLI in 1931, until she was sold as a fishing vessel to Scotland in 1950. More history at the ADLS website; indeed, I found it very interesting to look around the site! She was since re-named “Lindy Lou” in 1976, and, near the end of the millennium acquired by Simon Evans, who collects and restores old lifeboats, and taken to his rented boatyard in Sens, France; having since moved to his personal boatyard at Migennes, where I believe she now resides.
Cyril and Lilian Bishop (in a bottle)

Very recently, Bob Arrowsmith donated a model of Cyril and Lilian Bishop in a bottle to the museum, which can be seen behind the Enterprise over in the far corner. Indeed, the main principle of my blogging about the Fishermen's Museum today is that, if you haven't before, you really should visit, there's much to see there, enjoy!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

No More Cuts... We should be so lucky in Hastings!

The Conservative-led Local Government Association has warned the Government against any more cuts in funding to local authorities! 

This means that whatever their political persuasion, Conservative, Labour, Green, Liberal or Independent, local authorities are unanimous in their opposition to cuts in funding, warning the Chancellor that local services would be damaged and that the vulnerable in society would be worst harmed. See this link for more information...

Don't hold your breath regarding Hastings, always the worst hit council in the South East under the last LibCon Government!  

Friday, 22 May 2015

"Man Hunt" in Hastings!?!

The police are being amazingly careful about what they publish, but I'm guessing I'm not the only person to notice a significant police presence in the old town today, including the helicopter! If whoever they're seeking is dangerous, then shouldn't they let us know who s/he is, if not, why keep his/her name and details from us?

Concerned of Hastings...    

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Winch Road - Part 2

I've got there! Having just spoken to probably the best person to talk to, ie very likely the most informed person... The work is planned to last for up to 11 weeks, and is being jointly funded by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and the Hastings & St Leonards Foreshore (Charitable) Trust, funding doesn't come from HBC, nor from the fishermen, but does include money granted from the European Union. The rest of what I said before, as in, this is to resurface the existing Winch Road for the benefit of the local fishing industry, and for a better walkway, remains true. Now the rumours can stop, hopefully...   

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Fishermens' Road

Rumours, rumours, rumours! Whatever the rumours, the road/track (Winch Road) behind the fish market is being rebuilt, resurfaced, fixed (however you want to phrase it).

Work has already started, though it looks like it may take a while to complete. A little birdy tells me that this will not be a public road, but continue as an access route for the local fishing industry, with better pedestrian access to the car park at the end of Rock-a-Nore Road. It looks to be funded (if only partially, perhaps) by Hastings FLAG, but, as soon as I find out more, I shall share it, but try not to add to the rumours peeps, cheers! 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Outsiders and fishing...

I get so angry with people who visit Hastings and have no idea of the reality about the EU quota and local fishing, and try to tell me their version!  

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Where to Eat a 'Full English'

I shall be writing about good 'Full English' breakfasts in 3 instalments (who knows, maybe more to come yet!), the first is for central Hastings, then a second to the west, and a third to the east. All three establishments discussed today are within a very small radius of the America Ground, and a version of this blog has already been published, in my name and with fewer photographs of course, in the Hastings Independent. 

First up is Hoagies-Reloaded, 39 Robertson Street, TN34 1HL (telephone: 01424 427830). £3.95 if you get there before 11.00, and £4.95 thereafter, and that's literally. I walked in the door at 10.59 and was still given the cheaper price, nice one! 2 rashers of very decent quality bacon, 1 fried egg on either toast or fried bread (I went for the less unhealthy option of toast this time), baked beans, half a large tomato, a not great sausage, and a mug of either tea or coffee. Excellent value, indeed! 
Hoagies' Breakfast

As I will often say, and often have in the past, for the sake of another 50p or £1, a good quality sausage would make it a very good breakfast and still great value, but often cafes do seem to go for the cheaper option over quality, sadly... Oh well, I still enjoyed my meal very much. They also provide a vegetarian option, at the same prices, before and after 11.00, and includes 2 'veggie' sausages (I rarely like these, told you I'm fussy, I prefer just simple ingredients for my vegetarian option, eg I'd pack it with mushrooms, and maybe sautéed potatoes, but that's me!), fried egg on toast or fried bread, baked beans, tomatoes and a mug of tea or coffee.

Secondly, I enjoyed the atmospheric Tutti Frutti's, 4 Trinity Street, TN34 1HG (telephone: 01424 423946). This is a 1940/50s themed restaurant/cafe. I very much enjoyed the music and decor. The pot of tea was extra to the cost of the meal, £1.30 for a single pot, and £1.80 for 2, though the 'wee pot' was pretty big! Oh yes, or £1 for a mug of tea or coffee. The breakfast was £5.00, and the food was advertised as 'locally sourced', something I look for too, of course.
Inside Tutti Frutti's

The meal included 2 sausages, not too bad at all (you'll appreciate I'm very particular about the quality of my sausages and will go on about them!), 2 rashers of nice thick bacon, very tasty, 1 egg, perfectly fried, with the 'yellow' just the right amount of soft, gently cooked tomatoes, and 2 slices of fresh toast. Again a vegetarian option is available, but at slightly cheaper price, that is £4.50 a meal, and includes a hash brown, scrambled egg, tomato, baked beans, mushrooms and a slice of toast.  
Tutti Frutti's Breakfast

My third breakfast was at the White Rock Hotel, virtually opposite the pier at White Rock, TN34 1JU (telephone: 01424 422240). A bar as well, and usually serving 4 real ales from Sussex brewers (bar opens at 10.00!). There are 2 sizes of breakfast, I had the "Full Audrey's Breakfast” for £9.00, which consists of a glass of fruit juice, a pot of tea or coffee, toast (white or brown), 2 free range eggs (choice of how served, I had fried eggs, just perfect), 2 sausages with herbs in, probably Lincoln, 2 rashers of bacon, a tad overcooked, a fried tomato cut in half, and good portions of mushrooms and baked beans. I've always had excellent service here from friendly staff (I've been more than once, usually after working a night shift), and enjoyed the view of the seafront from the window.  

There is also a smaller breakfast available at the White Rock Hotel, ie “Little Jill's”, for just £6.00; which includes just one egg, a sausage, bacon, baked beans, mushrooms, and tomato, with either fruit juice, tea, coffee, or milk. The 'vegetarian' option is £9.00, and includes 'veggie' bacon and sausages, free range eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, toast, fruit juice, and either tea or coffee. 
 Full Audrey's Breakfast
There are obviously many other places nearby that provide decent breakfasts too, but I have tried all three of these recently, and found them all to provide excellent value, with Tutti Frutti's just edging it, taking into account the quality of food, value, and ambience, but neither should disappoint you, so enjoy whichever you visit!
Next stop, to the West, and St Leonards!
POSTSCRIPT: Tutti Frutti's has closed down, the lease being sold (a neighbour told me), so we shall have to wait and see what develops there. I have a few other ideas in central Hastings, though, research required, but I'm sad, I did like Tutti Frutti's...

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Do I want a mini? Hmm...

A few in Priory Meadow today, I'll not be buying one though, but they do look good...

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Chemical Incident in St Leonards today...

There was a chemical incident at the recycling centre in Freshfields, St Leonards, this morning at about 08:30. The area was cordoned off by emergency services, and local residents were advised to close their windows and doors. Eight members of staff were treated at the scene and three people were taken to hospital; 13 people were reported as requiring treatment overall, updated 15th.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service think the injuries were caused by fumes from an ammonia-based substance, but gas levels are said to be "reducing".
South East Coast Ambulance Service reported that a "routine precautionary decontamination" was carried out. Hastings Borough Council have since advised that the "public are not at risk", but waste and recycling services would be affected by the "temporary closure" of the tip. 
See Sussex Police website for more information.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Macmillan Nurses, London Marathon Donation Forms at...

The shirt that Paul has had Debbie's face printed on for the London Marathon, where he ran in her memory and for Macmillan Nurses, Sussex. As I said before, forms were at various sites around the old town; and they have now been collected in: 

The First In Last Out (FILO), 14-15 High Street.

The Dolphin, 12 Rock-a-Nore Road.

The Jenny Lind, 69 High Street.

And, if you didn't fancy entering a pub, the Old Town Cobblers, 64D High Street. 

Paul is grateful for all the donations made, and confirms that all monies received have now been sent to Macmillan Nurses, Sussex, many thanks! I shall post further when receipts have been received from the charity. 

Debbie McSweeney R.I.P.   

Again, congratulations to Paul!

Again, my congratulations to Paul Denny for raising more than £1,100 for Macmillan Nurses in Sussex, by running the London Marathon, and through collection boxes and sales (as previously explained), in memory of Debbie McSweeney R.I.P. 


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Giant Pacific Octopus to Hastings Aquarium!

I was chatting with Adam just now (the manager at the Blue Reef Aquarium), and he told me he collected a Giant Pacific Octopus yesterday, that had been at their aquarium in Newquay. This is a significant new addition to the aquarium in Hastings, the Giant Pacific Octopus (the above image is not of the specific individual) comes from Canada and, consequently, needs to be kept at a cooler temperature than most of the sea life there...

Has to be worth a visit very soon!   

Monday, 11 May 2015

The time to push for a greater quota perhaps?

Perhaps now is the time to push for a greater quota from MAFF, Amber? 

Our Member of parliament for the last 5 years, Amber Rudd, was unsuccessful in persuading MAFF to increase the quota of fish that Under 10 metre boats are allowed to catch, whilst she was a mere MP and junior government minister... Now she is a fully fledged Minister, will she actually get something done? OK, it's not her Department, but surely she has a bit more sway in Government now, or will she waste another 5 years not representing her constituents in Hastings? 

Although she didn't get to the meeting at the East Hastings Sea Angling Association in March, she did send a recording of her support for the local fishermen and Greenpeace 'Coastal Champions' campaign. I'd suggest we all write to her to remind her of this pledge before she disappears for another 5 years...  

Friday, 8 May 2015

General Election, Hastings & Rye result

            Votes             Share %               +/-%

, with candidateAmber Rudd
, have the following results:
  • 22,686total votes taken.
  • 44.5% share of the total vote
  • +3.5% change in share of the votes
, with candidateSarah Owen
, have the following results:
  • 17,890total votes taken.
  • 35.1% share of the total vote
  • -2.0% change in share of the votes
, with candidateAndrew Michael
, have the following results:
  • 6,786total votes taken.
  • 13.3% share of the total vote
  • +10.5% change in share of the votes
Green Party
, with candidateJake Bowers
, have the following results:
  • 1,951total votes taken.
  • 3.8% share of the total vote
  • +3.8% change in share of the votes
Liberal Democrat
, with candidateNick Perry
, have the following results:
  • 1,614total votes taken.
  • 3.2% share of the total vote
  • -12.5

Folk Festival continues...

Hastings Folk Festival ends this weekend; For times and further details see website... 

Friday 8th :     
Cafe Tour in the Old Town
Comhaltas Irish Session at The Stag
Green Diesel at The Jenny Lind
Stone Junction at The Anchor Inn

Workshop at St Mary Star of the Sea Church Hall
Cafe Tour in the Old Town
Folk Club at The Stag
Wakin' Snakes at Ye Olde Pump House
Folk Funk DJ Session at the Dragon Bar
Stuart O'Connor at The Jenny Lind
The Full English at St Mary in the Castle
Bal: French and Swedish Dancing at St Mary Star of the Sea Church Hall
Ingrid Pitt Orchestra at The Stag
Garry Blakeley Band at The Dolphin Inn

Ed Boxall at The Crown
Tatsmiths at The Stag
Good Squeeze Session at The Plough
Comhaltas Irish Session at The Jenny Lind
Elijah Blue at The Jenny Lind
Roger Carey & Jim Board at the First In Last Out