Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Enjoying a coffee, and the view in Rock-a-Nore

A lovely day, and to get even warmer tomorrow, apparently...

Reasonably early doors, sitting outside the Dolphin... 

You may have worked out by now that I am one of the two regulars who were involved in her restoration, and, now annually, who repaint the Stacey Marie, RX134, though you may not be aware that she is now 'retired' and lives under the aegis of the Fishermens' Museum, AND has her own facebook page, to which people are welcome to add photographs of her, and whose 'likes' of the page would be very welcome, cheers!  

Oh yes, and I thought I'd take a photograph of the RNLI lifeboat station on my way home, just to wallow in the blue sky! 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sorry, but more cuts to come!

This time from East Sussex County Council...

Yep, it was bound to come soon, following the Government's plans to introduce more "austerity cuts", so not surprised here. The County Council are seeking up to £90 million worth of savings, after already having cuts of £78.4 million since the coalition took control of government in 2010, so a total of up to £168.4 million cuts over the 9 years to 2019, and we'll have to wait and see what cuts come Hastings Borough Council way... 

To see the Report and further recommendations, go to their website

Enjoying Bushels Kentish Cider in Hastings

As promised, here's my postscript regarding my experience of drinking Biddenden's Bushels cider (6%) at the Dolphin yesterday, a chore, I realise, but someone had to go and do it, and this is my 200th blog, so I wanted to write about something pleasurable, because I know my next blog will be not so good news... 

Lovely and clear, not quite up to past experiences of drinking cider straight from Devonshire farms, together with whatever lumps and debris was left in them (always an experience!), or the rougher cider enjoyed at the Cider Bar in Newton Abbot, but I don't live in Devon anymore, so this one is reasonably local (from Kent), and certainly available for a few days at a local pub! 

As you can see from this photograph, a decently cool temperature, "flat" say Biddenden, but it certainly has life, sweetish apple flavour at first, but dries out very nicely, they say "medium dry", I'd say drier than I expected. I know Mark had 2 firkins (18 gallons), I doubt much of the first firkin will be left by now, and, should this go down well, he is thinking of bringing in guest ciders on a more regular basis during the summer, indeed, (PS) has already ordered 2 more firkins of the Bushels... 

Looking forward to more tastings, cheers!      

Saturday, 27 June 2015

This evening: Hastings Sinfonia

This evening at St John the Evangelist, Brittany Road, St Leonards, 7.30pm classical music, see website, relax and enjoy!  

Real Cider at the Dolphin...

A wee birdie has told me that Biddenden Bushels cider (6%) is on at the Dolphin this weekend, served via a handpump, a new venture for Mark, nice one! The Bushels is a 'flat' cider, made at their vineyard from Kentish culinary and dessert apples, and the makers say it is medium dry (website).  

I am looking forward to visiting the Dolphin while it is still on, to enjoy a wee drop, hopefully, and will add a postscript here regarding my tasting notes...

1066 Wine Fair starts today at Stade Hall

Don't forget, the 2 day climax to the 1066 Wine & Food Festival, the 1066 Wine Fair, starts today at Stade Hall, for more information see my blog of 21st June, or go to their website

Enjoy the weekend!  

Friday, 26 June 2015

Railway service to Hastings, oh no...

Don't hold your breath, if you're waiting for a faster service to London from Hastings, we're not even mentioned in Network Rail upgrades, and, locally, we continue to have the worst railway service in the country, with Southern Railway coming out with the lowest satisfaction rating in the latest rail passenger satisfaction survey! 

For more information and analysis, see the BBC.  

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Winch Road: Fish back on sale at Mick's!

Nice and fresh!

Tomorrow: Monthly Hastings Handicraft Fair

At the White Rock Theatre tomorrow (Friday 26th June, 11.00-15.00, admission free) is the monthly Hastings Handicraft Fair, supporting local arts and crafts, and any proceeds going to the registered charity, the Hastleon Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society. For more details of the fair go to the website.     

This photograph is of a quilt by Ness Mann (website), decorously posed from Stacey Marie RX134 (facebook page) and referred to in my blog of 15th March.   

Enjoy the fair, and who knows what you may come away with? 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Congratulations to the Tower...

Again, congratulations are in order to Louisa and her colleagues up at the Tower in London Road, for winning the local CAMRA Pub of the Year 2015, among other awards, which she was presented with last night! 

Sadly, I couldn't make it to the presentation ceremony last night, but have 'borrowed' this photograph from Jonathan Linsley, cheers Jonathan... and well done, again, to Lou! 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Dorothy Melinda RX53

Dorothy Melinda RX53

When visitors to Hastings walk out of the railway station exit, the first evidence of Hastings proud fishing history they see, immediately in front of them after the buses, is the retired fishing boat, Dorothy Melinda RX53...  
Jimmy (photo in the Dolphin Inn)

Dorothy Melinda was originally built in Newhaven in 1958 for local fisherman, Jimmy 'Toller' Adams, now retired, but still living and socialising in the old town. He fished in her for 26 years, beach-launched from Hastings fishermen's beach, until 1984.
Since then, she remained in Hastings, next owned by father and son, Frank and Michael Edmonds, then Peter White, and Paul Joy was the last fisherman to buy her in 2003. When Dorothy Melinda was finally de-registered, she was acquired and restored by Hastings Borough Council, who have since placed her on display at the station.  

This model of Dorothy Melinda RX53 was commissioned by Mark Gardiner and donated to Hastings Fishermen's Museum, Rock-a-Nore Road, in 2014, another addition to the already fascinating exhibits there, do go see! 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Grass cutting by roadsides, for information

I just saw, elsewhere, a request for information about who is responsible for cutting the grass along The Bourne, and I'd remembered seeing a post by HBC, so here, for your information, is a definitive answer, maybe:     

"Now that the grass growing season is well underway we would like to remind residents that Hastings Borough Council is no longer responsible for cutting the grass verges. East Sussex County Council now manage this and has appointed their own contractor to do it. If you have any concerns over the way the grass verges look you can report it directly to them https://eastsussex.fixmystreet.com/ or telephone 0345 6080 193 or email Highways@eastsussex.gov.uk."

1066 Wine & Food Festival starts today!

Well well, following on from this weekend's Midsummer Fish Festival, is the first 1066 Wine & Food Festival! That is, this new festival starts at 6pm this evening, at St Mary in the Castle, with a talk about English sparkling wine, delivered by Jilly Goolden at 7pm, and music from Liane Carroll from 8pm. The festival carries on throughout the week with participating businesses offering special deals and other events (see website), through to next weekend, where, on Saturday and Sunday, there will be a wine fair at Stade Hall, and professional tutored wine tastings next door at Classroom on the Coast.  

To properly take advantage of the festival and its special offers, discounts and events, Festival Cards are available for just £5 from the Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival (above), all participating businesses, and tourist information centres; the Festival Card also gives 3 months free membership of the Hastings Card, with its own special offers and reductions at shops and attractions.    

Indeed, it's always good to see inside the gorgeous St Mary in the Castle, but for further information, see the 1066 Wine & Food Festival website.

Admission to this evening's opening event is free to Festival Card holders, though, probably, it would be best to check on availability and book at their website as, obviously, space is limited, enjoy the week! 

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Wellington & Hastings illustrated talk

Well, there's certainly plenty happening in Hastings this weekend, indeed tomorrow, Brion Purdey will be giving an illustrated talk "Wellington and Hastings" to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo (on Thursday 18th), a subject I have briefly looked at in previous blogs, but in no way as in-depth as will be heard and seen tomorrow! This talk is part of the Hastings Museum Association programme (See website for all events on the calendar at the Museum) and will be held from 14.00 to 15.30 on Sunday 21st June at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, Bohemia Road, TN34 1ET.      

The Museum Association's events are usually held at the Museum & Art Gallery, and are free for members of the Museum Association (£7 annual membership fee, £12 for couples), £3 for non-members and £2 for concessions (more information at HMAG website). 

It's getting there!

Latest photographs of the Winch Road, it's getting there! 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Midsummer Fish Festival this weekend!

Saturday 20 June 11.00 to 21.00, Sunday 21 June 11.00 to 17.00, Stade Open Space, Old Town, Hastings.

Free event funded by Hastings FLAG: 

"Great foodie delights" are promised at this second Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival, from numerous stall holders, including local restaurants, producers and organisations. The stalls will "showcase their best fish dishes and local products."

Visitors can also enjoy real ales with a mini-beer festival run by the FILO, ie their own CroftersChurches Pale Ale and Gold, and 2 ales from other East Sussex brewers, Harveys IPA and Dark Star Hophead.  

The empty marquee at the Stade early today
Exhibition at the Stade Hall -  Laetitia Yhap, All Hands.  A time before Steel boats, tractors and mobiles on the Stade, 1974-1995.  
Non-stop live music, kicking off with Hastings Sinfonia, conducted by Derek Carden. For more details go to www.visit1066country.com/events/seasonal-highlights/midsummer-fish-festival.    

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Waterloo, Wellington, and Hastings!

By Steve the Beermeister

Coming from an Anglo-Irish family, Major General Sir Arthur Wellesley, perhaps better known later as the Duke of Wellington, was born in Dublin in 1769. His family bought him a commission in the British Army in 1787 as he was not that interested in furthering his education after school.

He was Knighted for serving a very successful term in India from 1796 to 1805. When he returned to England he was posted to Hastings on 25 February 1806 in order to take command of a brigade of infantry. His troop was based locally and he stayed at 54 High Street, which was used as his headquarters.

The Swan Inn (which was situated opposite 54 High Street, but now a memorial garden following its destruction from bombing in WW2) was used for a public dinner and dance in his honour, soon after his marriage to Kitty Packenham in Dublin on 10 April 1806. She returned with him to Hastings, where they lived at Hastings House, a Palladian Mansion at the North end of Tackleway. The plot where Hastings House and gardens once stood is now occupied by Old Humphry Avenue.
Wellesley was MP for Rye from 1806 to 1809; he had before sat a couple of terms as MP (for Trim) in the Irish House of Commons in the 18th century, and later became the British Prime Minister in 1828.

This Thursday, 18th June, is the 200th anniversary of his famous victory over Napoleon at Waterloo, and Harveys Brewery have brewed a special beer in honour of that achievement, Waterloo Rye IPA (6.1%). British malt, and rye malt from Belgium (where the battle took place) was used in the mash, whilst French bittering hops were used in the copper, and the casks are dry-hopped with British and German hops; France, Britain and Germany being the main protagonists in the battle. I'd like to think rye malt was used with a link to his having been MP for Rye, but I can find no evidence it was, sadly.

Waterloo Rye IPA should be a very interesting drop of ale, which I am looking forward to drinking at the Dolphin Inn, Rock-a-Nore, Hastings, this Thursday, cheers!

Devolution to Sussex and Surrey?

Interesting news, indeed, when Conservative-led East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey county councils join forces to call for greater powers and freedoms to be devolved from a Conservative Central Government, following 5 years of their jousting with the LibCon coalition government! 

For more information, see East Sussex County Council's website.

Hastings Lifeboat Blessing of the Sea

Hastings Lifeboat Blessing of the Sea is this evening at 18.15, next exercise is at 09.00 on Sunday 21st of June 2015...  

Monday, 15 June 2015

Today is Beer Day Britain, because of Magna Carta!

By Steve the Beermeister

Well, at 12.15 I shall just have to find a friendly Hastings hostelry in which to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and Beer Day Britain, with a pint of Sussex brewed ale, probably Hophead from Dark Star!  
Clause 35 of Magna Carta brings ale into the democratic arena, stating "Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single measure for ale and a single measure for corn, namely 'the London quarter'..." 

The date for the annual Beer Day Britain celebration is today, June 15th. This was the date (in 1215) that Magna Carta was sealed. Today there will be national and international celebrations for the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, so the fact that ale is mentioned in the document, makes June 15th a logical date for Britain's national beer day! See their website for more information.

Friday, 12 June 2015

This Saturday at the Stade!

I was enjoying a pint in the Dolphin earlier today, and another customer entered, questioning the erection of marquees on the Stade... Well, Richard, tomorrow morning (Saturday 13th June) will see the opening of the Animal Charities Vegan "Fayre", with profit made to support Mr Brock... enjoy!   

Thursday, 11 June 2015

White Rock promenade regeneration

Earlier today I visited the White Rock Hotel, where Hastings Borough Council exhibited a public display of the plans and images of the proposed improvements to the White Rock promenade, providing an “attractive link” from the end of Robertson Street at the America Ground, to the pier itself. The Council are seeking feedback, which they will accept until Friday next week (19th June). 

The first new feature you will reach on leaving Robertson Street (on the other side of the road, on the promenade, of course!) will be a raised decked area with a kiosk. This will be situated before you reach the old White Rock Baths (I've previously blogged about it becoming a BMX park etc), which itself will have its entrance building and walls repainted.

After passings the baths, the existing water feature will be “revitalised”, a small stage area added for licenced buskers, with a new water cascading feature below the stage. After the Boer War Memorial, another new decked area will be added, providing space for “pop-up” trading and food stalls, before reaching the rebuilt People's Pier.  

The new features will be made of sustainable hardwood timber, railings will be repainted, up to 10 mature trees grown in timber planters will be added to the scheme, the existing tarmac surface will be repaired and covered with a resin bound material, and East Sussex County Council have provided assurance that all the street lighting columns will have been replaced in time for the completion. Further details can be found at the Council website.    

The project will be jointly financed by a central government Coastal Communities Fund grant, the Foreshore Trust and Hastings Borough Council. The architect is Neil Choudhury (website), who was also at the presentation.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Hastings Pier update

The main steelwork for the Visitor Centre support structure is now in place. The next operation is to install the diagonal bracing to tie the structure together. This will be completed early this month, then enabling a concrete slab to be formed, which will be made on the pier. Elsewhere on the pier, work continues with trusses and beams being replaced, and ties and bracing being installed underneath. 

Access to the end of the Pier will soon be possible, and the remaining 1000sq metres of old deck boarding can be removed. This deck board will be recycled, either to be made into furniture for the Pier, or to be used as cladding for part of the Visitor Centre 

Finally, the main structure of the existing pavilion will be completed soon, ready for the internal fitting of the restaurant. For more information go to the website, with many thanks to the Hastings Pier Charity for the photograph. 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The Winch Road appears to be getting there...

... but still a way to go...

A few photographs of progress so far, the first two taken a few days ago...

... and the two below taken early this morning:

It was a wee bit gloomy, sorry...