Sunday, 29 November 2015

Albion Plays On...

No, not Brighton & Hove Albion, though they have, but I was shown round the Albion in George Street yesterday by Adam, cheers! There's still some work to be completed, but it's looking very good, indeed, eg the new fascia...

Rebuilt in the 19th century, as I wrote recently, and signs of the Victorian influence can be seen around the building, including unveiled William Morris wallpaper upstairs; to acknowledge the historical Arts & Crafts features, they have commissioned bespoke wallpaper in an appropriate style, which includes images of Hastings Castle too! This original wallpaper is in the larger room at the back/opposite the seafront, whilst the tartan and wood panels from the Youngers time here, and the newly built stage, remain in the George Street bar.

6 handpumps, for those who like their ale (like me); yesterday there were 4 different ales available, East Sussex brewed Harveys Sussex Best and Dark Star Hophead, plus Timothy Taylors Landlord and Theakstons Old Peculiar. I was assured that the availability of more local ales is being looked into, cheers!        

Friday, 27 November 2015

The Albion reopens!

The Albion in George Street, reopens at 7pm today, according to their facebook page, with a gig by the (London band?) Congo Faith Healers: "The Congo Faith Healers are like nothing you have heard or experienced before, and combine down and dirty swamp infested gypsy blues with wild savage guitar playing voodoo vocals, latin american drum and trumpet grooves with rockabilly swing double bass and hooks that you will be singing for days..."
However, I've been advised that 8pm may be a better time to turn up... 
Tomorrow, Saturday, will be "a festival of traditional Irish Music, and Sunday afternoon the London based Dirty Spoons will play Skiffle music!

Oh yes, and they'll be selling ale...
Good luck to Bob and Adam et al, et ale even!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Yet MORE Anti-Social Behaviour!

I don't feel the need to take a photograph of an offending pile, but you know what I mean today! OK, I know I moan about anti-social behaviour every now and then, but it really is not nice... I walked out of my front door a few weeks ago, which opens directly onto the pavement, and you can guess what I just about missed stepping in, and this wasn't the first time! Indeed, a friend of mine had the misfortune to step into mess recently, and the frequency of having to dodge piles of poo isn't decreasing. Sort it out dog owners, as with most things, the vast majority are decent human beings, but...   

While I'm moaning, I'll repeat a moan about cyclists riding on pavements, notably, when a cycle path is close by... Just a thought, why doesn't it become legal for cyclists to ride on pavements instead of a cycle path if close by, then pedestrians could use the cycle path (which cyclists would be banned from), or shall we then call it a 'footpath'?!?

Further thoughts... What about licences for both dogs and cycles, could be totally self-financing and it would help to create jobs?

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Hastings Pier, November Update...

The replacement of steelwork at the Pier Head is now 85% completed. On the west side a column that had severely deteriorated has been replaced; 2 new small diameter piles were filled with reinforcement and concreted. 
Work on the Visitor Centre continues with the cladding nearly completed on the west side. On the east side, remaining deck boards from the far end of the Pier Head need to be lifted so that they can be prepared and re-used as cladding. The zinc trim around the windows and entrances is also being fitted.

Inside the Visitor Centre, the services and sprinklers have been installed and the floor and fitting is now well underway. Shortly the construction of the steps and arena seating on the north end of the building will be commenced.

The re-instatement of the old cast iron balustrade at the front of the Pier has been completed, exactly 100 years after it was originally installed!

Under the Pier the main services, gas, water, electric and drainage are being connected. The pipes and wires are fixed to the structure with access gained via the new crawl way. For more information go to the People's pier website.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Winch Road - Lights on too... at last!

So, the Winch Road project appears to be over, the lights are now connected! 

It is significantly brighter behind the fish market now, and has to be safer too, remembering the attempted mugging I reported earlier in the year (25 March).

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Lifeboats - Priscilla MacBean and Mary Stanford.

It is nearly a year since I wrote my first blog about the Priscilla MacBean, its discovery, refurbishment, and the towing of that retired lifeboat up The Bourne to its present drydock. It is just over 87 years since the lifeboat Mary Stanford capsized in Rye Harbour, sadly with the loss of her entire 17 man crew (website); Hastings Lifeboat Crew and Launchers took part in the annual memorial service on Sunday.   

Last week, I noticed that another retired fishing boat (RX273) had been cut in half and used to provide protection for a bench beside the Priscilla MacBean, so I went back to take some more photographs... 

... and there she is with her bench, a fine monument to those people who risk their lives with the RNLI to help ensure the safety of people at sea, and by the sea, respect. 

R.I.P. The crew of the Mary Stanford...

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Time to think, and not forget...

Menin Gate, Ypres

A week to remember, no doubt about that, Remembrance Sunday a week ago, Remembrance Day on Wednesday, and this weekend attacks on people in Paris, leaving many innocent men and women dead, of different creeds, races and religions... 

Our thoughts and hearts go out to those who died in World War I and all wars since, and, of course, now to those who died, and may die yet, because of the attacks on Friday, and to their families and friends... 


Saturday, 14 November 2015

Boat with a View and a New Winter Menu!

For a retired fishing boat it is excellent to see that the pub opposite, the Dolphin in Rock-a-Nore Road, has created a new 'Winter Menu' that focuses on supporting the local fishing industry situated just behind the Stacey Marie (RX134 - facebook page). Customers are encouraged to try locally caught huss and plaice for their fish & chips, not only the ubiquitous cod, though there is plenty of local cod around at the moment (not just frozen cod brought in from Iceland by a Rye trawler), and plenty of additional locally caught fish for their specials and 'Fish Platter', including gurnard, skate, dabs, mackerel and whiting.    

The kitchen is also locally sourcing as much other menu ingredients as possible, including using a local butcher, and local ales from the bar to include in their batter and stews, worth a visit, and I think I may just do that next time I'm working on the Stacey Marie!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Still places open in Hastings!

OK, the Castle and Smugglers Caves may be closed until the Spring, but there are still many places open during the winter in Hastings, so don't stay in!

The excellent Fishermen's Museum in Rock-a-Nore Road (website) now opens at 11am until 4pm for the winter; here the red ensign is being raised outside the museum to let you know it's open... Also open in Rock-a-Nore Road are the Shipwreck Museum, from 11am to 4pm, (website) and the Blue Reef Aquarium, from 10am to 4pm (website).     

Not to mention the nearby Flamingo Amusement Park (website), one of the less celebrated location stars of the film Byzantium (see link), where the vampire character 'Clara Webb' (Gemma Arterton) first set up her illicit business activity in a seaside town (the majority of which was filmed a few years ago in Hastings, a wee bit in Cork!), plus museums and art galleries (eg Hastings Museum & Art Gallery website), other amusement arcades, cinemas, restaurants and pubs, live music galore, parks etc etc... 

So, no reasons not to enjoy Hastings during the autumn and winter!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Hastings on television yet again, it appears!

Early morning clear sky and view from the beach, a couple of days ago, and the crescent moon led up to Venus and then Jupiter; apparently, Mars is just above Venus too, but not obvious in my photograph, sorry! Anyway, what I really wanted to comment on was the recent television programme that included a significant piece about Hastings and its fishing industry (link), Gregg Wallace's 'food adventure' in Hastings, and well worth a look (one of the problems of my not having a television is that I find out about this sort of programme a bit later than its publication!). Many familiar faces here too...

I just hope our MP has seen this, she may learn something about her constituents...    

Monday, 9 November 2015

Remembrance Sunday

Bonfire Society there too!

Many younger people, which gives me hope...

All the way to the Town Hall.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Hastings Castle

I recently visited Hastings Castle, just before it closed for the Winter, anyway, here's some photographs, history, and thoughts...

In 1066, William the Bastard, later known as William the Conqueror, brought with him prefabricated sections for 'motte-and-bailey' castles to be constructed on conquered land. He is known to have constructed two of these castles before his first battle; at Pevensey and Hastings. William and his men probably spent the night before the Battle of Hastings (13-14th October) at the fortress in Hastings.
Dungeons to the left of me... 

dungeons to the right...

The photographs above are of the 2 "dungeons" discovered in the 19th century, though they are probably old storage rooms, so says the blurb! 

Nice view to the west... 

Hastings Castle was first a wooden tower on a man-made mound or 'motte' surrounded by a courtyard or 'bailey', with a wooden palisade enclosing the bailey. By 1070, William had given orders to reconstruct Hastings Castle in stone, and to build the Church of St. Mary there, in the 1070s. The keep was rebuilt in the south eastern corner of the castle in the 1170s, and further alterations were made during the reign of Henry II.  

Fearing an invasion following Normandy being lost to the French, King John ordered the destruction of all Sussex castles lest they fall into enemy hands. There appears to have been little lasting damage done to Hastings Castle though, and his son, Henry III, ordered the castle repaired in the 1220s, with additional renovations made in 1249. 

In 1287 a great storm caused serious damage to Hastings, and the soft sandstone cliffs and south wall and keep fell into the sea. In 1337 and 1339 the castle was damaged further due to attacks by the French, and, together with further erosion to the site, the structure fell into disrepair and the castle was abandoned.
View to the Old Town to the east...

A private family then purchased Hastings Castle and the land was used for farming over the next few centuries. Remnants of the castle were rediscovered and then excavated in 1824, some of it being reconstructed, and the castle became a tourist attraction. Hastings Castle later suffered further damage during World War II.  

Another view to the east, well worth a visit in the Spring!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Roebuck Surgery Special Meeting!

From here...

There will be a special open meeting at the Stade Hall tomorrow evening (Friday 6th), starting 7pm, to hear Dr Craig Namvar explain the reasons behind, and plans for, the Roebuck Surgery and its planned relocation to Rock-a-Nore Road, if you're interested...  


Hastings Fishing...

How did I miss this? Well, I did... 

I've written quite a bit previously about Greenpeace and our local fishing industry, and the campaign to support Under 10 Metre Fishing Boats. Well, I missed this development, which is quite positive to our local fishing fleet (Defra website). However, there still appears to be concerns about the cod quota and local boats, cod having been very abundant recently in local waters, yet not being dealt with by Mr Eustice's announcement...   

Contact your local MP and Defra if you, like me, are still concerned!

Many thanks Alistar Johnson!

Many thanks to Alistar Johnson for your comment.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

What's happening to the Royal Albion?

Boards and scaffolding are up around this old pub, which started life in 1689, received its first licence in 1730, was rebuilt in 1831, and reopened as the Albion Hotel in 1832 as a coaching inn. It continued as a hotel until 1894, when it evolved as a public house...

Now, Bob and others are going to reopen this freehouse as a music venue, real ale house, and I'd suspect there will be food available too... Looking forward to it!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Harold Godwinson lived? Update...

I have discussed before amateur historian Peter Burke's theory that Harold didn't die in 1066, but lived for another 40 years. I have been in touch with him again recently, and he confirms that a body was found buried where he was searching at Waltham Abbey, however, English Heritage wouldn't give permission for an excavation.

Peter still believes in his theory and the early 12th century document he found at the British Museum, the Vita Harold, and has had another television documentary recorded, which he expects to be aired on the History Channel, probably next year. For now, though, Harold appears to remain an enigma... 

Yes, 6.5% Kieran!

Sorry to brag, but CHEERS!

By Steve the Beermeister

Indeed! Sorry, but yesterday, I drank the last 2 pints of the excellent Sussex-brewed Dark Star (website) Green Hopped IPA (6.5%) at the Dolphin Inn at Rock-a-Nore. Just great timing, I suppose... Brewed using 'fresh English hops', actually Simcoe hops, to brew this obviously very seasonal ale, ideally, hops are picked on the day of the brew! Yet again, this year, an excellent ale has been produced, with a deep amber hue and fruity aroma, the taste is fruity, but dry, not particularly sweet, then leaving a dry bitter aftertaste, exceptional, indeed, cheers!   

Sunday - All Saints Day

The Black Huts Festival continues at the Electric Palace, High Street, in the old town today, with Timothy Neat at 1pm; a homage to the poet Lynette Roberts from 3.15pm, including contributions from her daughter, Angharad Rhys, Patrick McGuinness and Charles Mundye; and a double bill of films from 8pm, Recluse and Vanished! A Video Seance (website). 

Of course, the Herring Fair continues at 11am (website). Here are a few photographs from the Stade 'Open Space' yesterday, though a bit gloomy.   

 Dignitaries awaiting the opening. 

Though I didn't notice any herring!

There was music too

And people enjoyed the food, despite the gloom, though sunnier today, thankfully!