Saturday, 31 December 2016

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Southern Rail Update, not just Industrial Action to come...

Well, since the public holidays a Saturday service has been running on Southern Rail, but today, Thursday 29th, there will be no service between Ashford and Brighton. Friday will see a full Saturday service (hopefully) and Saturday, well, it's best to re-look at their website for details nearer the time.

The RMT (conductors) will be on strike 1st and 2nd January, so expect to catch a bus from Hastings, or use South Eastern or alternative services instead (see website).

Also, remember that Aslef (drivers) are not working overtime...

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Booby Prize!

Talk about behind the news, but I felt I had to share this now, Norman, the red-footed booby that was found on St Leonards Beach way back in September (blog), was flown to the Cayman Islands by British Airways 3 months later, on Friday 16th, following his being nursed back to health by the RSPCA.
He will join a flock of fellow booby birds at a nature reserve. The RSPCA said he would be home for Christmas, well done, an excellent story!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Peace and Goodwill

I shall not be spending so much time on the internet and, consequently, having a bit of a life for a day or three, but wanted to express my thanks to those who read my blog for their support before I go quieter over the next 2 days... 

Peace and goodwill to all is a common enough phrase at this time of year, but, genuinely from me, whatever someone's age, gender, nationality or belief, the vast majority of people in the world are good and do want to live in peace, so, my best wishes to you all, and let's hope we can reach a time very soon when there will be peace on the Earth...

Friday, 23 December 2016

Celebrate a Memory on Hastings Pier

I have taken this from the latest Hastings Pier Charity newsletter, where the charity is asking people to "consider a Pier Plaque on the pier – celebrate a birth or a birthday, a marriage, a proposal, a special anniversary or any anniversary, give it as a gift or a thank you, in remembrance or in love; celebrate your family or friends, your club, society, institution, group or company – we simply ask that the wording be acceptable to all." 

Go to their website for further details and cost.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Pubs and Raffles

By Steve the Christmas Beermeister...

You've probably worked out by now that I drink in most Hastings' pubs, but I do have a favourite or ten... Anyway, on Sunday I watched people winning all the prizes I didn't win in the FILO Christmas Raffle, and I won nowt, zilch, bugger all! Tonight, in the Dolphin, well, let's just say, good job I'm not a teetotal lad

Monday, 19 December 2016

At last, pizza for one!

This isn't an advertisement, but an observation of mine, quite frankly, for single people, or those in relationships where only one of the couple, or family, likes a pizza every now and then. For years, all the larger pizza companies have deals for 2 pizzas, for example, or just charge a stupid amount for one pizza, well now your luck is in in Hastings! 

I only recently discovered Oregano Leaf in Queens Road, which has some of the same sort of deals as other 'pizzerias', but also, if you collect the pizza yourself, a reduced price of £5 for any of their 10" pizzas, £7 for 13" and £8 for 15" pizzas, and I've had quite a few since discovery, and they're cooked in a wood burning oven (above), and they ain't bad!

Not Christmassy, but worth sharing, I thought...

Southern Rail - Guess What, Again?!?

Well, don't expect to see one of these in Hastings today and tomorrow, as it's the RMT's turn to strike in which, I believe to be, the brought forward Christmas strike, oh yes, and Aslef, the drivers, are still working to rule, as in, not working overtime (apparently, there are not enough drivers working for Southern to maintain services, consequently the need for drivers to work overtime to maintain timetables!).

But contingency plans have become much more elaborate at last, with travelling to London allowed with Southern tickets on South Eastern from Hastings railway station, and buses picking up and dropping off customers at stops along the Brighton/Ashford line; see the Southern website for more details of alternative travel.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Waste and Recycling Collection

Like me, you should have received your latest Waste and Recycling collection calendar, which includes details of collections over the Christmas season. My collection is usually on a Tuesday, but the week after Christmas will be on Wednesday 28th, and back to Tuesday after the New Year but, if you haven't received your collection calendar, you can find out your collection days over the next few weeks at Hastings Borough Council's website.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Movement on the Beach

Now that the 2 new groynes are in place to the east of the Pier, the annual moving pebbles from the east to the west of the beach is being facilitated by 4 trucks and a bulldozer... 

There you go, a nice pile of pebbles!

Then the bulldozer enters the fray to flatten the piles... I had a wee surprise watching this yesterday as the driver of the bulldozer waved at me! It was someone I know, obviously, Graham, who I'd forgotten had told me a couple of months ago that he would be working on the coastal protection scheme here, you just can't hide from anyone in Hastings!

Friday, 16 December 2016

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

OK, like most of us, I already had a copy in my possession of this excellent novel, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, written by Robert Noonan under the pseudonym Robert Tressell. Written over 100 years ago, whilst Noonan was working and living in Hastings and St Leonards, and first published after his death as his daughter, Kathleen, continued with the cause. My older copy is a reprint of the hardback that came out in 1955 containing his full manuscript, and was given to me by my mother over 30 years ago.

But, yesterday, as I was walking past Aquila House, Breeds Place, I noticed they were selling paperback copies of this "Hastings Edition" which was originally published in its centenary year, 2014. This is excellent value, just £2.99 for the full text, information about the author and his family, and relevant photographs of Hastings and St Leonards from over 100 years ago, a pleasure to peruse these old images of Noonan, his daughter, and local buildings, many of which you will recognise still. 

Have a guess which book I bought and have just started re-reading!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Southern update

OK, so no strike today, and talks are set to continue at Acas to try and find a compromise that both sides of the dispute can accept, but don't hold your breath! 

Aslef remain on an overtime ban, and Southern have already warned that, though today isn't a strike day, 'services', though I use the term loosely, will still be disrupted, and the strikes will continue at midnight if there is no resolution at Acas, of course. 

Indeed, I can't see a resolution on the horizon whilst the Government interferes in the background, as I have said on a number of occasions, and supported by the £20 million Government payment to Southern in September, and the estimated £50 million more we're about to pay (see the Telegraph, for example). meaning that us, the UK taxpayers, are paying much too much for a failed rail service. 

Meanwhile, the Mayor of London offers to help sort out the problem, suggesting that the Government allow Transport for London to run the franchise (as I witnessed on BBC news yesterday), and which has been reported on a few times before, but I can't see the Government allowing that... shame on them!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Southern Rail, guess what...

Well, don't expect to see one of these, unless in the sidings, either today, or tomorrow, or, indeed, not on Friday either! It will soon become easier to say when they ARE running, for example, there will be Southern trains running on Thursday, but, don't forget, Aslef  are also not working overtime, so still could be problems... 

Go to the Southern website for further details.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Christmas Beer is Back!

By Steve the Beermeister...

It's that time of year and, for the past few years, we have not only had Harveys 7.5% Christmas Ale available in East Sussex, but also the, much more local Hastings brewed, FILO Our Auld Ale at 6.5%. This is a gorgeous 'Christmas Pudding' of an ale, well worth the visit to the First In Last Out in the old town High Street, rich, but not too sweet, with a dry bitter finish... I had my first pint of the year yesterday, and it's at least as excellent as previous years, cheers!

Saturday, 10 December 2016

This weekend includes...

As always, plenty to do in Hastings and St Leonards, including, at the Lifeboat Station by the Stade today, you are invited to start "the Christmas Season with Coffee and Cake! Tea, Coffee and refreshments plus Cake Stalls! Gifts for sale and Tombola too, A Capella Group 'Now & Then' singing at 12:00, and Hastings Old Town Ukulele Group playing Christmas songs at 13:00... See the lifeboats too!" (website)

Neverland continues on the Pier, with the Snow Slide, Pirate Ship, music, fishing, and much more, including workshops, a Gingerbread competition and a Christmas Market from Sunday 11th; for full details of all that is going on see their website.

Enjoy the weekend, here's hoping the rain stays away!

Monday, 5 December 2016

Southern Rail Saga Continues...

Industrial action continues from midnight tonight, until midnight on Thursday, this time it's the RMT conductor's turn to strike, whilst Aslef drivers continue their 'work to rule' (Southern website). I give up! 

Take away the franchise so we can have decent rail services down here in Sussex!

New Kiosk, Seating et al...

I've given up waiting to post this image, the new kiosk just on the seafront, at the end of the America Ground, to the left, as you look at the photograph, is a new wooden staircase down to the beach, where tons of enormous (Norwegian, I have been advised) rocks are being shaped into 2 groynes! At the public presentation at the White Rock Hotel in June last year (link to relevant blog) I was told that this would be an 'information' kiosk, but artist designs around during the many months this was being constructed appeared to show food and beverages being sold, we'll see...

I had really wanted to wait until this seating, in front of the old baths/Source Park, was available to the public, but, what the heck...

Friday, 2 December 2016

2-4 December, another packed weekend!

This evening, and tomorrow and Sunday evenings, from 5pm to 8pm, sees the Hastings Old Town Traders present 3 Nights of Christmas; for more details see events page.

Now in its third year, Hastings Illustration Festival (HiFest) will be taking place on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December 2016 (11am to 6pm) in a new venue, The Printworks at 14 Claremont; see website for full details.

And lots more as usual, including, on the Pier:

Neverland at Christmas continues, the Snow Slide, Fishing from the Pier, the Pirate Ship, the Hastings Pier Festive Trail, a Vintage and Retro Indoor Market this Saturday and Sunday, you can now buy christmas trees on the Pier too, and, of course, you can promenade on the Pier; further details at their website.

Have fun!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Southern Rail and Christmas Conflict!

Following on from the RMT resting back on industrial action, but with Aslef joining the affray, now Southern aren't entering the Christmas 'spirit' that RMT are, but they appear to be seeking to escalate industrial action in our region, as in, they have decided to take to the Courts to attack the newcomer to the conflict, ie Aslef' and its separate industrial action (see the BBC). When will they ever learn? 

Oh no, I forgot, the Government are supporting Southern to beat the unions (see my previous blog, nearly 4 months ago); obviously they don't give a toss for us customers!

The RMT and Early Christmas Cheer!

The RMT appears to have brought forward their strike from the immediate pre-Christmas dates of  22-24 December, and now to be held for 48 hours from the 19th of December instead (BBC), Christmas cheer from one of the protagonists!