Friday, 30 September 2016

October fishing from Hastings Pier, and lots of it!

There's plenty of fishing from Hastings Pier during October, for further details, go to Paul's Tackle Shop: also, from his facebook page:  "October fishing 7 days a week: 

Day fishing £5 x 1 rod, £8 x 2 rods)
Monday-Wednesday: 9am - 4.30pm
Thursday: 9am - 8pm
Friday: 9am - 9pm
Saturday: 8.30am - 9pm
Sunday: 8.30am - 5pm
Fishing will not be possible on Monday 10th October, due to an event on the pier.

Night fishing in October on the following days, 5pm – 8am: (£10 for 2 rods)
Sat 1st 
Fri 7th
Sat 8th
Fri 14th
Fri 21st
Sat 22nd
Fri 28th
Night fishing on Sat 15th & Sat 29th won’t be possible due to events on the pier.
Bookings and payments taken in advance or on the day on a first come first served basis through Pauls Tackle Hastings:
Tel: 01424 433404 "

Keep up the good work Paul, cheers!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

No Jamie Oliver, now no Health Centre!

It was disappointing when finding out that Jamie Oliver's team were not impressed enough that they would turn the former Ice House in Rock-a-Nore Road into a restaurant, now, on reading the Hastings Old Town Residents' Association's latest news letter, planning permission has been refused by the Council to turn this into a state of the art Health Centre, copied from HOTRA's October Parish News:

"Briefly  their reasons are 1] lack of available parking and poor patient access; 2] loss of existing use as tourist accommodation; 3] not enough provision for waste." 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Saxons are coming!

With thanks to English Heritage, the Saxons are heading down from York, on horseback and on foot, to join in the 950th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Hastings, aiming to arrive at the battlefield, conveniently in Battle, on Hastings Day, presumably, to join in the rest of the re-enactment fun after re-enacting Harold's army's trek.

My money is on them losing the battle again! 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Music on the Pier and Fishing from the Pier!

There's been quite a lot of music on Hastings Pier recently, and well-supported too, I've borrowed these images from the Pier's facebook page, many thanks!

Happy Mondays

And don't forget, there is fishing from the Pier every weekday this week (26-30 September) 10am to 8pm. From Paul's Tackle facebook page

Price per session will be £5 - 1 rod £8 - 2 rods maximum.
Tickets will be issued (from Pauls Tackle) for each session, carried at all times and available for inspection.
Maximum 20 anglers at any one time.
Signs for rules and general info will located around the pier.
Bookings and payments taken in advance or on the day on a first come first served basis through Pauls Tackle Hastings:
Tele: 01424 433404

Friday, 23 September 2016

Hastings Weekend: Pier & Beyond!

After a full weekend with an eclectic mix of music last week, again, areas of the Pier are closed this weekend due to a Pier Jam this Saturday (24th), with 2 outdoor stages and room for 2,500 people to enjoy the DJ talent on display (website); please note that Early Bird tickets are sold out, but Final Release tickets are still available. Also, on the Pier this Sunday, there will be a Wedding Fair from 11.00, and a Wedding Dress Walk, for all those who thought they may never wear their dresses again, starting at 10.00, and in aid of raising funds for St Michael's Hospice (website).

Of course, the Festival of Contemporary Arts, Root 1066, continues with numerous events around town, including The Story of Hastings in 66 Objects at the Museum, I Am A Norman, seven Hastings choirs performing Barefoot Opera/CLASH in the atrium at Sussex Coast College, and the Feast of the Dead at the Stade Hall has its final performance on Sunday evening; see website for full details.

And, if you want to go a bit further afield and partake in some exercise, the annual Sussex Walking Festival starts this weekend, 24th September to 2nd of October 2016, a joint event that is organised by Eastbourne Borough Council and Wealdon District Council. For full details of a wide variety of walks, and variety of difficulty and length, go to the Sussex Walking Festival website.

Whatever you do this weekend, either partaking in these specific events, visiting the beach, castle, aquarium, museums, restaurants, pubs and clubs and music, or whatever, enjoy!

Sculpture on the Beach Photographs

A few more photographs at different times...

And looking towards the Pier...

See blog from last week for further information.

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Amsterdam

The tides are right out now, so time to take advantage and walk out to the wreck of the Amsterdam at Bulverhythe, quality! 

Keep on keeping on!

A sign on the seafront... at least some Hastings folk are keeping up the stance against anti-social behaviour exhibited by a Hastingers minority, dog poo, riding cycles on the pavement (and I WAS very nearly hit by a cycle earlier on today, lucky for the cyclist concerned he didn't hit me!), and, even more dangerous, speeding and mounting pavements in Hastings narrow streets (recent blog) has to be stopped!

Southern Rail plans yet another timetable "shakeup"

As if this isn't already a political battle between the Government and unions and rail users, and, make no mistake about it, it isn't just about the Government attacking the unions, it's also about using us Southern rail commuters and other rail users as pawns in their battle against the RMT, as I've suggested before... and it really is time to bring the railways back under democratic control, not allowing Government ministers' friends to make even more money out of taxpayers and rail users, as they do now (see BBC website).

Update on marooned booby...

I found this update on the RSPCA facebook page: 

"Mallydams Woods News:
Wildlife rehabilitation team manager Richard Thompson said: “The booby bird is doing well considering just how weak and dehydrated he was when he came in. He is improving slowly but surely.

“We have been keeping a close eye on him and keeping him warm with heat lamps. As you can see in the video, he has just started eating sprats - a type of small fish - which he is being hand fed for the moment and has started to put on a little bit of weight - which is fantastic news!"

See my recent blog about his 'adventure' and go to the RSPCA facebook page for a video of how the lost Red-Footed Booby looks now, nice one Mallydams! 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Free Guided Stade Walk this morning.

Don't forget that the Old Hastings Preservation Society (OHPS) provide for a guided walk around the Stade Fishing Quarter this morning, meeting up at the Fishermen's Museum in Rock-a-Nore Road at 11am. The walk is free and lasts about 90 minutes, and you are guided by an experienced volunteer; so any donations to Hastings Fishermen's Museum would be most welcome, many thanks (website).

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Rare Wildflower thrives in Hastings Castle!

One of the UK’s rarest wildflowers thrives in the historic ruins of Hastings Castle.

The Lesser Calamint (Calamintha nepata), is extremely rare and found in only a few sites in the UK. It is believed that, because the castle grounds have remained virtually undeveloped for centuries, this has allowed the flower to survive.

Hastings Castle’s Leanna Lawson said: “A member of our staff decided to find out more about this mysterious flowering shrub which appeared to be growing out of the side of one of the castle’s remaining walls.

“She sent a description and image of it to a local expert who confirmed it was lesser calamint and went on to say the castle was the only known site in the town where it grew. The plant is also only found at a few isolated sites across the country and is increasingly threatened by development and building works.

“We’re delighted the castle has been able to protect such a rare species for such a long time and we are doing our best to look after it and to encourage it to grow and spread within the castle grounds,” she added.

The leaves of this self-seeding plant smell of mint and oregano and, in Italy, the leaves are ground up and used as a culinary herb. The plant reaches a height of 18 inches and the lavender pink flowers attract bees and butterflies.

  • Hastings Castle, Castle Hill Road, West Hill, Hastings TN34 3AR. For more information visit or call 01424 718776.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Fishing from Hastings Pier Latest!

Sorry, but I only just found out, so missed this week! 

"It has been agreed with the pier charity that day fishing be allowed during the day in September on the following dates:
Fishing will be on:
12-14th September (Mon - Wed)

20-23rd September (Tue - Thur)
26-30th September Mon- Fri)
Fishing times each day are 10 am – 8 pm.
Price per session will be £5 - 1 rod £8 - 2 rods maximum.
Tickets will be issued (from Pauls Tackle) for each session, carried at all times and available for inspection.
Maximum 20 anglers at any one time.
Signs for rules and general info will located around the pier.
Bookings and payments taken in advance or on the day on a first come first served basis through Pauls Tackle Hastings:
Tele: 01424 433404

Updates for October, which will be more relaxed will be posted late September." 

I found the above information on his facebook page, cheers Paul!

Seafood & Wine Festival 17th-18th September 2016

Following the opening Ska music this evening (see my last blog), the weekend sees the annual Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival at The Stade, 17-18 September (see website for more details). Because it is the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings this year, there will be a 1066 theme, indeed, come dressed as a Saxon or Norman and claim a free festival glass! Of course, there is much to do and see: locally caught fish, wines and other local produce, FILO bar with locally brewed real ales, seafood cooking sessions in the Classroom on the Coast, guided walks, and much music and merry making!

This all continues on Sunday, but with the added bonus of a very reasonably priced Jazz Breakfast with local, and internationally acclaimed, jazz musician and singer Liane Carroll in the morning; £15 for adults and £10 for children, I'd hate to think what you'd need to pay to see her in Ronnie Scotts or elsewhere in London! 

The price includes a free wristband for the rest of the festival, otherwise, admission is by wristband on the day costing £2, or £1 if bought in advance at the Tourist Information Centre in Breeds Place opposite the fountain, where tickets for the Jazz Breakfast can also be bought, though only limited tickets for that event, so good luck!

Music Galore, plus more, this Weekend!

Music galore, notably 3 gigs on the Pier, but not just there! 

The weekend kicks off with Dizzee Rascal on the Pier this evening (Friday), and the weather forecast suggests the rain should have eased up later with, mostly, light showers this evening, still not good, but certainly better than what's outside right now! Much of the Pier will be closed off over the weekend to facilitate the music, please see the website for details of gigs and other events on and around the Pier.

Tomorrow, on the Pier, Happy Mondays are playing, supported by ORB, and on Sunday, The Levellers play. The weather forecast is much better for the rest of the weekend and, should you not have tickets, I am sure you'll be able to have fun still, and hear the sounds, in the area, an eclectic mix indeed!

Of course, this being Hastings, there's very much more this weekend, and music all over the shop too! Not least the Seafood & Wine Festival, of which I'll write more later, with a music tent on the Stade Beach, commencing with Ska and Blue Beat this evening with the Two Tones and Mighty Sounds; for details of the weekend music see the website.

Search elsewhere for music, of course, as there's plenty, eg the Jenny Lind and the Dolphin Inn have music this evening and tomorrow evening... and the Route 1066 Arts Festival continues (website), not to mention the free guided walks of the Stade provided Saturday and Sunday mornings, starting at 11am, by the Old Hastings Preservation Society (website), and the regular weekly 'fun' 5km Parkrun that starts Saturday morning at 9am at Seaside Road, opposite the Bo-Peep, to the Pier and back (website).

Have fun!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Sculpture on the Beach.

Very early today I noticed that this sculpture of a Norman Long Boat is already on display on the beach as part of the Route 1066 arts festival, which celebrates the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, but, for some reason, I had the idea it was to be at St Leonards, but no, I was wrong! 

It's very much east of the Pier! See website, and this photograph...

Also, have I ever reported that the Normans were actually the descendants of Vikings? Well, they were! See this website for further information.

Running down people in the High Street!

I only found out earlier today that a very well-known local older man was very nearly run over in the High Street on Saturday evening! He now has a very pronounced black eye due to his avoidance tactics, thank God he dodged the offending vehicle... he has since visited his GP with his eye, and also because he has badly damaged his right arm... 

This is a man who doesn't want to make a fuss, God bless him, but, sooner or later, someone will be very seriously injured, maybe killed, in the High Street! Ostensibly, it is a 20 MPH speed limit, but, the young man who nearly hit this very well know local with his car, was driving well over 20 MPH and drove up onto the pavement! He didn't even stop to make sure the victim was OK!

I wrote over a year ago that Sussex Police weren't even threatening to prosecute people breaking the speed limit in Hastings (blog), but something needs to happen urgently! First, the Police have to ensure drivers obey the law, second, "Sleeping Policemen", at least, have to be introduced to the High Street, because I never want to have to report that a local person has been killed here...

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Seafront Kiosks...

Excuse me for being away, no access to a laptop (I really do like having a break!), but I'm back in Hastings and, this morning, well, the kiosk at the bottom of the America Ground on White Rock Promenade is still nowhere near finished, I've seen houses built 3 times as fast! Surely this should have been completed before the Summer season started, but then, it will be, I presume... Summer 2017!

Now I see that there is a proposal for another kiosk to the west of the Pier, above Bottle Alley (see HBC website for details regarding "Expressions of Interest"). The closing date is  the 28th of October 2016... and built by 2018, if the other kiosk is anything to go by!

Friday, 9 September 2016

Art for Art's Sake...

OK, made of seashells this time, and on the beach-ish, and here all the time! 

And so much more to come, including the 1066 Country Cartoon Festival and a rather exciting looking light show on Saturday, the iy_project based on the Pier, but directed about town! For further information of all events see the Route 1066 website.

Fun, fun, fun... not to mention Arts Festivals!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

More Southern Rail Industrial Action.

South Eastern trains should be running as usual, however, Southern's service was disrupted again yesterday, as it will be today; see their website for up to date news.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Galapagos Islands to St Leonards Beach!

Usually an inhabitant of the Galapagos Islands, this Red Footed Booby was found washed up on St Leonards beach on Sunday! This marvelous seabird was found to have poor 'feather condition' and is now being cared for by East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS). For further information go to the WRAS website.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Root 1066 and Old Town Walk continue...

The Root 1066 Festival of Contemporary Arts continues, of course, until the 16th of October, including the ongoing The Story of Hastings in 66 Objects at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, and, at various locations, The Flat Pack Castle and I Am A Norman (see website for more details, and details of other events).

Tuesday afternoon also sees the regular free Old Town Guided Walk, meeting up at 2.30pm by the top of the West Hill Lift. See the Old Hastings Preservation Society (OHPS) website for more details of this and their other guided walks. Although the walk is free, the OHPS, a registered charity, always appreciates donations, many thanks!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Coastal Currents: Harriett Macaree...

The Arts Festivals are everywhere! Just now I was walking through St Andrews Square in the centre of town, and there was an "Open Studio" for Harriet Macaree (Coastal Currents website), who is also participating as part of the Azzur performance at the Stade Open Space this evening; see my blog earlier today! 

Worth a visit, art is everywhere in Hastings! 

Arts Festivals: Coastal Currents Does Root 1066!

To celebrate this October's 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, Coastal Currents does Root 1066, and this photograph, taken yesterday morning in Bottle Alley suggests the beginning of this 3rd September to 16th October joint cultural exercise; sadly damaged, whether by philistines or weather conditions I cannot guess, though I have my suspicions! Actually, Coastal Currents finishes 2 weeks earlier, and, as there is so much going on, please click to this link for full details of events.

For further details of the events of the full, 2 weeks longer, Root 1066, please click on this link. Of course, Stade Saturdays also links into the whole event, with, this evenings free event at the Stade Open Space, at 7.30pm, Azzur, "respected professionals from the Nice arts scene, specialising in jazz, improvised music and visual art." See Hastings Borough Council's website for further details.

Enjoy the weekend, and the next 6 or 7 weeks! 

Friday, 2 September 2016

Hastings Old Town Hall Association response to the Council's Solution.

See my previous blog last month (link), here is the HOTHA response.

1st September 2016 from Hastings Old Town Hall Association

Dear Peter 

Having had time to digest your response of 19th July the Hastings Old Town Hall Association would like to make the following response:

We are obviously disappointed that the Association was not given the opportunity to progress its ideas for community use of the Old Town Hall. We also regret that no one came back to us with these questions as many of the answers were in the business plan.

There seems to have been a fundamental misunderstanding as we prepared a plan for the trial period as discussed with you. Because this was an untried idea for the Old Town community it was important to give it space and time to develop whilst the full potential for this mixed use could be more accurately estimated. It was your idea to offer a trial period which formed the basis of our weekly meetings from March to July.

In response to your bullet points, which we have numbered for ease of reference, our comments/answers are as follows;-
1 Opening Hours – our proposed hours would have been tailored to meeting the needs of visitors, especially in regard to the shop which would also have served as a local information point –much needed in the Old Town.
The shop was intended to sell popular tourist items mainly sourced from local business such as Judges [Postcards] as well as locally produced arts and crafts.
The wider community use of the building would mean that at specific times during the day and evening different groups would be using the spaces, some of these would also have been for a public audience. The list of ideas and commitments to use on page 9 would spread over a week.
The essence of the proposal was that shared use of the building implies careful programming to allow the various groups to succeed in their aims. You will see the proposed hire fees were modest and affordable by small and experimental local groups.

2 The list of uses is on page 9, some activities have names beside them where a person or group representative had made a commitment. The time we spent from March to July using our website, Parish News and weekly meetings was our research of the demand, not all of which was Old Town based.

3 One of the key supporters and potential trustee was an experienced volunteer co-ordinator and had offered her services. There was a large mailing list and offers of help to draw on.

4 Retail activity – craft and antique fairs were included in the list of proposed uses and interest had been received in respect of these. Local artists and crafts people had expressed interest in selling their works on commission. Consideration had been given to meeting the needs of the huge numbers of foreign language students. Quality souvenirs were to be stocked as on the list at page 9

5 We found no lack of people wanting to use this unique space. It’s prime site and historic character gives it an appeal that a free room over a pub and church halls lack. Many groups who had expressed an interest have been unable to identify spaces at reasonable charges within the Old Town for their activities. During our discussion period more than 40 groups contacted us to express interest in hiring the spaces. Almost all of these signed up to the idea of a community hub and offered to play a bigger role in it. Our website was active from the end of March as a first point of contact and our mailing list continues to grow. Part of the idea evolving was that activities would be enabled to develop and spill over into other local venues; for example rehearsal and performance.

6 and 7 The status and proposed legal organisation of the Old Town Hall Association was made clear on pages 2 and 3. It would have been presumptive to apply for Charitable Incorporated Association status before we had firm offer of a lease. The main impetus throughout our discussions came from at least 10 vastly experienced people committed to making the idea work. It was evident that members of the group and proposed trustees had a wealth of experience in both business and education and in running successful community projects. The financial acumen they offered was considerable. The CVs of proposed trustees were included in the plan pages 10 – 12.

8 We felt there was sufficient enthusiasm, experience and commitment to run the centre for the first year on a voluntary basis. The development of roles and responsibilities was being developed and would continue to do so over that year, using the experience gained from managing this unique project. This would have been one of the major spin offs of the social benefit of the project, the potential for which we feel was considerable.

9 Set up costs – In addition to a summary of our approach included on page 4. An application had been made to the Foreshore Trust towards set up costs.

10 Accountancy, auditing and legal services were being provided pro bono. Marketing – a large part of this would also be voluntary and provision sought in grant applications. There are a significant number of recently retired professionals willing to assist and their expertise would be invaluable.

11 Planning fees- We did ask if a change of use was required but have had no answer to this. It is true to say that we were disappointed that we did not receive more timely advice after more than 6 weeks. No major works were proposed until after the trial period when we could reasonably assess what was needed and how to achieve it.

12 Our plan was not a business but a community venture and this is what is missing from HBC’s response. We are seeking to use a Community Asset for the benefit of the community, it needs to generate enough to ‘wash it’s face’ but not a large profit. The profit to the town is the level of community activity and interest generated in providing a sustainable use for this much loved building. We feel a great opportunity has been missed to encourage this new community group to flourish and reach its potential in the use of an important building. Probity underpinned all our discussions; firstly to make sure we covered all of our unavoidable running costs and secondly, to help user groups develop their activities. The support of such groups being part of the role of local authorities, as is partnership working to such ends. Serious consideration and much work was given to developing an application to the Coastal Communities Fund. Their advice in discussions was to delay an application until the next round of funding, essentially by that time we anticipated having a legal entity and a lease

Our understanding of a Community Asset is that it enables a Local Authority to utilise a building for the community and without the need for a commercial rent. On 14th May 2015 the Old Town Hall was declared a ‘Community Asset’ for a period of 5 years. The current use proposed does not embrace the whole community nor does it offer the wider benefits and added value of our proposal. We recognise the financial constraints on HBC but we also believe that community initiatives such as Hastings Old Town Hall Association’s offered wide and lasting benefits to the community on many levels. In our view the Council have missed a unique chance to build on the coming together of local people [not just from the Old Town] to develop a real community asset.

We wish Anna Beck well if she does take the building. However from the information available we fail to see a ’full rent’ of the nature advertised being sustained. We are concerned that if this idea does not succeed there is a possibility the lease will be sold on for an inappropriate use. Can you reassure us that should the tenant wish to surrender the lease it will revert to the Council and cannot be sold on? 

Anne Scott on behalf of Hastings Old Town Hall Association.

White Rock Promenade Trees and stuff!

Early morning walks for me, before it gets too hot to walk in the sun, and views of the new trees planted along the White Rock Promenade...

It's coming along, though the Pier looks a wee bit empty now!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

£20,000,000 more?!?

£20,000,000 fund (from us, the taxpayers, it appears!) to improve a 'service' run by a private company for profit, Southern, but why oh why? Private railways do NOT work, hence, why they were 'socialised' or nationalised after World War II, in the first place, and the only rail company that has contributed to the Exchequer rather than drain money in recent years was East Coast, after it was 'socialised' by the last Labour government, before it was again sold off, to Virgin, this time! For example, see the BBC website.

Southern don't need even more taxpayers money to cosy their wee nest, it needs to be shut down, it is inefficient, it needs to be excised from the public purse and a new socialised rail company to be instituted in its place! 

And why oh why are our NHS doctors being demonised yet again (BBC), and being accused of playing politics?!? We were promised, by Brexiteers, like the (now) Foreign Secretary, that another £350,000,000 would be available a week if we voted to leave the European Union, did they lie, or were they playing politics?!? Of course they did both, and, sadly, our NHS is being attacked again... 

Hastings is being shafted by the Government in more than one way these days... not just the over the national average reduction of government funding that has occurred in recent years, now our Health Service and Railways are being endangered, sad days...