Sunday, 30 April 2017

May Day and Jack in the Green

Refreshments will be served all day at the RNLI Hastings Lifeboat Station. Pop in there and enjoy a cuppa and a cake, see the lifeboats and browse around their well stocked shop! 

May Day fun may also be had at the People's Pier of the Year, including plenty of food and beverage outlets available, and music, motorbikes and scooters from the 1960s! See their website for more details, and details of all events on Hastings Pier. 

Of course, the Pier isn't the only place to see motorbikes this May Day, but thousands will be coming into Hastings, notably to the Pelham Beach car park, which is always closed to other road users on this one day of the year. The arrival of motorbikes is heralded quite early in the morning, when they can be heard coming into town down Queens Road, down both London roads and along the beach road too; another reason to welcome May Day!

OK, to May Day, indeed, and this is May the 1st for a change, and to the Jack in the Green procession, and all that surrounds the event... The Jack will be released from the Fishermen's Museum in Rock-a-Nore Road at 10.15am, according to the programmme, and the procession goes on from there, I'll be in the Dolphin Inn from 9am, because I can be, and I shall bring my own tankard, and, if you don't want to drink out of a plastic beaker, bring your own drinking vessels too! Much more happens before, during, and after, when it arrives at the top of the West Hill, and the Jack is slayed, not far from the bar on the hill! For more details of what else does happen, go to the website.

Enjoy the day, and I should too, cheers! πŸ˜‰

Lots happened already, getting ready!

Bunting up on the West Hill

Notice of road closure on Monday, it happens every year, what the heck!

Bunting at The Stag

Bunting at the Cinque Ports

Giant passing the Cinque Ports, life in Hastings... πŸ˜‰

The Crown in All Saints Street, bunting, and a famous, now local, celebrity (actress) sitting outside, clue: roles include copper and forensic professor...

Bunting & people: the Dolphin Inn

Bunting in East Street

Bunting in George Street

I had to add an image, OK, Morris Dancers!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Labour Politics mixing with May Day, Who'd have thought?

True! Bunting for Jack in the Green and Labour posters side by side up on the West Hill, well I never, who'd have thought?!? πŸ˜‰

Saturday, Sunday...

I'll write again tomorrow about Monday and its events, from the Pier of the Year to the Fishermen's Museum, from whence the Jack will emerge at 10.15... Meanwhile, the Pier continues with its usual activities, and tomorrow will see Morris Dancing on the Pier (website), as a friend posted on facebook earlier, "The bells, the dreaded, unavoidable bells will be heard all over the town." 

Which leads us to the Jack in the Green festivities themselves (website), with, yes you've guessed correctly, even more Morris Dancing, today (Saturday) at Winkle Island from 12 noon until about 4pm, music all over the place, the annual 'special service' at St Clements Church tomorrow at 10am, and the "Drum Off" at Butlers Gap, also tomorrow, at 4.30pm.

So, all this, in addition to the usual Hastings musical, and other, events, and building up to May Day, and... Well, have a good sleep tomorrow night, I'll be down at Rock a Nore by 9am to witness the growing crowds and dressing up, not to mention the arrival of thousands of motorbikes at the Pelham Beach car park, and to drink a few ales!

Remember, drinking from glass is banned in the old town during the festivities on Monday, so be prepared to drink out of plastic, or, more sensibly, bring your own pewter tankard like I shall, cheers!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Jack in the Green Festival Starts Today!

OK, today starts with music, but the Festival carries on until the procession on Monday; see Jack in the Green website for further details. Of course, music continues at all the regular venues as usual, the pubs and bars, and a special Liane Carroll Trio gig at the Kino Theatre, St Leonards, on Sunday, you'll never guess who the other two are... or, you will if you regularly follow music in Hastings!

Of course, the May Day weekend doesn't only mean Jack in the Green, as thousands of motorbikes descend upon Hastings on May Day, which is, indeed, May the 1st this year!

I'll add a couple more blogs this weekend to keep up to date on events over the next few days, and the weather forecast looks good too, so enjoy!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Pet Therapy

A mate of mine, Mark, seems to think I must be a wee bit lonely, because every now and then he tells me what great therapy pets, particularly dogs, can be. Coincidentally, the last time (Tuesday), later in the day I saw the Pet Pals Therapy van outside a nursing home I was walking past; as I didn't have my camera with me, I didn't take a photograph, so I have borrowed this photograph from their website, many thanks. 

I visited the nursing home when I walked by again this afternoon to check the van was actually visiting them the other day and had a chat with one of the staff who told me that, it isn't just cats and dogs they bring, but all types of animals, rabbits, guinea pigs, even a lamb! Apparently, this is great therapy, so I thought I'd share my discovery with you...

Monday, 24 April 2017

Time to sort out Southern Railway?

Is now the time to sort out the mess that is Southern Railway? The BBC report (website) that talks are re-starting to sort out the mess, oops, I mean, to resolve the year-long industrial dispute; it has been a YEAR now, poor long-suffering rail passengers! 

A spokesperson for Southern said: "We're pleased to be meeting the RMT in a bid to try and find a route forward to end their dispute." 

Whilst the RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash, said: "The union welcomes the opportunity to engage with Southern rail in further talks.
"We expect there to be no efforts to undermine these important talks from other parties and that they will be allowed to take place free from external interference." 

Maybe there will now be no further 'efforts to undermine' the talks, being as the Government should now be concentrating on campaigning for the general election, and so should not have the time to interfere (see my blog of last year); unless Peter Wilkinson is given the duty of keeping up the 'good fight' of course! Anyway, fingers crossed...
PS. Amber Rudd never did reply to me! (See blog).

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sussex Wildlife Trust and the General Election.

Sorry, I'm a bit late with this, but still worth a read, what Jess Price, a conservation officer with the Sussex Wildlife Trust, puts forward as a call to action concerning the environment and wildlife in Sussex; see website.

Ales imbibed in Hastings and Winchelsea

By Steve the Beermeister...

A wee wander around Hastings, and a walk out to Pett Level and Winchelsea, via the Royal Military Canal, and some great ales to quench the thirst... OK, it was a wee bit late for St Patrick's Day, but, For the Craic (4.8%), brewed by Box Steam Brewery of Wiltshire (website) is an excellent choice to start with. It is labelled a "Bold Fruity IPA", though not as pale as you would expect from US influenced IPAs these days, being a darker amber colour, but it certainly was "fruity!" This had a strong citrus aroma with a citrus and mango flavour provided by the Azacca hops used. Nice, dry and bitter, I liked this very much... SlΓ‘inte!

My next choice was imbibed at the Jenny Lind in the High Street (website), whilst waiting for laundry in the machines at the laundrette opposite... A very friendly service was provided, and a choice of 10 ales on offer, 6 of which come from local brewers, of which I chose the Franklins Brewing Company's Resurrection (4.2%, website), which was in excellent form, so much so, that I had to have a second pint during the drying, just to make sure it was so good! Pale and hoppy, with grapefruit in the taste, and a lovely refreshing dry finish, another excellent ale, presumably brewed with hops from the USA too.

My penultimate ale for this blog was enjoyed at the Dolphin Inn, Rock-a-Nore Road, as was the For the Craic mentioned at the beginning of this blog. This one was from Kent Brewery (website), their Prohibition (4.8%), and described as an 'American Pale Ale', which is obviously its type! You've guessed it, hops from the USA are used, though they don't disclose which. Anyway plenty of citrus in the aroma and flavour, a lovely pale golden bitter, and pretty damn good!

Finally, sitting opposite the graveyard where Spike Milligan is buried ("I told you I was ill"), we visited the family owned and run New Inn, Winchelsea (website), and enjoyed 1 of the 5 ales on offer. This was Oakham Ales (website) JHB (Jeffrey Hudson Bitter, 3.8%), an excellent ale, plenty of citrus aroma and flavour from the Challenger and Mount Hood hops used, with a refreshing dry bitter finish, cheers!

This was edited from my own blog.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Sussex PCC Misleads Public, but...

So, although the Sussex PCC, Katy Bourne, misled the public, she gets off the hook, because the Independent Police Complaints Commission said "it was "unlikely" to have affected the Sussex PCC election." That's OK then, she can lie with impunity, hmmm... 

See BBC website for further information.

Friday, 21 April 2017

A Quieter Weekend, 22nd-23rd April 2017, perhaps...

Well, it should be a quieter weekend following Easter last week, and in-between that and May Day and next weeks Jack in the Green Festival (website) Friday 28th April to Monday 1st May, with music and fun all weekend... 

Anyway, this weekend could provide the opportunity to have a walk along the seafront to Bexhill and visit the excellent De La Warr Pavilion, with a last chance to see the free exhibition that ends 1st May In a Dream You saw a Way to Survive and You were Full of Joy, plus, until June 18th George Shaw's My Back to Nature, also free. I visited a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised, considering what it costs to see a similar number of paintings/sculptures at the Jerwood! See the De La Warr's website for these and other events, or just visit to enjoy the building itself and/or have a coffee and one of the tasty cakes they sell! 

Or, if you'd prefer a shorter stroll, walk out and promenade on the National Pier of the Year 2017, which appears to be quiet this weekend too, though a drink or a meal there isn't such a bad idea; see website. And pubs and clubs will continue with their usual music sessions from St Leonards through to Rock-a-Nore, Hastings Fishermen's Museum, Rock-a-Nore Road in the old town is always worth a visit (website), crazy golf, Alexandra Park, or just walk along the Promenade, whichever, enjoy the relative peaceful weekend, next week will be more demanding! πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

End to Fixed-term Parliaments Shock!

So, despite continually saying she would not hold a 'snap election', at least 7 times on film, our Prime Minister wants to hold a general election on June the 8th 2017, that looks like a 'snap election' to me, and an end, probably, to the 2011 Fixed-term Parliaments Act following just one general election held under that Act of Parliament!

So, in what will be the most important general election of my lifetime, it will be important to vote, subsequently, to register to vote. You cannot now register in time for the May local elections, but you can for this coming general election (I've just checked on-line at the Government website). So, if not already on the register, I'd advise you do register as soon as possible, because I wouldn't be surprised to see that opportunity disappear soon in the current international climate of tyranny, so I'd also recommend you vote to end the growing single party state in Britain, a disunited kingdom... We need a coalition government that genuinely reflects all opinions in this country NOW!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Stade Walks back today!

Starting today, Saturday 15th, at 11.00, the first of many free guided Stade Walks this year, meeting outside the Fishermen's Museum in Rock-a-Nore Road; another Stade Walk will be held tomorrow (sorry, a bit late, but I just found out about this!), then the timetable changes a bit, go to the Old Hastings Preservation Society website for more details. Also, don't forget the Tuesday Old Town Walks which start  on May 2nd! 

These are free, but donations to the Fishermen's Museum are appreciated, many thanks!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Easter Weekend Fun has already started!

Tomorrow, Saturday 15th April,, 11am to 3pm at Hastings Lifeboat Station, is a fun day for Easter, including an Easter Bonnet competition, Shanty Singing, Refreshments and Cake, Tombola, and more fun... and you can even meet the Easter Bunny! See website

But Easter fun has already started today, and continues throughout the weekend, of course, including on Hastings Pier with an Easter Egg Trail and Family Workshops every day and including Monday, in addition to most of the usual events, bars and restaurant (see website), and the Easter Egg Hunt in conjunction with the White Rock Theatre today and tomorrow (see website).

In addition, an Easter Egg Hunt at Hastings Castle tomorrow, Saturday 15th (see website), an Easter Egg Hunt has been ongoing for a while now at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Bohemia Road, continuing until Sunday (see website), and the Shark Trust Easter Egg Case Hunt Trail and Easter Colouring at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Rock-a-Nore Road (see website), even a friend of mine is having an 'Egg Hunt' in his garden, but he doesn't want me to publicize that, it's for grandchildren! πŸ˜‰

I'm sure there are many more Easter events, plus music in pubs and bars all over town, indeed, something for everyone, enjoy!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Hastings Lifeboat and Lifeguard called out today.

Photograph taken during Sunday's Exercise

The lifeboat, and coastguard, were called out earlier today when a male teenager was reported to be at Cliff End, near Pett Level. After 2 hours he was talked down from the cliff, the police took him into custody, and the lifeboat returned to Hastings; see website.

Respect to the RNLI, cheers!

Monday, 10 April 2017

More grumpy news...

OK, well we knew that the Harold Place public toilets were closing down, following cut-backs thanks to central government reducing their grant to Hastings again, this year by over £2,000,000, and here's the evidence...

And, likely an affront to Southern Railway users, the railway company has nearly doubled the pay of their most senior director, Charles Horton, from £263,000 per annum to £478,000 plus a bonus of £17,000, presumably, as he's been doing such a good job (for the Government and its attack on the unions?). Oh well...

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Good Sad News...

Down at Rock-a-Nore yesterday I was expecting to enjoy one of Pat & Tush's Fishermen's Rolls, but they weren't there! Though, as you can see from the flying red ensign, the Fishermen's Museum was open, now back to its summer opening times until 31st October; ie 10am to 5pm; see website for further details of this excellent museum run by the registered charity, the Old Hastings Preservation Society.

So, why good news, well, I was wondering aloud to Johnny Swan that Pat and Tush were missing out on sales on this wonderful day, maybe they were saving stock for Sunday and an even nicer day forecast? Hadn't I heard, asked Johnny, they've retired! So, good news for them, retiring, but bad news for us, as the end of an institution, the Fishermen's Roll, here's one made earlier in my life, thanks for the memories...and have a great retirement, though I'd be surprised if they retire completely! πŸ˜‰

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Rail Details for Today

Another day with our train 'service' from Hastings effected by industrial action in the South and South-East, due to conductors on strike, ie RMT members who are employed by Southern Railway, (again rail services up north with Northern and Merseyrail are also involved today)... If you need to travel on Southern before midnight, here is a link to what's been arranged to account for a disrupted service on Southern's website.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Register to vote, or...

There's voting for East Sussex County Council councillors on the 4th of May... if you're not already on the register to vote, do register, eg online, see Government website; then exercise your right to vote, similarly, if you are on the electoral register, do vote!

Ice Cream back on the Seafront!

OK, it's been sold along the seafront for ages now, but seeing the cycle-cart and umbrella again makes me think the winter's over... fingers crossed 😎

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Another lovely day in Paradise...

OK, it's the Easter holidays, which is good for the town, and the weather is lovely, and blue sky thinking doesn't come into this! But the town is thriving today, 'Swan Lake' is back in business, for example, and...

The miniature railway is too, thankfully not run by Southern! πŸ˜‰

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Yet More Rail Chaos to Come!

Members of the Aslef union (drivers) have rejected the second deal in the long-running dispute over driver-only operated trains on Southern Railway, voting by 372 votes (51.8%) to 346 (48.2%) against the proposed deal, see Aslef website.
Aslef General secretary Mick Whelan said: "We understand and support the decision arrived at in a democratic vote." Govia Thameslink Railway (Southern's owners) said it was "hugely disappointing..." 
With Aslef re-joining the fray, and the RMT (conductors) still in it, and in other areas of the country too, we can expect even more disruption of our local railways, nice to live in Hastings, indeed, at least we have South Eastern to use if we want to travel afar (cars and coaches notwithstanding, of course!), thank you Government!

Monday, 3 April 2017

All Our Politics in Hastings...

Sky News are broadcasting their All Out Politics show from the Jerwood Gallery, Rock-a-Nore Road in the old town, this morning. Part of the show will be a discussion about Brexit with 4 local people...

Could be worth a watch, if I had Sky tv!

Hastings Pier Wins 2017 National Award!

This news is so hot off the press that, at the time of writing, it's not even on the National Piers Society's (NPS) own website yet! So, Hastings Pier has been voted in as the National Pier of the Year 2017, with the NPS president, Gavin Henderson praising the pier as "truly a phoenix!" Go to the BBC website for an excellent article.

Excellent news, congratulations must go to the Hastings Pier Charity, trustees, volunteers, indeed, congratulations to the people of Hastings for supporting the People's Pier!