Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Bexhill Rail Station gets blown up by criminals!

Bexhill railway station was blown up by criminals making an illegal withdrawal from a cash machine early this morning! See report.

Congratulations to the FILO Brewing Company!

By Steve the Beermeister:

A little birdy told me that Gold, the 4.8% pale 'premium ale' brewed by the FILO Brewing Company (website) has won the South East Sussex Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) 2017 Beer of the Year prize! Nice one, so... 

I had to visit the 'brewery tap' and try a wee drop of the Gold there, That is, at the First In Last Out (FILO), so you may well have seen me drinking in there, or walking up/down the High Street in the old town yesterday afternoon, and, yes, it was very fine indeed, a well balanced pale golden ale, not too bitter, so meeting the needs of many drinkers, cheers!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Robert de Mortain

Earlier today I passed the Robert de Mortain pub up on The Ridge on my way to visiting someone who had been admitted to the Conquest Hospital, which reminded me that Greene King, the pub's current owners, have put the building up for sale, wanting at least £550,000 for it, according to reports. I'd imagine the competition from the new, very close-by, Conqueror's March, has influenced Greene King's decision to sell, and don't be surprised if a request for change of use gets presented to the Council...

 One side of the original pub sign

The building was originally a lodge house, and, before it became a public house in 1946, it was the Ripon Lodge Hotel.

The other side

So, who was this Robert de Mortain? Well, he was half brother to William the Conqueror (known in 1066 as William the Bastard), and one of his most trusted supporters, being given land all over the country by William, notably, Pevensey, where, in the 1070s whilst Robert lived there, a stone castle replaced the 1066 motte and bailey wooden fort built inside the old Roman walls. It is thought that Robert had also been given the task of building the first Norman stone castle built in England, that is, in Hastings, which William ordered in 1070 to replace the Hastings motte and bailey fort, and also the White Tower in London circa 1078 onwards...

Robert de Mortain was a very busy man and important historically for Hastings, indeed!

Friday, 27 January 2017

Hastings Mardi Gras Ball tomorrow!?!

OK, it may not be Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday, for another month, but the fun this year is being kicked off tomorrow, Saturday 28th January 2017, with the Mardi Gras Ball at The Palace, 37 White Rock! For further details go to website, or see the facebook page.

Rock a Nore Surgery Petition

A petition objecting to the refusal by Hastings Borough Council to approve the 'Change of Use' for the former Ice House has been launched. The completed petition must be submitted to the Council by February 3rd.

Copies of the petition are available at the Roebuck Surgery, High Street, and in the following places in the Old Town.
  • The Stag
  • The FILO
  • Lloyds pharmacy
  • Interiors, 32 High St
  • Nelson House Antiques, 80 High St
  • John Bray
  • Land of Green Ginger
  • Penbuckles
  • Fagins
  • Butlers Emporium, George St
  • The Bourne Stores
The campaigners assert that future provision of G.P. surgeries in the Old Town depends on securing approval by Hastings Borough Council for the revised application. Over 8,500 patients are served by the Old Town surgeries, some live outside the Old Town.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Enjoy your haggis!

I've enjoyed mine! OK, I'm not a Scot, and I don't actually need an excuse to eat haggis, neeps and tatties, because I love the dish, but I have done, yet again, this evening...

Enjoy the rest of Burn's Night, peeps!

He's back!

A hardy soul, though the wind's been kind...

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Full English Breakfasts by the Old Town Seafront.

I haven't visited two of these establishments for a while, but am having some time off eating Full English Breakfasts, as I need to lose weight, but I can't keep putting off this blog, or I'll have to visit all three all over again! Though I probably shall do some time anyway, but not for my next blog about breakfasts (which will be near the seafront again, to the west of the old town though), but the one after that, maybe, so a while to go...

My most recent visit was to the Hastings & St Leonards Angling Association club (virtually opposite the Albion and just to the east of the Crazy Golf courses), where a bargain of a breakfast, and drink, is just £3.50, and they open at 07.00 hours! The only drawback seems to be a dislike of dogs, fair enough, as a friend of mine and his wee mutt weren't allowed in to enjoy a full English brekkie!

OK, it's not the most enormous of breakfasts, but see what you get for just £3.50: a very tasty 'classic' pork sausage (from M&S I believe), a nice thick rasher of bacon, fried egg, black sausage, half a tomato, sauteed potatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, a thick slice of fresh bread (or toast), and a mug of tea or coffee too... Well cooked and presented, and jolly excellent value, many thanks Clare, nice one!

It's a while since I've been here, but I enjoyed a very good value, HUGE, breakfast at the East Hastings Sea Angling Association for a fiver, likely this would cost more now though.

The Full English Breakfast cost £4.45 then, plus sautéed potatoes or chips for another 50p. The breakfast included 1 decent sausage, 2 rashers of very good bacon, 1 fried egg, 2 hash browns, mushrooms, a choice of tomatoes or baked beans (I went for the healthy beans option), and a thick slice of buttered toast. This was good value for a nice breakfast! 

Just after leaving George Street, you come to Taylor's, Marine Parade. I sat looking out of the window here, with a view of the sea too! A very decent breakfast was enjoyed, indeed, for £6.50, the meal includes a tasty Cumberland sausage, 2 good thick rashers of bacon, a fried egg, a choice of tomato or mushrooms (I went for the mushrooms, thank you very much), baked beans, a slice of toast and a mug of tea or coffee, good value... 

The breakfast was well cooked, very tasty, and excellent value, and the service was friendly. I sat in the room up to the left as you walk in (in the photograph, the window on the left under 'cafe'), which felt quite like a home environment, especially when a group of older people sat behind me, enjoying the morning and banter. Taylor's also "doubles up" the breakfast for £11.50, but I'm not sure that even I could eat that much, as I was pretty full eating just the 'normal' breakfast! A vegetarian version of the 'Full English' is available here, without the Cumberland sausage or bacon, of course, but with 2 vegetarian sausages and bubble and squeak included. 
You can sit outside the establishment on the pavement here, which is a bonus in warmer weather, but I shall return to all 3 when I'm a wee bit fitter, no doubt about that! 

Friday, 20 January 2017


News from Hastings Old Town Residents' Association's Spring 2017 Special Newsletter, and not only concerning the old town...

There's more in the newsletter than this blog contains, but, some news and information I thought are worth sharing include that Hastings Borough Council's Aquila House is now called Muriel Matters House, named after the Australian-born suffragette who lived for 20 years in nearby Pelham Crescent from 1949 to 1969 (though it still said 'Aquila House' on the outside of the building this morning).

Important for people living in the old town is that revised plans have been submitted to the council's planning committee for the 'Rock a Nore Surgery' at the old Ice House; that is, a health centre for 2/3 GPs, treatment rooms for physiotherapy etc, a pharmacy, 'healthy eating' cafe, gym, and possibly a dentist and/or an optician.

There are proposals for a new free play facility at the west end of Pelham car park; it is hoped that a 'water play' area will be open this summer (don't hold your breath!).

Parking Income: This was something I wasn't completely aware of, but, the seafront car parks are owned by the Hastings & St Leonards Foreshore Charitable Trust, Hastings Borough Council own the Bourne and other off-street car parks, and on-street parking is operated by a contractor on behalf of East Sussex County Council... Interesting, indeed!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Good-ish Rail News

Aslef and Southern have agreed to have talks, consequently, industrial action by Aslef train drivers has been suspended, meaning that their planned days striking next week have been called off, so trains should be nearer to normal, except on Monday 23rd, when RMT conductors are still expected to strike; see Southern's website for up to date information.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

And then there was none!

He's gone! Great timing by me... I had a chat with a lad at the chippy, and no-one saw when and how he left, oh well, trust his new accommodation is decent...

New Housing Policy?

Down by Pelham Beach, opposite the Albion pub, with Hastings & St Leonards Sea Angling Association behind, and just to the east of the Crazy Golf courses, first one new shelter was built, quickly followed by another two, and some nice raised flower beds.

Since, I have seen up to three individuals sleeping rough here at any one time, in a combination of one or two of the shelters, but now...

Someone appears to have set up home in the middle shelter, the belongings are always there, whatever time, and, despite winds coming from the west recently, the hardy occupant sleeps there every night. Is this an example of affordable housing?

I doubt it helps the chippy opposite though...

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Classroom on the Coast Workshops

A team from Billingsgate Seafood School are coming to Hastings today to provide workshops at Classroom on the Coast, The Stade. A Box of Seafood will be the best of the local catch of the week, and may be dabs, gurnard, whiting, plaice, mackerel, cuttlefish, whatever is caught.  Get a feel for the seasonality of seafood and support local fishermen at the same time. Attendees will learn about the respective species and how to prepare and cook them. There are 2 workshops today, and also more to come on 11th February and 25th March; fee £32 for cost of ingredients, recipes etc (see website). 

Box of Seafood Workshops, Saturday 14th January 2017 
Times: 09.30 to 11.30 and 12.15 to 14.15

Friday, 13 January 2017

Learn a New Skill at the Library!

The latest newsletter from East Sussex Library and Information Service (website) suggests the New Year could be the time to learn a "new skill" - 

"There’s never been a better time to learn new skills with the help of your local Library.
  • Improve your IT skills with the IT for You trainers – learn how to use the internet & email, update your CV, social media and apply for work online
  • Gain qualifications in English, Maths or IT with our Learndirect centres
  • Dip into bite sized online guides on Atomic Training – perfect for getting the hints and tips on your new ipads.  Available to all library customers (you will need to set up and account)
And all sessions and resources are free of charge!

Call 01323 463759 or email Phil.Lanham@eastsussex.gov.uk now for more information or to book your place." 

Please note that all the links above may not work, sorry, if so for you, keep trying!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

More Rail Chaos for Hastings

Southern Railway is again a non-roller today, tomorrow, and on Friday 13th, due to the Aslef strke; see their website for alternative advice, and there's always South Eastern!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Swan Lake

Sorry I haven't written much this year, but I've not been that healthy... anyway, earlier today, I wandered into the old town for a few pints to cheer me up, feeling sorry for myself, and noticed that the boating pond is having its annual clean up...

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

A Gorgeous Public Holiday Monday!

I went out for a walk yesterday, but became inhibited by my chest infection, so cut it shorter to a wander along the seafront...

A lad preparing to fish from the Pier...

The new groynes look pretty pathetic, considering the size of the boulders used!

The drainage pipe is leaking considerably!

The wonderful RX134, Stacey Marie..

Very strange cloud formations, there's a dog there, plus a wee dolphin!

The Red Ensign at the Fishermen's Museum being raised, and..

It's raised!

A close up of the dog and dolphin, and, sadly, just afterwards, I found out that two porpoises had landed dead on the beach on the 1st...