Our secretary, Steven, has been trying to find out what became of the Town Guns: five miniature cannons that were fired, usually on the West Hill, at ceremonial events such as Coronations and Royal Visits to the Town. A search of the H & St. L Observer newspaper archive suggests that the last official firing was on the occasion of the Prince of Wales’ visit in 1927. So what happened to them after that?
We had hoped all the Guns were in storage at Hastings Museum. Steven’s inquiry revealed that there is no mention of them in the archive records at the Museum; but after a requested search by the staff one of the guns has now been found there. So what has become of the other four cannons? It has been suggested that they were melted down for the ‘war effort’ (WWII). However, one person says she has a vague memory of the Guns (i.e. more than one) being displayed outside the Museum at one time. Does anybody else remember seeing them outside the Museum? It is a shame if they have been lost, as they were such an important part of the Town’s ceremonial heritage. But at least we still have one of them. Perhaps we can put it to use one day? (Matter in hand – news of which in due course.)
The featured photo is – ‘Royal Salute’ (on the occasion of coronation of George V, 22 June 1911) is H & St. L Observer, Saturday 24 June 1911.