Newsletter: Issue 14 (27 June 2019)

Apply Now for Free West Hill Festival Concert Tickets

As announced in previous newsletters, Hastings & St. Leonards Society is organising a West Hill (Hastings) Community Festival over the weekend of 20 – 22 September as part of our West Hill Local Heritage Project. The project is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. All events at the festival are free and we open with a concert at Emmanuel Church on Friday 20 September, 7.30 pm start (doors open 7.00 pm). The highly regarded Benyounes Quartet performs string quartets by Haydn (opus 76 no. 1 in G major), Mendelssohn (opus 12 no. 1 in E flat major) and Debussy (opus 10 in G minor). There will be a refreshments interval. The event is strictly for ticket holders only. Each H & St. L Society member can apply now for up to four tickets (subject to availability) by e-mailing

By accepting a free ticket you agree to use the ticket, but if you find you are unable to attend then pass the ticket on to somebody who will use it (notify us that you have done so as all ticket issues are being logged) or return to us. This free concert is a good opportunity for people of all ages, who have not been to a professional classical music concert before, to sample the experience and find out what they have been missing. We hope many of our members, with friends and relatives, will attend this event and other events during the Festival weekend.
Emmanuel Church committee has asked us to provide one or two trained firstaiders for the concert. If you are a trained first-aider and willing to attend in this capacity, please let us know at above e-mail address.

Other festival Events

We have not yet finalised the programme of events for the weekend of the community festival, but are pleased that several groups and individuals have proved keen to support the festival. An exhibition on the history of the West Hill is to be at the Community Centre on both the Saturday and the Sunday, from 10 am to 4 pm, and there are some performances by local groups in the Centre as well over the weekend. Morris Dancing and drumming performances will take place near the café on the Saturday, and Emmanuel Church is holding an Open Day on the Saturday from 12–4 pm. Other events are being added, and it should be quite an entertaining weekend for all age groups. Updates on the programme for the festival and the progress of the history research will be maintained on our website (
Again, it would be good to have one or two trained first-aiders over the weekend of the festival; also a few stewards/marshals. We hope some of our members will be willing to oblige. Please let us know. (We have PLI cover up to £10m for all our events.)

Oral History session

As part of the West Hill Local Heritage project, the Society is holding an oral history session at the West Hill Community Centre (junction of Croft Road and Bembrook Road, Hastings TN34 3JT) on Wednesday 3 July, from 10 am to 12.30 pm. Members of the public are invited to come along and share their reminiscences of the West Hill (Hastings). Tea and coffee with biscuits are being provided free of charge (one or two helpers to serve the refreshments would be appreciated). No need to book to take part in the event. We have several members who currently live on the West Hill, so we hope you will be able to attend the session – reminiscences don’t have to date back to the war years to be interesting and relevant!
We intend to hold a similar event further on into the project and this will be during an evening or weekend. We can also visit you to record your reminiscences if this is more convenient. We are pleased that local group ‘Arts on Prescription’ is assisting us in the oral history sessions.

Open Meeting

There was a H & St. L Society Open Meeting on Monday 10 June, at the White Rock Hotel. The main item on the agenda was John Bownas, H & St. L Society committee member and Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) Manager, reporting on the activities of BID and outlining the strategy for the Town Centre’s future. There was also an update on situations at the St. Leonard’s Church (area) and West Marina former bathing pool site.
Another speaker at the meeting was artist Luciana Haill, who gave a presentation on the ‘Apparitions’ art project. ‘Apparitions’ is a new augmented reality app and art project that reveals the ghosts of historic lost landmarks in the Borough, evoking a “nostalgia for lost futures”: for example, the Albert Memorial Clock Tower and St. Leonards Pier. Luciana demonstrated how AR and digital new media art have the ability to preserve architecture and social memory beyond a site’s physical demise.

Coach Trips

The Society ran a coach trip to Standen House and Gardens (National Trust), near East Grinstead, for the tulip festival on 8 April. Although the day started with steady rain, we had some sunshine in the afternoon and a very enjoyable outing.
This ‘Arts and Crafts’ property was most interesting, and the gardens were full of spring colour.
We had planned a trip to West Hoathly to visit The Priest House and then on to Luctons for the National Garden Scheme open day on Sunday 7 July. However, this trip has been cancelled as insufficient bookings received. It seems that the date was unsuitable for many of those who would like to have gone along. We
may reschedule the group visit to The Priest House (15th century timber-framed farmhouse and museum of folklore) for autumn.

Membership Secretary required

As advised in the last Newsletter, Abi Callaghan, our original Membership Secretary, resigned due to her forthcoming studies at university, and we are sill looking for a replacement. The work involved is to maintain a record of membership to the Society, take in membership forms and annual subscriptions, make payments into our bank account (and inform our treasurer) and issue receipts. If you are willing to take up this post please e-mail the secretary at usual address.


We are pleased to have Hana assisting the H & St. L Society committee with publicity work. Hana set up a Facebook facility for the Society early this year for promoting our events and work. Members are encouraged to help spread the word about the Society through Facebook:

Hastings & St. Leonards Society Committee

By |2024-02-11T10:33:29+00:00July 1st, 2019|The Society|Comments Off on Newsletter: Issue 14 (27 June 2019)

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