New Year Message from the Chair
Here we are at the start of another year, and I hope 2020 will be a happy and healthy one for you all. Last year was a busy and exciting time for the Society, particularly with our West Hill (Hastings) Local heritage and Community Festival project, which is running until the end of March this year. Many of you attended the concert by the Benyounes Quartet at Emmanuel Church, and other events during the Community Festival, and you will agree that this was a great success. We are currently working on the booklet on the history of the West Hill, and expect to have this available for our members (free of charge) at the Annual General Meeting. It looks like we are in for another exciting and busy year, and I thank you for your continued support of the Hastings & St. Leonards Society.
Dr. Deborah Madden
Town Centre Heritage in focus at next Open Meeting
Our next Open Meeting is on Tuesday 28 January, 6 pm start, at the White Rock Hotel (ground floor meeting room).
With the ‘My Town Campaign’ and Heritage Action Zone for the town centre underway, the substantial heritage of Hastings town centre will be the focus of attention at this meeting. Edward Gosnell from Holy Trinity Church will speak about the intentions for work at that church, and Nicky Roper is speaking about the hopes for restoration work at ‘His Place’ church (former United Reformed Church) on Robertson Street.
Jess Steele has been largely responsible for getting the Heritage Action Zone set up, and Jess will speak about this at the meeting.
There will also be a discussion on the My Town / Hastings Town Deal initiative, for which HBC is setting up a Board. The purpose of this is to develop a Town Investment Plan so that a Town Deal can be agreed with the government by the end of the summer 2020. Under the terms of government funding, the Council is obliged to engage with the community and businesses, and we have requested that Heritage is included in the proposals. Please attend the meeting if you can.
No charge for admission, and drinks purchased at the bar on arrival can be brought into the meeting.
Annual General Meeting
The date for this year’s Annual General Meeting is Tuesday 17 March, 6 pm start. We will confirm the venue nearer the date, but most likely this will be at the White Rock Hotel – so our Irish members will be able to buy a pint of Guinness at the bar and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day whilst attending the AGM. If all goes to plan, we will be launching the (free) booklet on the history of the West Hill of Hastings at the event.
Subscriptions for Society Year 2020
We hope all our current members will renew their membership. Subscription fees became due for payment on 1 January. As agreed at last year’s AGM, fees for 2020 Society Year are:
Joint (two persons at same address) £10
Group membership rate on application
You can renew by sending your payment to:
Treasurer, H & St. L Society
4 St. Saviour’s Road
Cheques made payable to Hastings & St. Leonards Society. (Note that completion of a membership form for renewal purposes is not required)
Or you can pay direct to our bank account (email us for details). Please inform us if have paid in this way, and ensure you reference your payment at the bank so that we can identify your payment on our bank statement.
If you joined the Society on or after 1 October 2019, you are paid up for the Society Year ending 31 December 2020.
All paid-up members are invited to our AGM, and entitled to a free copy of the booklet on the history of the West Hill as soon this is published.
Thank you to all members who took part in the vote for a logo for the Society. The result of the poll was a draw. Consequently we still don’t have a logo – or arguably we have two logos? We have not yet considered how to resolve this situation, but there have been a few comments that the logos on offer in the poll were not favourable. So if you want to submit a suggestion for a logo we shall be pleased to receive this.
Suggestions for outings
We are also inviting suggestions for venues for outings during 2020. We usually organise a coach trip to a location of national heritage interest at least once a year – last year we visited Standen House and Gardens. So if you want to recommend somewhere for a group visit by coach, please contact our secretary, Steven. The make-your-own-way group visits to local towns with heritage interests are popular too, so again you are welcome to put forward a suggestion – and if you have a contact in a society at the town that could host our visit, that would be a bonus. (Our group visit to Rye in October was timely, as it has been announced that Rye Heritage Centre is to close shortly, and the magnificent Town Model put into storage. What a shame!)
West Hill (Hastings) Oral History
Part of the West Hill (Hastings) local heritage project has been to record reminiscences with people from the community. We held an ‘oral history workshop’ at West Hill District Community Centre in July, and this was very successful. We have also done some very interesting recordings with individuals as home visits. The recordings are continuing, so if you want to make a contribution or know of somebody with West Hill memories who may like to make a recording, please get in touch with us via the secretary e-mail address at head of the Newsletter.
H & St. L Society Committee