HASTINGS & ST. LEONARDS SOCIETY
Promoting Our Heritage and Civic Pride
Newsletter: Issue 3 (23rd January 2018)
Open Meeting and AGM Invitation from the Chair
One of the objectives of the H & St. L Society is to facilitate discussions about development and planning concerns in the Borough. It is understood that the Local Authority is looking for a developer for the former bathing pool site at West Marina, and at our last Open Meeting (October 2017) there was a request for a discussion about what would be appropriate for the site. We are making this the main item on the agenda for the Open Meeting on Thursday 15 February, 6.30 pm start. The meeting will take place at the University’s Priory Square Building, and if you wish to attend please let us know in advance by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also at the Open Meeting, guest speaker Ian Jarman will tell us about his campaign to protect the statue of Harold and Edith, and improve the signage, at West Marina Gardens.
The date for the H & St. L Society’s Annual General Meeting is Thursday 8 March, 6.30 pm start, again at the University’s Priory Square Building. All members are welcome to attend and will receive the Agenda in due course. This is our first AGM and an opportunity for members to find out more about what we are hoping to achieve, and perhaps share your thoughts on how we can do so. If you are not yet a member, we are currently offering an introductory subscription rate to cover membership until the end of 2018. Details of membership, with an application form to download, can be found on our website: www.hastingsandstleonardssociety.org.uk
(Dr. Deborah Madden, Chair, Hastings & St. Leonards Society)
Hastings Public Library
We understand the reopening of Hastings Public Library, following the building improvements, is still on course for sometime this spring. Some of the archive items that have been in storage at Rye library are already being returned to Hastings in readiness for the reopening, although it is not yet known how much local studies resources the revamped library will be able accommodate, as the Children’s library (and apparently also the parking department) is relocating to the main library building when it reopens. We have been informed that the Brett journals – a valuable resource for local historians – will be returning to Hastings library from Rye, and also that it is intended to digitize the journals.
Group Visit to Rye
We have arranged a group visit to Rye on Wednesday 28 February. This is a ‘make your own way’ outing, meeting at Rye Heritage Centre for 11 am. There is a bus departing from Hastings Town Centre at 9.48 am (via Hastings Old Town), arriving at Rye at 10.32 am. The Heritage Centre is the ‘Old Sail Loft’ at Rye Strand Quay.
The Centre provides ‘The Story of Rye’ in a 20-minutes model show format with sound and light effects. Upstairs there is a ‘Penny Amusements’ heritage collection. After a break for lunch (make your own arrangements) there is a guided walk around historic Rye town.
Cost of the visit is £10 per person, set by the Heritage Centre. There is a £1 booking fee for each non-member of the H & St. L Society. To book e-mail: email@example.com. Payment instructions will be given with confirmation of your booking. We hope this outing will appeal to you. All welcome, but note that there is a restriction on numbers. If you are travelling by car and have seat(s) to offer to others, please let us know.
New Business Improvement District (BID) / Town Centre Manager
Following the retirement of Rob Woods at the end of 2017, John Bownas is now the BID Town Centre Manager. We have already seen improvements in the Town Centre, by way of floral displays, increased festive-season lights, thriving market stalls and the introduction of a business support warden, since the BID company ‘Love Hastings Ltd.’ became operational last year. We are sure John Bownas will continue the good work initiated by Rob Woods, and we are also pleased that John has become a committee member of H & St. L Society in Rob’s place.
H & St L Society is currently working with Hastings Local History Group and BID Management on providing a Heritage Trail booklet for the Town Centre. We hope this will be available by mid-year, and we will also include a Town Centre Heritage Walk in our programme of guided walks.
‘For Crying Out Loud’ – the Story of a Town Crier
H & St. L Society is keen to help rejuvenate the National Town Criers Competition, which is held in our Priory Meadow Shopping Centre during Hastings Week (October) each year. Due to the continuing cutbacks in budget, HBC has been unable to provide prize money for the event in recent years, and the number of contestants has dropped considerably. The competition has been held in the Borough for over 60 years, and once attracted many contestants from around the country and large audiences. This is a colourful heritage event and a prestigious title for the winning Town Crier. However, it desperately needs some prize money.
To raise funds for the event, H & St. L Society has engaged our brilliant Town Crier, Jon Bartholomew, to give an illustrated talk (‘For Crying Out Loud’ – the story of a Town Crier) at Hastings Museum on Sunday 8 July, 2 pm start. There is an admission charge of £5 per person (children aged 14 years and under, accompanied by adult, free). All proceeds will be donated as prize money for the National Town Criers competition. We do hope you will support this fundraising event, so that we can keep the competition alive in Hastings. Booking is not necessary, but get the date in your diary!
H & St. L Society Committee