Society Newsletter No 5.

Newsletter: Issue 5 (18th May 2018)

General Data Protection Regulation

Due to the changes in the General Data Protection Laws, for which the enforcement date is 25 May 2018, Hastings & St. Leonards Society has had to contact all persons for whom we hold an e-mail address and any other personal details (such as address and telephone number) for consent to retain this information. You should have received an e-mail from us for this purpose, asking for a simple consent reply.

If we do not get a consent response from you then you will be deleted from our e-mailing list, which advises of meetings, events and outings, and through which we issue these newsletters. So if you haven’t yet responded to our GDPR e-mail, but wish to remain on the contact list, please take action by 25 May. If you haven’t received the GDPR consent request, then let us know and we will send you the relevant correspondence.

If you are currently a subscriber to our website, your subscription will end on 24 May. You will then be able to re-subscribe from 25 May, so that you continue to receive e-bulletins advising of new postings on the website. We have had many favourable comments about the website, so please encourage others to subscribe in order to keep in touch with the news and events of many groups and societies in the borough.


Open Meeting, 19 April

H & St. L Society hosted the latest of our Open Meetings on 19 April. We received a progress report on the setting up of a residents’ group to formulate a ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ for the former bathing pool site at West Marina. There was a positive response at a meeting held at the local community centre and the West Marina Partnership Group was established. The group is now working on defining the boundary for the Neighbourhood Plan. It seems that recreational use is the most favoured residents’ option for the site.

Ian Jarman introduced his campaign to protect the statue of Harold and Edith at West Marina Gardens at the previous Open Meeting, and returned on this occasion to give a presentation on the history and background of the statue. This presentation was comprehensive and highlighted the historic importance of the statue. Further information about Ian’s campaign is on our website.

There was considerable interest in the proposal to apply for UNESCO World Heritage Site status for Hastings and St. Leonards. Julia Hilton and Chris Saunders presented their case, and it was agreed that this possibility should be further investigated, with H & St. L Society facilitating meetings and discussions. It is hoped that somebody with experience of putting in a UNESCO application would attend a future meeting, the date for which has not yet been set. A paper outlining the proposal has been posted on our website.


Group outings

We endeavoured to reschedule the group visit to Rye, which was postponed in February due to bad weather, for 25 April. However, this date was unsuitable for several persons who had originally booked on the outing, so we did not go ahead with the revised date. Rye Heritage Centre has a busy diary for group visits at present, but we hope to arrange our visit in the autumn. Meanwhile, we are offering a group visit to Pevensey for a visit to the Court House Museum and guided walk with local historian Dr. Alan Starr. This is to be on Thursday 21 June and is a ‘make your own way’ outing. We assemble outside the Museum (High Street) at 2 pm for the guided walk, which will also end at the Museum. The Museum is open from 11 am until 4 pm, so you can look around before or after the walk. There is a £1.50 admission charge to the Museum; no other charge for this outing, but please book your place as numbers restricted. We hope this summer solstice outing will appeal to you. For further information or to book a place e-mail:

We also invite suggestions for a coach trip venue for later this year. Wakehurst Place (National Trust) has been suggested, as has Brogdale for the Apple Festival in October and Lullingstone Castle and World Garden. Let us know if you are interested in any of those venues.


Illustrated talk and publication to Support National Town Criers Competition

You should have this event in your diary by now: ‘For Crying Out Loud – the Story of a Town Crier’, an iIllustrated talk by our brilliant town crier, Jon Bartholomew, at Hastings Museum on Sunday 8 July, 2 pm start. There is an admission charge of £5 per person (children aged under 14 years, accompanied by adult, free). All proceeds will be donated as prize money for the National Town Criers competition, which takes place during Hastings Week in October. We do hope you will support this fundraising event, so that we can keep this prestigious competition alive in Hastings – it has been held here every year but one (1997) since 1952. Booking is not available – plenty of room, so spread the word please.

To further the fundraising we are producing a booklet about the town crier tradition in Hastings to sell. This will be on sale at Jon’s talk.


Heritage Open Days

There are two periods for Heritage Open Days this year: Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 September, and Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 September. H & St. L Society is arranging some of the events.

Confirmed so far :

Emmanuel Church Open Days, Saturdays 8 and 15 September, 10 am – 2 pm.

Hastings Town Hall, guided tour, Sunday 9 September, 10.30 am.

St. Mary-in-the-Castle, guided tour, Thursday 6 September, time to be confirmed.

Hastings Town Centre, guided walk, date(s) to be arranged.

It is also hoped to have a ‘Burtons’ St. Leonards Day’, with South Lodge, Royal Victoria Hotel and Masonic Lodge opening, and a guided walk.


Hastings Embroidery

The Society has received some e-mails enquiring about the ‘Hastings Embroidery’. The ‘Embroidery’ was commissioned by the County Borough of Hastings in 1966 from the Royal School of Needlework to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. It is not actually a tapestry, but a set of 27 appliqué panels, consisting of 81 scenes from British history from 1066 to 1966. It measures 81 metres in length.

The panels were originally displayed in a triodome on the front deck of Hastings Pier. They were subsequently moved to the Sussex Hall at the White Rock Theatre, then to the old Magistrates Court in the Town Hall and finally back to the Sussex Hall. Over the years the popularity of the ‘Embroidery’ declined and in the last full year of trading (1999-2000) it attracted only 2,619 visitors. In 2001 twenty-five of the 27 panels were placed in special arts storage with Momart Ltd. in east London, as part of a ‘Best Value’ review of the Theatre and demand for greater use of the Sussex Hall as a community facility. The two remaining panels – relating to the Battle of Hastings and the Invention of Television – are currently on show in Hastings Town Hall. (Join the Heritage Open Days guided tour on Sunday 9 September if you want to see them!)

There have been some calls for the Embroidery to return to public display in the last 15 years, but the cost of the environmental requirements for display and for insurance of the panels makes this hard to achieve.  H & St. L Society has had confirmation from Julie Prance of Momart Ltd. that the 25 panels continue to be adequately stored in Momart’s state-of-the-art, temperature-controlled facility. Cathy Walling, the present curator at Hastings Museum recalls she “personally made the acid-free calico bags in which they are our housed, and packed them up myself from the Sussex Hall.” It is understood that HBC pays an annual fee of £1,300 for storage by Momart Ltd.

Our thanks to Cathy Walling for providing information about the ‘Hastings Embroidery’. Cathy is retiring in June, having started at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery in July 1982 as assistant curator. We wish her well after her 36-years’ dedicated service.


H & St. L Society Committee

By |2024-02-11T10:34:11+00:00May 21st, 2018|The Society|Comments Off on Society Newsletter No 5.

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