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Hastings enjoyed another great May Day bank holiday, as the unlikely mix of Morris dancers and motorbikes packed the town.

Kevin Boorman, Hastings Borough Council’s marketing manager, explained :- “Both the revived ‘Jack in the Green’ festival of Morris dancing and the annual motorbike mass ride to Hastings have become firm favourites in our event calendar. Whilst other places may say that the May Day bank holiday hasn’t really caught on, that certainly can’t be said here, as Morris dancers and motorcyclists fill the whole town.

“This year of course the bank holiday actually fell on May 1st, which meant that there were far more Morris dancers and spectators ‘dancing at dawn’ on our West Hill this morning.

“We opened our West Hill lift – a 126 year old funicular railway – at 0430 this morning, and it was great to see dozens of Morris dancers and spectators taking advantage of the early morning lift.

“And although rain fell during the Jack in the Green procession this morning, the threatened thunderstorm held off all afternoon, and an estimated 5 000 spectators on the West Hill enjoyed the spectacle of different Morris sides dancing against the dramatic backdrop of a rough English Channel.

“The Jack in the Green Festival is organised by a group of volunteers, and we are very grateful to them for what they do to put on one of our most popular, and unusual, events. We are well known for being quirky and different, and today showed why!’

The late timing of the bank holiday hit retail sales in August and the total UK sales did not change, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Like-for-like sales, which exclude new store space, fell 1%. Although the bank holiday fell on the 31st August, both the BRC and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the month actually ended on 29th August. 

Retailers use a system where they report on sales week-by-week from Sunday to Saturday. This means that monthly figures may not cover the whole of the calendar month. As an alternative, a quarter will be made up of two four-week periods and a five-week period.

The problem is that when a bank holiday falls in different months in certain years, it creates difficulty in comparing sales.

However, the figures that come out for September could be higher as more customers are buying for back-to-school. However, clothing and footwear sales were hit as they missed the key days when customers shop for school.

 

 

Some good news before the bank holiday weekend.

Rail unions have called off the national bank holiday rail strike because of a different offer from Network Rail. The strike was going to happen because of a row over pay and members of the RMT and TSSA unions had woohooplanned to walk out for 24 hours from 17:00 BST on Monday.

Once the TSSA called off its action, the RMT said their union’s executive had decided to suspend their strike. As a result, many train services will now run as expected on Monday and Tuesday, meaning rail passengers will have a smooth journey. The only down side are the engineering works that are due to happen on some lines.

The unions originally declined the offer of a four-year deal that included a single £500 payment and three years of rises in line with RPI inflation. The details of the new offer have not yet been revealed.

Lawyers for Network Rail paused their plans to take legal action against the TSSA because of the way its ballot had been conducted. Due to the strike, passengers had been warned that they should of expected travel chaos. Not only that, but they were told they should not travel at all if the strike went ahead, which would have meant thousands of signalers, maintenance staff and station workers would have walked out.

Even though the strike was supposed to only last until Tuesday, services would still have been affected on Wednesday when services returned to normal because of cancellations.

Bank holiday weekend is nearly upon us, hopefully bringing the sunshine and a bit of warm weather with it.

The May Day bank holiday always brings a lot of people to Hastings whether is to come and see all the bikes along the seafront or to celebrate the Jack in the Green festivities.

We have put together this guide to let you know what’s happening in Hastings so you have plenty to choose from.

Jack in the Green

Jack in the Green will be back on Monday 4th May starting from the Fisherman’s museum leading his procession through the town accompanied by Morris Men, Bogies and a May Queen. The procession will continue up to the West Hill this year opposite the castle instead of inside the castle grounds. This is where Jack will be slain and the Spirit of Spring will be released.

This event will be starting at 10am and the slaying of Jack will be taking place at 3pm with activities and plenty of Morris Dancers throughout the day.

Hastings May Day Run 2

May Day Run

If you are a lover of bikes Hastings is the place to be on Bank Holiday Monday.  Thousands of bikers visit Hastings every year travelling places such as Locksbottom, Farnborough and Kent parking up their bikes along the seafront for everyone to see.

This event has been taking place for over 34 years now and continues to grow every year.

Hastings has plenty of events going on this year.  There is something for everyone to go to or take part in.  Here is our list of some of the things that Hastings has to offer us for 2015.

The Fat Tuesday Festival

MUSIC SCENE

Hastings Fat Tuesday Festival is a fantastic event for music lovers with a five day music festival raising money for local charities especially as in 2014 Hastings was tipped to be the place with the highest level of musical ability.

Fat Tuesday’s started in 2010 with the idea to create the largest Mardi Gras celebration in the UK.  The festival proved to be really popular with the local people and music loving tourists from out of the area.

Jack In The Green

Jack in the Green returns to Hastings again this year on May Day Bank Holiday weekend.

Jack in the Green will be leading an annual procession of Mad Jack’s Morris Dancers through the streets of Hastings Old Town, starting from the Fisherman’s Museum and ending at Hastings Castle where Jack is slain to release the spirit of summer.

May Day RunHastings May Day Run 2

Every year on the May Day Bank Holiday, 41,000 bikers and 90,000 people visit Hastings.

This is when we see Hastings at its best, with the South East’s biggest and best free motorcycle event, fantastic entertainment, top exhibitors and a great day by the seaside, checking out all the fantastic bikes that have travelled to Hastings and are parked up along the promenade.

Hastings Folk Festival

The Folk Festival will be following this year’s Jack in the Green celebrations.  This again is an event for music lovers of the town.

Working with local venues, promotors and folk musicians will be pulling together a programme of events providing entertainment such as concerts, music, gigs in pubs and lots more.

Old Town Carnival Week

Hastings famous Old Town Carnival Week will be returning.  With events running all week leading up to the annual carnival and firework display.

Every year this proves a popular event for families with lots going on throughout the week for everyone to take part in.

Seafood And Wine Festivalseafood-fest-newspic

Once again the Stade will be holding the Seafood and Wine Festival.  This event is very popular for the locals in to indulge in some delicious Seafood and luscious wines.

With live music and entertainment this is a fantastic event for Hastings which was proved when we won a tourism South East award in the category ‘Flavour of The South East’

With all this happening in 2015 we hope you have a brilliant year and your business continues to grow.

 

 

Posted by: In: Bank Holidays 07 Jan 2015 Comments: 0 Tags: ,

Bank Holidays for most of us mean a lovely long weekend.  We have put together a list of all the bank holiday dates for 2015 so that you don’t forget and can plan ahead for both yourself and your business.

  • 3rd Aprilholiday
  • 6th April
  • 4th May
  • 25th May
  • 31st August
  • 25th December
  • 26th December