Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

If you’re thinking about setting up or moving your business to St. Leonards on Sea, Hastings or Eastbourne and are looking for the minimum of hassle in set up and want ongoing management then check out this video to see why having your business in these locations will not only provide a prime location it will also provide you with a great work/life balance.

If you want to know more then visit their site here.

Interpreting the Bayeux Tapestry 

Join Gale Owen-Crocker, Professor Emerita of The University of Manchester, as she interprets this extraordinary example of Anglo-Norman art and workmanship. Learn about the battle that transformed England’s culture and heritage, as told by those that were there at the time – and also about the other elements of 11th century life portrayed: political propaganda, mundane objects and day-to-day living.

The talk will take place on Thursday 29 September, 2pm to 3.30pm (doors open at 1.30pm) at St Mary in the Castle. Tickets are £15, and available via stmaryinthecastle.co.uk.

There will also be a chance to view the Medieval Mosaic, a complete recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry, which is on display in the Crypt of St Mary in the Castle. Comprising 3,000,000 pieces of spring steel, it holds the Guinness World Record as the largest steel mosaic.

An Evening with Marcus Harvey 

Margaret Thatcher, Myra Hindley and Tony Blair are just three of the Inselaffe – meaning ‘island monkeys’ who feature in Marcus Harvey’s irreverent show currently at the Jerwood Gallery (ends 16 October). The work forges motifs and emblems of Britishness, such as military memorabilia and joke shop knick-knacks, into collaged portraits of historical figures.

Meet the man behind this array of tongue-in-cheek exhibition on Friday 30 September at 7pm, at the Jerwood Gallery. Tickets are £10 per person (£8 for members), and booking is essential. To book, call 01424 728377.

ROOT 1066 International Festival has been funded by Hastings Borough Council, Arts Council England and the Coastal Communities Fund. For the latest news visit 1066contemporary.com, follow @ROOT1066 on Twitter, or like facebook.com/ROOT1066.



All the family can get involved in the critically acclaimed new Marcus Harvey exhibition at Hastings’ Jerwood Gallery this autumn, through six special ROOT1066 workshops.

Entitled Inselaffe, the exhibition (on until 16 October) is a series of tough, but humorous, sculptures and paintings that forge motifs and emblems relating to notions of Britishness and embroiled history such as militaria and joke shop knick-knacks into collaged portraits of historical figures; from Nelson to Margaret Thatcher, Napoleon to Tony Blair.  The resulting exhibition is unapologetic and powerful, political yet ambiguous, reflecting Harvey’s concerns with subjects such as national identity and masculinity. 

Jerwood Gallery director Liz Gilmore says “It’s an enormous privilege to be working with Marcus Harvey in this important year for Hastings – the 950 anniversary of 1066. The exhibition will combine some monumental new works alongside key historical pieces, showing Harvey’s significant contribution to British art.” 


Join Artist Educator Emily Hedley for a junk modelling extravaganza, celebrating the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and the Inselaffe exhibition, and transform the studio walls into a 3D installation of Hastings town!  Use paint, collage and junk modelling to create a collaborative townscape, inspired by Marcus Harvey’s bas relief painting style, where 3D forms emerge from painted and photographic backdrops. This workshop is suitable for 4-11 yr olds and costs £1.50 per child.


Marcus Harvey’s work undoubtedly provokes a response, being rich in political, social and artistic references. Sarah will help to unpick some of these references, beginning with a short talk introducing the artist and examining some of the themes found in his work before moving into the galleries to analyse the pieces in more depth. You will have time to explore the exhibition on your own or in small groups and to gather your thoughts before coming back together to discuss selected works in more detail. This workshop is suitable for over 16s and costs £4 per person.


Harvey’s most recent work forges motifs and emblems of Britishness, such as military memorabilia and joke shop knick-knacks into collaged portraits of historical figures. His exhibition name ‘Inselaffe’ is derived from a tongue-in-cheek theory that evolution must have stalled in the UK, as British people behave in such a yobbish manner. You can create a collage portrait in either 2D or 3D in this workshop. The materials used will reflect what you know about the sitter. Your selected muse can be a yob or a well-known person (or both!), and they can be alive or deceased – but they must be from Hastings! This workshop is suitable for over 16s and costs £8 per person.


Following the success of his great grandfather’s prototype Random Story Generator, launched in 1872, Professor Andrew Willard brings the new and updated Generator to Jerwood Gallery for the very first time.  Expect to have your imagination stimulated, your mind expanded and your creativity invigorated by this wondrous and unpredictable machine and its operator! Discover skills you never knew you had and take part in producing exclusive, Inselaffe-inspired stories that will thrill and entertain for years to come. This workshop is suitable for under 10s and costs £1.50 per child.


Join us for An Evening with Marcus Harvey to hear the artist himself talk in detail about his largest UK solo public gallery exhibition to date and for an insight into his artistic practice. Tickets are £10 per person (£8 for Jerwood Gallery Members) and include a glass of wine.


Hermione will help you create large-scale art works of imaginary islands using collage, photographic prints and paint, inspired by the paintings in Inselaffe. Participants will invent caricatures and hybrid characters to inhabit these new worlds. The workshop will playfully explore the relationship between photography, painting and sculpture, what it means to be an island nation and the impact it has had on our identity and history. This event is suitable for 8-12 year olds and costs £1.50 per child.


Inspired by Marcus Harvey’s tough, but humorous, ceramic sculptures, create your own collaged composition using bas relief templates of typical British memorabilia, air drying clay and hand modelling techniques – taking a piece constructed from multiple elements home to dry and colour. Choose your own historic figure or even a family member to turn into a Harvey-esque portrait. This workshop is suitable for 6-12 year olds and costs £1.50 per child. 

Booking is essential for all these events as places are limited. To book, please call 01424 728377 during gallery opening hours (Tuesday to Sunday, 11am-5pm).


Hastings was the venue for the European debut of the ‘Medieval Mosaic’ at St Mary in the Castle, on the town’s seafront last Friday (12th August).

The mosaic is a complete recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry, created out of 3 million tiny pieces of steel, each of around 7 sq. mm. The mosaic also includes an 8 metre ‘finale section’, which recreates what is believed to be depicted in the two missing panels of the original Bayeux Tapestry, narrating the three months of history from the end of the Battle of Hastings to the coronation of William the Conqueror on Christmas Day 1066.

The mosaic was created by father and daughter team Michael and Rachael Linton, in New Zealand, and this is the first time the mosaic has ever been out of New Zealand.

Michael said :- “The mosaic has taken over 33 years to build, and I am so pleased to have been invited by Hastings Borough Council to bring it to England to play its part in the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. And where better for the mosaic to have its European debut than in the crypt of St Mary in the Castle, within the footprint of Hastings Castle, which is of course shown on the mosaic.

“We had a great launch event last Friday, and have had lots of visitors since then :- and we are hoping for lots more! Entry is free, but we would appreciate donations, and we’re here from 10am until 5 pm every day now until the end of October.”

Cllr Peter Chowney, leader of Hastings Borough Council, added :- “The mosaic is quite extraordinary, and well worth a visit. The amount of work that has gone into it is quite incredible, and it fits into the crypt of St Mary in the Castle so well :- it looks like it was designed for it, yet was made half a world away.

“I am delighted that Michael, Gillian and Rachael Linton have chosen Hastings for the European – indeed northern hemisphere! – launch for this work, and am sure that it will attract many, many visitors over the coming months.

“It provides yet another reason for visitors to come here, and is the Guinness world record holder for the world’s largest steel mosaic :- Famously Hastings indeed!

A community arts project has been completed at Warrior Square, St Leonards in memory of Jeremy Birch, the former leader of Hastings Borough Council (2001 – 2008 and 2010 – 2015) until his untimely death in May 2015.

The local community together with Hastings Youth Council under the guidance of Graffiti Plus have completed the artwork in Jeremy’s memory on the promenade steps at Warrior Square.Group on steps IMG_3044 SM

The inscription reads: ‘People let your voice be heard, every culture, every language, every word, fore this land this life this earth belongs to you. One Hastings Many Voices’

“Jeremy played a huge role in Hastings over the twenty years he was involved in local politics. He was not only active in Hastings but across East Sussex, and, in fact, across much of the south east where he was involved in many different groups and partnerships over this time” said Cllr Peter Chowney leader Hastings Borough Council.

He added: “The cultural diversity of St Leonards was very important to him and he coined the phrase ‘One Hastings Many Voices’. This new community art project in his memory is wholly fitting; he would have loved it. Our thanks must go to everyone that was involved in its creation.

“Jeremy was a very strong figure within the council who always supported our projects and campaigns. He constantly inspired us to do our best and believe that everyone deserve to have their voice heard” said Huda Caglayan, chair Hastings Youth Council.

Schools across Hastings and Rother have been working with local artists to respond to one of the biggest events in British history, the Battle of Hastings.

To commemorate the 950th anniversary of the Battle and as part of the ROOT1066 Contemporary Arts Festival, Hastings and Rother Arts and Education Network (HRAEN) commissioned artists Lee Shearman and Steve Tasane to produce toolkits for schools to download and use in their classrooms.

Using these toolkits and working with Lee Shearman schools have produced pop-up accordion books based on the Bayeux tapestry and written poetry inspired by the Battle with Steve Tasane.

An exhibition of pupil’s work ‘Mightier than the Sword’ was launched on Friday (15 July) at The Source Park, Hastings. The work includes artwork, poetry and stories and will be on display until 16 September 2016 in the viewing gallery of the main park with free admission to view.

Visit www.1066contemporary.com to see the full programme of ROOT1066 Arts Festival events.

The Battle of Hastings may be the most famous date in British history, but a lot has happened in the 950 years since. To mark the anniversary and as part of the ROOT1066 Festival of Contemporary Arts, Hastings Museum & Art Gallery will be opening a new, permanent display of its local history collections, from 1066 up to the present day.

Cllr Dawn Poole the council’s lead member for culture explained:

“The idea for the exhibition was to take 66 Objects that represent key stories that portray some of the people, some of the places and some of the events, both national and local; those that have really shaped the town of Hastings.

“950 years is a long time with a lot of history to cover and 66 objects is actually a lot of objects to look at! In the new exhibition we’ve included some objects and some events that have national significance such as the Spanish Armada and the first and second world wars but we’ve also included events that are very particular to Hastings

“As far as possible we have tried to put people at the centre of the story from local characters like the 11th century moneyer Dunninc and medieval Godfrey the Scrivener, to those who have had an international impact, like Robert Tressell and John Logie Baird.

All sorts of objects have been selected, from everyday items to coronation costume. Cllr Poole is putting in the third object in its case.  It’s a wine jug that dates from around 1100, which was excavated at Hastings Castle.  The base has signs of blackening, showing that the wine was probably heated over an open fire.  Wine became increasingly popular after the Norman Conquest and the Domesday Book records many newly-planted vineyards for the Norman rulers.

The new display will be open from Saturday 25 June at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery.

Museum opening times: April to October – Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm. Sunday 12 noon-5pm.  Entry is free.

Hastings based web design agency, The Rye Agency, has teamed up to work with a national magazine and Apple. Mixmag are the world’s largest dance and electronic music magazine, established in the UK in 1982. They approached The Rye Agency to design and develop a new website and integration with Apple News, Facebook Instant Articles, and Google AMP.

The Rye Agency, in Robertson Street in Hastings, was one of the first agencies outside the States to have access to the Apple News platform.

Working closely with Mixmag and Apple’s offices in London and California they produced a bespoke integration between the Mixmag’s website and Apple News. Mixmag’s website is powered by software called CraftCMS (Content management System) for which The Rye Agency are seen as one of Europe’s leading experts.

Mixmag’s Apple News integration was referenced on stage at the 2016 Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Although The Rye Agency manages large websites for well known brands like Mixmag; Mary Portas Pilot Love Ashford; Rocksound; and North London Cares, they spend the majority of their time and resources working with local companies making affordable websites to help boost Hastings’ digital economy.

“2016 has seen a seismic shift in how the web works and what people are expecting from it. Platforms like Apple News, Facebook Instant Articles, and Google AMP are taking people away from traditional websites – and new devices like smart TVs and wearables are changing how we interact with the web at a fundamental level. The rise of these new technologies is rapidly changing how people use the Internet,” said David Roder, Director and Founder of The Rye Agency.

“As a town we’re starting to see real improvements – with the re-opening of the pier, new businesses opening up, and world-class spaces like the Source Park. We need to make sure our town is growing in the digital space too if we’re going to be able to compete in today’s economy.”

To help grow the local digital economy, The Rye Agency is holding a free workshop for local businesses to share expertise which business owners can use to improve how they use the web. The event will be hosted at The Creative Media Centre, Robertson Street, Hastings on Tuesday the19th July 2016. Entry is free but places are limited. Businesses interested should reserve their place by contacting David Roder at The Rye Agency.

For further Information contact David Roder, David.roder@rye.agency  01424 559 689 / 07974 941393

The University of Brighton, Hastings Campus are inviting people to go and see their final year undergraduate projects and learn about them from their creators.

Students from their BSc (hons) courses –  Digital Games Production, Internet Computing, and Computer Systems with Networking will be demonstrating their projects on themes including Augmented Reality, Data Visualization, Serious Games, Human Computer Interaction, Web Development, and more.

The event will be taking place on Tuesday 24 May at the Hastings Campus between 13.00-17.00.

For more information contact Jon Nicholson here

The Hastings Independent Press (HIP) is a free, not-for-profit, fortnightly newspaper run mainly by volunteers – and they’ve just published their 50th issue. Having run for two years on a shoestring, they’re now raising the bar – to the tune of £15,000. This would finance a professional office space and a distribution service, allowing the paper to build on its success.

About the Hastings Independent

For two years, HIP’s team of volunteers have worked tirelessly to provide quality news, back local causes, support community cohesion, promote local arts, and provide training and work experience to local people.

This kind of positive, community-focused organisation is vital to the town, which suffers low average incomes, high unemployment, and more than its fair share of substance abuse and mental health problems. According to the Department for Communities and Local Government, Hastings is the most deprived town on the south coast, and the 13th most deprived local authority in England.

“It’s a community paper, for and of the community,” says reader Jane Grimshaw, who has also appeared in the paper for her work with Hastings Supports Refugees. “It’s lead and inspired by members of the community with an inclusive approach to reporting what is happening in our area.”

Providing training to the community

Very few of HIP’s volunteers have formal training in journalism, so the team run free weekly peer-to-peer sessions on Monday evenings at a local careers centre. Recent sessions have included news writing (run by the news ed, an ex sub-editor), law for journalists (run by the sports ed, a retired solicitor), photojournalism (run by the picture ed, a professional photographer) and media sales (run by the advertising manager). Volunteers also make use of free training resources, such as the online course in community journalism by Cardiff University.

“I came to HIP to learn new skills, become more confident in my writing and gain new experiences,” says volunteer Leanne Cannon, who is also studying English with the Open University. “Working with HIP I feel that I can reach those goals.”

With recent news that the University of Brighton will be withdrawing its Hastings campus in five years (along with its journalism course), HIP has become even more vital as a training resource.

Recent coverage

HIP is primarily paper-first, feeling that a free, paper-based news source is important to the community. But it has also recently refurbished its website, to broaden its reach and allow volunteers to link to their stories when applying for jobs. Here are a few recent articles:

Achievements to date:

  • Pagination has increased from an initial 16 pages to a current 24.
  • Regular volunteers have grown from an initial 4 to a team of 37, including 12 section editors, 4 sub editors, 4 photographers and over 20 writers.
  • We also have more than 100 occasional contributors.
  • Advertising covers most running costs, with preferential rates for small local businesses and community organisations.

What past volunteers are doing now

Several volunteers have used their experience with HIP to gain new employment. A few examples are: gallery assistant at Express Newspapers, social data journalist at Brandwatch, freelance writer for Novara and the Guardian, communications manager for the local borough council.

Crowdfunding campaign

Having confirmed the local appetite for an independent news source over the past two years – and the HIP team’s ability to provide it – they are celebrating their 50th issue by launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise £15,000.

This will allow the paper to build on its success to date, by financing for one year:

  1. A distribution co-ordinator to do newspaper deliveries.
  2. Improvements to the office, which was kindly donated but needs some work.
  3. Occasional shortfalls in running costs such as printing and design (usually financed by advertising).

hastings-independent-logoAny help with raising the profile of the crowdfunder, or the paper in general, would be much appreciated.