Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

International super group, Keane, hit the UK music scene in 2004, leaving an indelible imprint on their homeland of 1066 Country in East Sussex. In 2012, ‘Sovereign Light Café’, one of the album tracks from their fifth consecutive chart topping album, Strangeland, name checked many localities in the towns of Battle, Bexhill and Hastings.keane 1066

The Keane Trail was created as an online trail by the Battle Marketing Group. Now the company who helps travellers to create their own travel audio guides, Geotourist, is proud to announce the launch of an audio version of the trail, in collaboration with the 1066 Country Marketing partnership. It is available for smartphones via the free to download Geotourist app.

For fans of Keane, it’s a great way to better understand the impact that the local area had on both the band and their work. For visitors who may be new to Keane’s work, the trails represent a fabulous opportunity to uncover more about this local band and see just how 1066 Country continues to play a key part in the UK’s heritage – from history to popular music culture.

There are three trails, one each in Hastings, Battle and Bexhill and they run from  between 2.4 – 6.8 kms in length. Each takes in points of importance to the band and their journey to music stardom, as well as the locations behind the lyrics of their songs.

Geotourist are delighted that the Keane trails add to the seven other Geotourist tours in the area. With a richly historic tour of Battle, narrated by ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Anton Lesser, bringing the whole town of Battle to life, visitors can access the history of the town beyond the fascinating abbey and 1066 battlefield.

In Hastings, the Geotourist tour brings The Stade fishing and cultural quarter to life and explains just why the iconic black netshops were so important to the day to day life of the town.

The tours of Bexhill’s rich heritage and of Huguenot Rye lift the lid on some surprising local facts that you might miss by simply walking round.

The Geotourist platform means that people can listen to tours in the same way that we now listen to music, through our devices. The free tours can be enjoyed through personal smart phones, meaning you can immerse yourself in the world around you as you move at your own speed. There’s no need to sign up to an organised tour group, making it easy to take a tour in a quiet half hour or to help orientate yourself when (or even before) you arrive in a new place.

With May Bank Holiday on the horizon, these tours are ideal for visitors. Find out more about the tours at geotourist.com and look out for the stickers as you’re walking around.


With the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings coming up fast, the ROOT 1066 International Festival is getting under way. September kicks off with 10 cracking new exhibitions across 1066 Country – in Hastings, St Leonards, Pevensey, Robertsbridge and Rye.

“There’s so much happening in and around Hastings at the moment, it’s wonderful to see the energy building as we approach the 950th anniversary,” said Cllr Peter Chowney, leader of Hastings Borough Council. “These exciting exhibitions give us an insight into how our history informs our modern-day life and identity.”

  • I Am A Norman
    This outdoor photography exhibition explores ‘living history’ by depicting Hastings residents with Norman-derived surnames. Photographs will be on display at the Queens Road bus shelters and Hastings Station from 1 September to 2 October.
  • We work in the dark
    In a poignant year for unions remembered and ruptured, this free exhibition from the New Road Artists is inspired by Henry James’ The Europeans. The work will be exhibited at Rye Creative Centre from 3 September to 2 October. Free.
  • Fishermen of Quiberville
  • John Cole has been in Normandy, capturing French fishermen (with a camera). From 3 September to 16 October their portraits will be hung around Rock a Nore, alongside their Hastings-based counterparts.
  • Coastal Currents Open Studios
    Hastings’ annual arts festival is back with ROOT 1066-tinted spectacles. The ever-popular programme allows free access to a range of local artists and the way they work. Open studios will run over two weekends: 3-4 and 10-11 September.
  • Another Crossing
    Bern O’Donoghue and Giovanna Del Sarto explore hazardous journeys and dangerous crossings, along with some of the issues and myths surrounding migration in 2016. Murmurations Gallery, 3 September and 2 October, free.
  • Harold’s Grave
    Much has been made about King Harold’s death – including this installation by international artist Alice Schÿler Mallet. Mallet’s golden-stone structure will open at Pevensey castle from 7 September to 1 October. See English Heritage for entry prices.
  • Edith Digital Pinholes
    Anonymous Bosch accompanied Andrew Kötting on a walk from Waltham Abbey to St Leonards for a new film about King Harold’s mistress, Edith Swan Neck. His pinhole camera photographs from the journey will be exhibited at the BlackShed Gallery, from 7 September to 1 October. Free.
  • A New Language
    Curated by Chris Winter, an international group of artists will exhibit their work at the Observer Building. Unique and challenging, the exhibition explores the culture shift initiated by 1066. From 10-25 September, free.
  • Drift
    Project Art Works work with people with complex needs, and this three-part sound and video installation invites you to experience your town from new perspectives. It will be on display from 10 September to 16 October in Warrior Square Station, Bottle Alley and the East Hill Lift.
  • Martin Honeysett 

A major exhibition of cartoons including historical works, a retrospective of artwork by Martin Honeysett and contemporary work produced by cartoonists and workshop participants on the theme of ‘when cultures collide’. Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, 15 September to January 2017, free.

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

College receives 100 percent A Level pass rate following glowing Ofsted report earlier this year

Huge smiles all round could be seen on Sussex Coast College Hastings Sixth Form students this morning as the envelopes they have been eagerly awaiting were collected from the Station Plaza campus.

100% pass rates across the division means students such as Paul Butchard and Roisin McCormak are headed off to prestigious universities including UEA and Sussex University respectively.

59% of A2 level learners achieved A* to C grades. This year saw not only excellent results amongst A2 students, but once again, AS students scored higher than the national average with an 87% pass rate.

One student, Charlotte Hunter scored 100% on her Government Politics Exam. Charlotte said ‘I am so proud of this achievement, I expected to do well, but to get 100% in my exam is fantastic news.’

Charlotte also studied English Language and Literature, Psychology and History. A previous St Leonards Academy student, she plans to complete her A Levels at SCCH before going on to apply for Oxford University.

Head of Faculty for Sixth Form and Professional Studies at Sussex Coast College Hastings, Jim Sharpe said ‘the results reflect the hard work and dedication of staff and students this year. The results increase year on year and are continually above the national average. I want to offer huge congratulations to everyone who has achieved their targets. Well done. ’