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With the ROOT 1066 International Festival now in full swing, here’s your guide to what’s happening over the coming week.

Edith – a pilgrimage and film
Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 September

This weekend, see King Harold reunited with his common-law wife Edith, whose weathered statue mourns him still in Grosvenor Gardens, St Leonards. Film maker Andrew Kötting and author Iain Sinclair walked a 100-mile pilgrimage from Waltham Abbey to St Leonards, via Battle Abbey where Harold fell, symbolically reconnecting the lovers after 950 years of separation.

You can see the film, with a special live performance, on Saturday 17 September, 8pm at Kino Teatr, £10. Or, visit Grosvenor gardens on Sunday 18 September to see your own personal 5-minute version, as the Flat Pack Castle becomes a two-seater cinema for the day. 11am to 4pm, free.

Artist talks – John Cole and Hew Lock
Saturday 17 September

Also this weekend, there are two artist talks. John Cole, the photographer behind the portraits currently hanging among the net huts, will be in conversation with the Fishermen’s Protection Society on Saturday 17 September at 2pm at the Stade Hall. Entrance is free but space is limited.

Meanwhile, Hew Lock will be discussing his 2011 work, For Those in Peril on the Sea – which inspired the exhibition that will be on display at Electro Studios Project Space on 1 and 2 October. The talk will take place on Saturday 17 September at 2pm at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery. Tickets cost £5.

Feast of the Dead – a medieval banquet
Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25 September

If that’s tickled your appetite, how about a medieval feast to see you through the week? Every evening from Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25, the Stade Hall will be playing host to Feast of the Dead. Part banquet, part theatre, participants will be served an authentic 11th century three-course meal, while interacting with the ghosts of the battlefield. Tickets cost £25/£18, or £15 for the Wednesday preview, and vegetarian and vegan options are available. Book at: http://bit.ly/2cWPSHf.

Clash! – a choral spectacle
Saturday 24 September

Next weekend, don’t miss Clash!, a unique musical event involving seven local choirs, who will converge in the cathedral-like atrium of Sussex Coast College. Poets and spoken word artists have collaborated with composers from across the South East to create a musical ‘tapestry’ in response to the Bayeux Tapestry’s narration of the great Battle of 1066. Performances take place at 4.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday 24 September. Tickets cost £7/£5 – go to barefootopera.com/tickets/clash-24th-sept.

Buoys Boys – new exhibition opens at the De La Warr
Opens Saturday 24 September

Leading British artist Fiona Banner presents an immersive installation exploring her ongoing interest in language and its limitations. The exhibition, which takes place both inside and outside of the De La Warr Pavilion, incorporates a series of inflatable full stops from different fonts blown up to human scale. The exhibition is open from Saturday 24 September to Sunday 8 January and entry is free.  There will be an artist’s talk at 11am on Saturday 24 September – tickets are £7/£5/£3.50 from dlwp.com.

DRIFT – how do you navigate a place?
Guided walk Saturday 24 September

This inclusive artwork that reveals how young people with complex needs experience the world in different ways. From now until Sunday 16 October, you can find sound and video installations at three different locations around the town – Warrior Square station ticket office, Bottle Alley, and in the East Hill Lift top station. Join participants for a free guided walk on Saturday 24 September – meet at Warrior Square Station at 11am.–

For more information on these events and many more, visit 1066contemporary.com.

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

Hastings Borough Council announces the organisations that were successful in their bid for the £30,000 Anniversary Community Grants Fund 2016

The 1066 Anniversary Community Grants Fund 2016 grants scheme was set up to help the communities of Hastings mark the 950th anniversary of the battle of Hastings. The fund is to help local community groups to hold their own events or projects as part of the town’s anniversary activities.

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

“A particular focus for this one-off grants programme was to support activities in more isolated and disadvantaged communities where the main 950th anniversary programme of events will not be staged.

“We wanted the fund to support a range of projects which enabled people to mark the anniversary in any way that included cultural or community events, educational activities or more permanent memorials. The activities were for small groups and schools and had to take place during 2016 within the borough of Hastings”.

The funds were hugely oversubscribed but finally fourteen organisations and groups were selected to benefit from the £30,000 fund.

The grants ranged from £500 to St Leonards Primary Academy for an educational school trip to Battle Abbey and up to £2640 awarded to Women’s Voice for Echoing Jeremy Birch’s One Hastings Many Voices. Their aim is to encourage social cohesion using cooking to bring women together to share skills and learn about which types of food were eaten in 1066. And, £3000 was awarded to aGender for a 1066 Anniversary Steam Print Spectacular; following the battles of 1066 -2016 and how to resolve them a series of print-making workshops where people’s creations will be shown at the Stade as part of Hastings Cartoon Festival.

“We are delighted that so many groups and organisations were keen to get involved with the 950th celebrations and look forward to seeing all the winning projects come to fruition” added Cllr Poole.


Summer is finally here and although the beaches in the area are a top hit with both tourists and locals, there is plenty more things to do in Hastings to keep you busy on those sunny days. Here you will find our list of 10 places to go in the area that will make your day a whole lot more exciting. There is something for everyone including festivals, golf, museums and more.

St Leonards Festival: 10th – 12th July

On Friday the 10th July, there will be fringe events held in local venues and the full programme will soon be announced. On Saturday the 11th July, there will be a free family day with a street market, parade, live music, street arts, crafts, nature zone, family zone and much more. Sunday the 12th July will be for ticket holders only, however free for 16’s and under. This day will hold a garden party with picnics, live music, bar, craft and a garden zone. The event will be organised on behalf of the St Leonards Town Team.

Hastings Old Town Carnival Week: 1st – 9th August

Held on the 1st – 9th August, the carnival week offers many special events. Some people in the community are opening their gardens and providing refreshments. During this week, the funds that are raised go towards supporting a variety of charities, many of which are local and are for the good of our own town and community. The events will celebrate all that the Old Town has and will be a great week during the summer. One of the best parts about this week is the carnival itself, with lots of exciting floats for everyone to enjoy – you can even get involved yourself.

Alexandra Park

Filled with grassy areas and flowerbeds, Alexandra Park has lots to offer and is especially nice on a sunny day. Many people walk their dogs here on a daily basis as it has woody areas, a reservoir, tennis courts and even a café. There is plenty of space to play games with the kids or benches to sit down and relax in the sun with the wildlife. You can also do some fishing in the park, take the kids to the big play park and also go to the odd event that is held there. In 2010, the park achieved the Green Flag Award for the sixth year running – it is well maintained and is a place that the wider community values.

Smugglers Adventure
Here you can discover the secrets of the smugglers and learn about the history of the caves. The caves are dark and mysterious and offer over 70 life-sized characters that bring everything to life. There are even sound effects and dramatic recreations, interactive and hands-on displays to play games so the children will never be bored. This is a great activity for all the family and there is a lot to learn about the history of smuggling.

Hastings Fisherman’s Museum

The museum is open everyday (apart from Christmas Day) and over 140,000 people visit every year. It is located inside a church, which was built on the Stade in 1852, which fell out of use after WW2. In 1956, people became concerned about the area and wanted to preserve the maritime history of Hastings. As a result, they took over the old Fishermen’s church and knocked down part of the wall and there onwards, the museum came to life. Here you will find models, photos, paintings, nets, ropes and a variety of fishing artifacts. A joint committee of the Fishermen’s Protection Society and the Old Hastings Preservation Society runs it and admission is free.

Fairlight Glen

The beach here lies on the coast between Hastings and the town of Rye. In 1978, the beach was recognised as a naturist beach and was used for many years before that. Although the official path was destroyed years ago by a landslip, locals have repaired the path and installed new steps. A landslip may not sound like a particularly good thing, but since it has greened over and is now a great place to visit if you’re into swimming (watch out for the submerged rocks) or fancy a long walk along the bay.

Hastings Adventure and Crazy Golf

Although being outside on a rainy day isn’t very appealing, smelling the seaside air and feeling the light breeze on a summery day whilst playing golf is more relaxing than you’d think. People of all ages can enjoy both the adventure and crazy golf. This activity in Hastings is the national centre for Miniature Golf in the UK and is the home of the annual World Crazy Golf Championship held every October. It can be very busy during peak periods but is worth the wait and is well built with some interactive courses and water features.

Battle Abbey

Explore the heritage of the Battle of Hastings at Battle Abbey. Home to the battlefield, this attraction offers a whole lot more with the Abbey ruins, a museum and the walled garden.
Events that are coming up include:
Battle Abbey Guided Tours – Monday 6th July to Monday 31st August

Knights’ Tournament – Saturday 25th July to Sunday 26th July
Battle Abbey Bat Walk – Friday 31st July
Conquest Alive! – Saturday 1st August to Monday 31st August

There are more events happening after this date, but these are great opportunities to take advantage of during the school holidays.

Find out more here.

White Rock Theatre

This is a large venue for classical and rock music, stand-up comedians, circus, and pantomime and community events.

Here are the upcoming events for the next couple of months:
Roy Orbison and Friends – Friday 19th June 7:30pm
Fawlty Towers – Saturday 20th June 7:30pm
Ultimate Elton & Rocket Band Meets Pop-Up Bowie – Friday 26th June 7:30pm
Kast Off Kinks – Saturday 27th June 7:30pm
Aladdin-Ballet Theatre UK – Saturday 28th June 2:30pm
Avenue Q – Monday 29th June to 1st July
Rhythm of The Dance – Thursday 2nd July 7:30pm
Princes of Pop – Friday 3rd July 7:30pm

Bobby Socks and Blue Jeans – Saturday 4th July 7:30pm
St Pauls Presents – Back to the Future – Friday 10th July 7:00pm
Tree Fu Tom – Friday 12th July 2:00pm

Let’s Hang On 0 Thursday 30th July 7:30pm
The Wizard of Oz – Saturday 15th August 7:30pm
Magic of the Movies on Stage – Sunday 23rd August 2:30pm and 7:30pm

De La Warr Pavilion

If you love art and exhibitions, this is the place to be. Located in Bexhill, it hosts many events including music events, talks and tours, theatre listings, family activities and workshops. It is also a great place to stop for a drink or food, with a view of the sea and greenery nearby.

It’s Friday again and for this weeks Fun Fact Friday we have taken a look at some of the historical places to visit in the local area.

Hastings Castle

Hastings Castle is a huge part of England’s history as it was the first Norman Motte and Bailey castle to be built here.  It is situated on the West Hill.

When William the Conqueror landed in England he ordered Hastings Castle to be built, this was shortly before the battle that changed the course of English history, the Battle of Hastings where William defeated King Harold II.

The castle was left in ruins when King Henry VIII commissioned the castles church to be destroyed leaving the site in ruins.

Battle Abbey

The Abbey takes its name from the town and was founded to commemorate the bloody battle that saw William the Conqueror assume control of England in 1066.

The site of the Battle of Hastings is one of the least altered of medieval battlefields. In 1066 this part of Sussex was little populated, and the battle was fought on open land immediately south of the dense Wealden forest.

The buildings of the former abbey stand as a near-contemporary memorial to the Battle of Hastings. Although little remains of the original Norman abbey, many later monastic buildings survive, including the great gatehouse and the east range, with its fine vaulted undercroft.

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle is situated beside the River Rother in East Sussex and was built in the late 14th century by a veteran of King Edward III’s wars with France originally as a coastal defence. In 1385, Sir Edward Dalyngrygge was given permission to fortify his house against invasion from France, but then decided to build a new stone castle a short distance away from the house.

Bodiam Castle has no keep, having its various chambers built around the outer defensive walls and inner courts. Its corners and entrance are marked by towers, and topped by crenellations. Its structure, details and situation in an artificial watery landscape indicate that display was an important aspect of the castle’s design as well as defence.

Bexhill Museum

The museum was started in 1914 by enthusiasts specialising in natural history, archaeology and ethnography and offers an incredible insight into town history, its famous residents and visitors and historic milestones that have made Bexhill internationally famous.

Bexhill Museum re-opened in 2009 after a £2m+ refurbishment. New galleries cover Bexhill’s motoring heritage plus costume and social history. Original features are retained in the Sargent Gallery.

Hastings Smugglers

St. Clements Caves are located on the West Hill. The caves were named after a nearby parish church. In the 17th Century, a couple lived in the caves after being discharged from the town’s workhouse for repeated misbehaviour.

in the 1820s, the caves were rediscovered by a local grocer named Joseph Golding. He was cutting a garden seat into the side of the cliff when he broke through to the vast cavern. They became a tourist attraction in 1864 and were visited by the Prince and Princess of Wales. In 1873 the caves received another royal visit from Prince Albert and Prince George Frederick.

In 1940 the caves became an air raid shelter and a temporary home for up to 600 people. Even once when the West Hill received a direct hit from a bomb, the caves remained undamaged. On 25 March 1989 St Clements Caves re-opened as the Smugglers Adventure.

Fisherman’s museum

Hastings Fishermen’s Museum is a museum dedicated to the fishing industry and maritime history of Hastings. It is housed in a former church, officially known as St Nicholas’ Church and locally as The Fishermen’s Church, which served the town’s fishing community for nearly 100 years from 1854.

After wartime damage, occupation by the military and subsequent disuse, the building was leased from the local council by a preservation society, which modified it and established a museum in it. It opened in 1956.