Press Releases week beginning 16 September 2019
A Musical Evening celebrating the life of Molly Townson
White Rock Theatre, Hastings
SUN 27 OCT 2019
Shirley Collins MBE
Wesley Stace AKA John Wesley Harding
Errollyn Wallen MBE
- in the presence of Petula Clark CBE, President of the Hastings International Musical Festival
Hastings International Music Festival presents a one-of-a-kind Musical Evening celebrating the life of their beloved former chairman, Molly Townson (1943-2019). Molly was an inspiration to several generations of singers and performers, and this is our chance to remember her, and her musical life, joyfully together.
This gala evening will honour every aspect of Molly's musical life, from her own singing to her subsequent career as a singing teacher, with special focus on her long association with the Hastings Musical Festival and the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition. As such, we welcome back previous Festival winners who have gone on to successful careers as performers, including Molly's daughters, singers MELANIE STACE and EMMA STACE. We also welcome performances from MIWAKO MIKI and FRANK WIBAUT, prize winner and former Artistic Director respectively of Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition. There will also be contributions from the various performing groups with which she was associated, including SOIREE, her touring Edwardian musical entertainment, and CANTABILE, her choir, with choreography by PAULINE ASH of Laton Ash Dance Centre. And all this, under the watchful eye of PETULA CLARK CBE, President of HIMF.
The evening will also feature performances and appearances from famous friends in the wider world of music, including SHIRLEY COLLINS MBE, the Hastings-born Queen of English Folk Song (and former Festival judge), and IAN KEAREY (The Oyster Band and The Blue Aeroplanes); celebrated composer, double bassist and former classmate GAVIN BRYARS (who wrote the last songs Molly sang in public); and composer ERROLLYN WALLEN MBE, 'the renaissance woman of contemporary British music' (The Observer) and formal resident and Festival competitor. The celebration will be compèred by Molly's son, WESLEY STACE AKA JOHN WESLEY HARDING, whose show Cabinet of Wonders is a long-time fixture in New York City, and who recently released an album featuring duets with Bruce Springsteen and Lou Reed.
All proceeds will go to the Molly Townson Bursary Fund, for young people intending to pursue a career in the performing arts.
Ticket prices: £12, £8 for Over 60s, £6 for Under 16s and Students with ID (including booking fee).
Available from the White Rock Theatre Box Office (whiterocktheatre.org.uk)
Fantastic Fish Fest
The weekend's Seafood & Wine Festival, held on the Stade open space, has been hailed as one of the biggest and best ever.
Cllr Peter Chowney, leader of the council/Cllr Kim Forward, deputy leader of the council, said:
"It was a brilliant weekend in every respect. The sun shone, and many thousands of local residents and visitors flocked to the Stade to enjoy the 14th Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival.
"And I was particularly pleased that the festival was single use plastic free, following on from our commitment to eliminate single use plastic from events on council land. We proved we could do it with the Midsummer Fish Festival, and it is great that we were able to achieve it too with the larger Seafood and Wine Festival. We have set the standard for others to follow.
"The Stade open space was packed throughout the weekend, with a mixture of new stalls and firm favourites selling their wares. It was even busier than last year with some stalls selling their entire weekend produce on the first day, and having to restock for Sunday. Many visitors and stallholders commented on the fantastic atmosphere, and the entertainment marquee was extremely popular too.
"The festival was meant to showcase the very best in local produce, and from the feedback it did just that.
"The whole of the Old Town and seafront was buzzing all weekend, so many other local businesses benefitted from the festival and the thousands of extra visitors it brought to the town.
"The council is pleased and proud to organise this event, which contributes significantly to the local economy, at a time of the year when many resorts have already closed down for the season."
Little Gate Farm and Hastings Borough Council working in partnership for apprentice scheme
Little Gate Farm is delighted to announce the launch of their Supported Apprentice Scheme, following a grant from the National Lottery.
Little Gate Supported Employment will be creating apprenticeships for 50 young people by working with local employers. The Beckley based charity hopes to improve job prospects for young adults that may feel limited in career choices.
Little Gate Farm has 5 years' experience for improving the lives of learning disabled, autistic, and vulnerable children and adults in East Sussex. They have already supported over 40 people with autism and learning disabilities into paid work.
Little Gate Farm CEO and founder, Claire Cordell said,
"This scheme means we can find real jobs for our young people aged 16 - 25 with local employers. We are really excited about the opportunities this will bring to local businesses and the enrichment it will bring to the apprentices involved."
Hastings Borough Council is one of the first large businesses in Hastings to back the scheme. They are supporting an apprentice post and a trainee post in 2019.
Cllr Peter Chowney, leader at Hastings Borough Council said,
"Little Gate Farm's fantastic Supported Apprenticeship Scheme fits perfectly with Hastings Borough Council's ethos of supporting the local area and giving our young people real opportunities to experience the world of work. We're hugely excited to be involved and are really looking forward to welcoming our new recruits."
Both the employer and apprentice will be fully supported by a job coach and training provider throughout the apprenticeship and traineeship.
Huw Merriman MP for Bexhill and Battle is hugely supportive of the programme. Huw said,
"I have been working closely with Little Gate Farm since 2015. They are an inspirational local organisation who is fully committed to providing work skills and fulfilling career opportunities for people with learning disabilities and autism. I was delighted to learn that Little Gate Farm has now launched the new Supported Apprenticeships Scheme. I am fully supportive of this inclusive scheme and I would encourage local employers to get involved in the scheme to discover how these enthusiastic and hard-working apprentices can be a real asset to their organisation."
Hastings Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair Friday 20 September
Little Gate Farm will be at the jobs and apprenticeships fair on Friday 20 September on Stand 8 between 10am and 3pm. Do come and meet with them to find out more about these opportunities.