Press Releases week beginning 12 November 2019
Fantastic Free Fish Fair
Hastings Herring Fair returns for the weekend of 23 - 24 November, a fantastic free event on the Stade open space, in the heart of Hastings historic Old Town.
The Hastings fishing fleet have been catching herring since records began, over 400 years ago. The Herring Fair celebrates the now undervalued 'silver darlings of the sea' in their many forms, including bloaters, buckling and kippers.
Festival organiser Stella Landau explained,
"This is our eighth Herring Fair, and it promises to be a great weekend. As well as delicious fish dishes, stalls will be selling local produce, wines, ciders, hot food, and beers for every palate, with the bar run by Harvey's. Most of the event is undercover, although there will be trailers outside too.
"There will be plenty of entertainment too, with a musical line up with a folky flavour, including a ceilidh and of course sea shanties. Hastings Fishermen's Protection Society will be present, and their stall will include a display of traditional net making. And Tush and Pat Hamilton will be sharing their knowledge of this versatile and underused fish with demonstrations in the marquee throughout the day - showing you how to clean, prepare, cook and eat herring.
"CJ Jackson, the principal of the Billingsgate Seafood school and Sunday Brunch star, is our Hastings fish ambassador, and she will be demonstrating herring recipes in the Classroom on the Coast at 12 noon and 2.30pm both days over the weekend. These are free, but are very popular and filled on a first come first served basis, so don't be late!
"And there will be the traditional blessing of the nets at 1230 on Sunday.
"A new addition this year is a Sunday jazz breakfast with Mike Hatchard and friends. Doors open at 9am for a 9.30am start. Ticket prices include a hot drink and a fishermen's roll. Tickets are £13 adult, £10 children, available in advance from the Hastings Tourist Information Centre.
"Because the event can get busy, and there are children and very hot equipment around, only assist dogs are allowed into the marquee.
"The event does cost the Foreshore Trust a lot to put on, and although we've decided not to charge this year, we will be collecting donations.
"The Herring Fair is open from 11am until 4pm both days, do come and pay us a visit :- you won't be disappointed!"
West Hill lift to remain closed for longer than expected
The West Hill lift, the 127-year-old funicular railway connecting George Street to the top of the West Hill in Hastings Old Town, will remain closed for longer than expected.
Kevin Boorman, marketing manager for the council, explained,
"We are very disappointed to learn that the damage to the West Hill lift's main drive wheel is more serious than originally thought.
"We had been advised that it could be repaired, and it was taken to a foundry in Rotherham for the work to be carried out. However, a detailed magnetic particle/dye penetration inspection carried out on the wheel at the foundry - which couldn't be undertaken on-site - has shown serious cracks around the central hub. Our specialist engineer has concerns that if the cracks were repaired, other weaknesses might develop. Their recommendation is to replace the wheel, which we accept.
"We are awaiting costs and timescale estimates - when built 127 years ago these wheels were commonly produced for collieries, but the new wheel has to be designed and cast individually - but the lift is likely to remain closed for some time.
"We know the lift is popular with visitors and used by residents on the West Hill, and are very sorry indeed that the lift will have to stay closed. So far as we are aware this is the first time we've had a serious problem in 127 years, so we can't be too critical of the engineers who built it!"