Press Releases week beginning 27 May 2019
All aboard for the Midsummer Fish Festival in Hastings…
Hastings Borough Council's Midsummer Fish Festival takes place over the weekend of 22/23 June, with tickets costing £1.50 in advance, from Hastings Tourist Information Centre (in Breeds Place, on the seafront by the fountain), or £3 on the gate (under 18s free). In a change this year, Saturday will be from 11am - 8pm the get the most from the light evenings, Sunday will be from 11am until 6pm.
The events take place on the Stade open space, in the heart of Hastings Old Town, literally within casting distance of the town's historic fishing fleet, the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe.
As well as live music all weekend, there will be a great selection of food and drink from local restaurants, street vendors, and bakeries, as well as local brewers, wine makers, plus free cooking demos and children's activities taking place in the Stade Hall.
Cllr Kim Forward, deputy leader and lead councillor for marketing, said,
"Hastings has earned itself quite a reputation for its fish festivals. First came 'Seafood & Wine', over the third weekend of September, and the town loved this so much we added Midsummer Fish Festival - in summer, naturally. Last year we were treated to a catch full of great food, drink and live music from 1066 Country, and this year's event promises to be just as good. We are also greener than ever, and are proud that we are eliminating all single use plastics from our fish festivals, starting with Midsummer."
The music will open on the Saturday (22 June) with the beautiful sounds of The Hastings Sinfonia, as well as many other performances throughout the weekend including The Claire Hamill Band - locals who are excited to be making their Hastings Festival debut! There will free be cooking demonstrations in Classroom on the Coast - the unique seafood training kitchen over the weekend. Hastings Fish Ambassador, CJ Jackson, will be showing off the local catch with some great recipes on Saturday and Sunday
For more information, and full band listings, visit www.visit1066country.com/fishfestivals
The Art of Life on the Stade
Paintings from Hastings Museum & Art Gallery's collection in the ground floor art gallery
Fishing for Generations
Photographs by John Cole on the first floor walkway
Hastings Museum & Art Gallery / 15 June - 27 October 2019 / Free entry
These linked exhibitions celebrate the people at the heart of Hastings' famous fishing industry, past and present.
Fisher folk have been launching boats from the Stade for over 1000 years. Many working there today can trace their family back centuries. Artists have been drawn to Hastings for over 200 years; attracted by the quality of light, the dramatic scenery, sense of history. And especially the busy scenes they found on the beach. They often portray an idealised view of an industry that has always been harsh and precarious. Some take artistic licence, altering views and spaces to suit their composition. Yet their paintings provide a fascinating record of both continuity and change in this community, supporting the sense of pride in their heritage and identity.
Kim Forward, lead councillor for regeneration, culture and tourism said,
"The museum worked with the Hastings Fishermen's Protection Society and members of the fleet community to look through the stored collections of watercolours and prints to make a final selection for the exhibition. Their first-hand experience of the industry has provided greater insight and understanding of our collections which shows how community knowledge can enhance the work of the museum for the benefit of all our visitors."
Included in the exhibition is the museum's most popular painting, Fishmarket on the Sands, Early Morning by JMW Turner. Also included are 18th century watercolour drawings by Joseph Farington. There are also oil paintings and a rare etching by William Henry Borrow and many smaller works that are usually kept in store.
A colour catalogue accompanies this exhibition.
Upstairs, photographs by contemporary photographer John Cole are shown alongside archive images from the museum's collection. Cole's Fishing for Generations is a photographic portrayal from the 1990s to the present of the men and women of Britain's oldest beach-launched fishing community.
In 1991 Cole came down from London to photograph Hastings' fishing families and spent more than two years on the project. When he moved to Hastings in 2000, he resumed photographing the fishermen, linking his earlier work with the current generation.
Entrance to the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, and the exhibitions, is free.
Official opening by the Mayor of Hastings, Cllr Nigel Sinden and lead councillor for regeneration, culture and tourism, Cllr Kim Forward / Saturday 15 June 11am - 1pm / speeches at 11.30am / free event with pay bar
Curator's talks / 26 June, 24 July, 25 September & 23 October / £5