Press Releases week beginning 19 September 2016
Bottle Alley shines again
Bottle Alley is the 480 meter lower deck of Hastings Promenade that runs between the Pier and Warrior Square. Named after the countless multicoloured pieces of glass bottle embedded in the concrete, Bottle Alley was built in the 1930's by the town's borough engineer Sidney Little who became known as the 'Concrete King' of the South Coast. He loved concrete and also designed the baths at White Rock, now The Source Park and West Marina, as well as the sea defences.
Formerly opened in 1934 the design of Bottle Alley was intended to allow visitors to walk along the top during good weather and underneath when it rained; specifically so that residents and visitors could make the most of the wonderful, fresh sea air.
Hastings Borough Council has recently carried out extensive concrete repairs and full redecoration of the structure and is currently exploring options for a new coloured LED lighting scheme.
"Added to the extensive refurbishment we have also positioned some new detailed interpretation panels at each entrance to Bottle Alley. These are intended to provide historical information to people passing by that want to know a little more about this amazing structure" said Cllr Dawn Poole the council's lead member for regeneration.
She added: "The panels include lots of interesting facts and figures and the early construction photographs were researched by local historian Andre-Palfrey Martin.
"With the new pier and its extensive programme of events ,The Source Park, the new kayak centre located in Bottle Alley and of course the new planting schemes this area of the town's seafront really is looking great and well worth a visit."
Fantastic Fish Festival
Hastings 13th annual seafood & wine festival has been hailed as a huge success, attracting around 20 000 visitors to Hastings Old Town over last weekend (Saturday/Sunday 17 and 18 September). The event is organised by Hastings Borough Council, and showcases the very best in local produce.
Council leader Cllr Peter Chowney, who opened the festival on Saturday morning with Hastings mayor Cllr Judy Rogers, explained: - "The event started in a quarter of the old coach park, and has grown ever since.
"Around 20 000 people came to the Stade last weekend, with visitors from across the UK and beyond joining local residents for the biggest seafood & wine festival we've ever had. The feedback has been fantastic, with stallholders describing it as 'excellent' and 'tremendous'. One said it is the best event he does in the year, even taking into account the London shows he attends, and another, who increased his stock by 50% on last year, was sold out by mid-afternoon Saturday. He spent most of the night making more.
"It was Norman and Saxon themed this year, for obvious reasons, and it was good to see the stallholders joining into the spirit of the event. 'Coast' - the Sussex Coast College Hastings catering team - won the best dressed stall competition, and looked resplendent in their mediaeval-looking costumes.
"The event does cost the council a significant amount of money to put on, but we consider it a worthwhile investment because of the benefit it brings to our local economy. Few other resorts can have been as busy as we are on the third weekend in September!"
ROOT 1066: two talks not to miss
Interpreting the Bayeux Tapestry
Join Gale Owen-Crocker, Professor Emerita of The University of Manchester, as she interprets this extraordinary example of Anglo-Norman art and workmanship. Learn about the battle that transformed England's culture and heritage, as told by those that were there at the time - and also about the other elements of 11th century life portrayed: political propaganda, mundane objects and day-to-day living.
The talk will take place on Thursday 29 September, 2pm to 3.30pm (doors open at 1.30pm) at St Mary in the Castle. Tickets are £15, and available via stmaryinthecastle.co.uk.
There will also be a chance to view the Medieval Mosaic, a complete recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry, which is on display in the Crypt of St Mary in the Castle. Comprising 3,000,000 pieces of spring steel, it holds the Guinness World Record as the largest steel mosaic.
An Evening with Marcus Harvey
Margaret Thatcher, Myra Hindley and Tony Blair are just three of the Inselaffe - meaning 'island monkeys' who feature in Marcus Harvey's irreverent show currently at the Jerwood Gallery (ends 16 October). The work forges motifs and emblems of Britishness, such as military memorabilia and joke shop knick-knacks, into collaged portraits of historical figures.
Meet the man behind this array of tongue-in-cheek exhibition on Friday 30 September at 7pm, at the Jerwood Gallery. Tickets are £10 per person (£8 for members), and booking is essential. To book, call 01424 728377.
Speckled Wood looking great as autumn approaches
Speckled Wood is a 12.7-acre woodland in Ore Village in the Ore Valley of Hastings. Identified in the Hastings Local Plan as a green space, this wet woodland consists of woodland trails, clearings with very steep sixty-degree sides.
Hastings Borough Council is supporting the Ore Community Land Trust's (CLT) approach to protect land in the Upper Ore Valley and their aim to enhance urban woodland and green space for community use and the protection of animal habitats. Ore CLT have been working hard to acquire land in Speckled Wood for community use whilst clearing footpaths and the stream, removing rubbish and carrying out conservation work to improve the woodland
"Although much of Speckled Wood is still privately owned by many different landowners, access to the land is open and I'm very grateful to local volunteers for the work they've done to protect and enhance the woodland, following the council making the whole wooded valley protected open space in our local plan. I hope Ore Community Land Trust will be able to acquire the land gradually and manage it in perpetuity for the benefit of local people" said council leader, Cllr Peter Chowney.
Speckled Wood is a sizeable proportion of green space within the urban area of Hastings and is an area of natural habitat within the town. It's possible to enter the natural area from points within Ore Village using the long established footpaths.
ROOT 1066 events for the first weekend of October
An opera world premiere, St Mary in the Castle transformed into a fun palace, and an exciting new exhibition at the Stade - there's a whole lot of art going on as the ROOT 1066 International Festival enters its fifth week.
PUSH - an opera for our times
De La Warr Pavilion, Sat 1 October, 3.30pm & 7.30pm - dlwp.com
Battle Festival , Sat 8 October, 7.30pm - battlefestival.co.uk
PUSH, an opera performed by soloists from Glyndebourne, musicians from some of the UK's major orchestras and 250 children and adults from across 1066 Country, will make its world premiere this weekend.
Written by internationally acclaimed composer Howard Moody, PUSH is inspired by the compelling, true story of Simon Gronowski, who was pushed from a train bound for Auschwitz by his mother in 1943. The narrative also draws more recent refugee experiences including 'The Jungle' in Calais, the mass arrival of Syrian refugees into Europe, and the scenes from the train stations in Budapest as refugees were trapped whilst trying to board trains.
Fun Palace - for the whole family
St Mary in the Castle, Sat 1 and Sun 2 October, 11am-4pm
Join local artists, writers and volunteers as they transform St Mary in the Castle into a Fun Palace for the weekend. There will be a variety of family events and workshops exploring themes from the 950th anniversary; in particular the Guinness World Record holding Medieval Mosaic currently on display in the crypt.
This free, drop-in arts and crafts event is designed for families and all activities will be suitable for children aged three and up. Children will be able to take part in exciting drawing, writing and crafting activities which teach them different ways to tell stories through art. They will also work together to design a Tapestry to rival Bayeux! After the weekend's fun, the newly created tapestries will remain on display so all the contributing families can come back and admire their work.
All materials will be supplied and drinks and snacks will be available throughout the day. Children should be supervised during all activities, and parents and carers will be encouraged to join in too.
Movement - an inclusive event and installation
Installation: Stade Hall, 2 October ( 2pm to 5pm )and 3 October (10.30am to 4pm)
Event: Stade Open Space, Sunday 2 October, 2pm to 5pm
The Craftivist Network has brought together local charities that provide creative opportunities for vulnerable and excluded groups, to create Movement.
Participants have made arrows and banners to communicate the challenges they experience and their hopes for the future direction of their lives and the town. The individual arrows will become part of a large-scale installation designed by St Leonards artist Caroline Le Breton at Stade Hall. Everyone is invited to see the installation take shape, enjoy refreshments and music, or make an arrow to take home.
The Craftivist Network was formed by Culture Shift and Hastings Furniture Service, and includes Active Arts (Hastings & Bexhill Mencap), Autism Sussex, Little Gate Farm, HFS, Seaview, Glyne Gap Faculty, Horizons Community Learning, and Conquest and Beeching Park day centres.
"As soon as people use the term "Arts Festival" there is a danger that it will be seen as exclusive or middle class," says Naomi Ridley, chief executive of Hastings Furniture Service. "We wanted to organise something that would be part of the festival that truly involved local residents, especially those who otherwise might not be seen or feel included."
Movement is funded by Hastings Borough Council, with support from local businesses Brewers, Southern Gas Solutions and M&W Residential Sales and Lettings
Council supports local business growth
Hastings Borough Council in its aims to support local businesses and increase jobs in the town has invested in the build of a new factory unit at Castleham Industrial Estate, Hastings.
Built by Westridge Construction Ltd the new unit due for completion at the end of this year will provide much needed extra space for a local business already operating from other units in the area, BD Foods.
Hastings Borough Council's leader, Cllr Peter Chowney recently attended the 'topping out' ceremony; the age old tradition of bestowing luck and thanks to builders when a structure reaches its topmost point. He commented: "This unit is a great addition to the offer at Castleham and we are very pleased that BD Foods will be the new tenants. They currently occupy eight units at Castleham and this one will enable them to expand their food production, creating 50 new jobs in the process."
BD Foods plan to start working from the unit in the New Year.