Press Releases: week beginning 17 March 2014
Council Leader calls for special stamps and coins to mark 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings
Council Leader, Councillor Jeremy Birch, has written to the Royal Mail and the Royal Mint asking for special stamps and coins to be issued in 2016 to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.
Cllr Birch explained:
"2016 marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, which of course took place in 1066, a date that is said to be the most famous in English history.
"Here in Hastings we are already getting ready to celebrate 2016, we have already committed £300,000 of our own money to plan for and hold events, and we have ambitious plans to improve Hastings Castle (the first Norman castle in England), which we have applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for help with.
"We think that marking the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings is an event of national significance, as the 900th anniversary was in 1966.
"A series of commemorative stamps was issued then, which I understand are still popular with collectors today. I know that the Royal Mail regularly issues special stamps to mark important anniversaries and, indeed, the Royal Mint now also issue special coins for the same reason.
"These special issues take a very long time to plan. I have therefore already written to the chief executives of both organisations to ask them to consider issuing special stamps and coins in 2016 to celebrate this most famous date in English history and, indeed, to celebrate the battle which gave us the English language and the basis of our legal system."
International Chess Congress well received
Chess was introduced to Hastings by the Normans and the present Congress grew out of the great interest in chess shown in the 1880's. A group of business men formed the Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club and Herbert Dobell was elected Secretary, which proved to be a significant event for the whole chess world. His vision meant that regular regional matches were held and County matches were played at Hastings for the first time.
An annual festival was started which included lectures and exhibitions and the strength of the club increased. This paved the way for the great Hastings Tournament of 1895, still regarded as probably the greatest chess tournament ever held.
Over the years all the world champions except Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov have played at Hastings.
The Chess Congress, supported by Hastings Borough Council remains one of the highlights of the chess calendar and is very well received by all. Indeed, Mr Croft from Margate wrote to the Mayor of Hastings, Cllr Alan Roberts to express his thoughts:
"I would like to congratulate Hastings Borough Council for your magnificent support, in ensuring that the oldest Chess Congress in the world doesn't disappear from the chess calendar as it surely would have done many years ago but for your generosity and farsightedness.
"Every chess player in the country, no, that is insufficient, every chess player in the world should be saluting you today. To each and every one of you – well done!"
Cllr Alan Roberts, Mayor of Hastings, commented:
"It's great to receive letters such as the one from Mr Croft. We are very proud to support the Chess Congress and look forward to the event this year which will take place between 29 December 2014 and 06 January 2015."
H&M comes to Hastings Priory Meadow Shopping Centre
Spring is in the air and as the people of Hastings look forward to the change in season, Priory Meadow Shopping Centre is gearing up for some very exciting developments ahead.
The shopping centre, which was opened in 1997 by Her Majesty the Queen, is seeing a major £2 million overall investment which will include a refurbishment and rebranding in June this year. Recent successful lettings and now the addition of H&M have been factors in starting this process.
John Hough, Priory Meadow Shopping Centre Manager said:
"There is no doubt that H&M represent a real step change in our offer to customers, and this follows on from the recent lettings to tReds and Pandora who have traded very well here since opening. I'm exceptionally pleased to welcome H&M to Priory Meadow and look forward to working with their team."
Cllr Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council commented:
"The arrival of H&M in Priory Meadow is great news for the centre and for the town. Occupying three units this will be a key site within the shopping centre, offering two floors of great fashion for all at affordable prices. The aim is to keep Hastings residents spending in our town and to attract in people from the surrounding area which is good for business, good for the local economy and good for jobs.
"We are very pleased to be involved with the substantial investment and refurbishment which will see the council putting in £200.000. As the freeholder, the council puts in 10% of the investment but gets back 10% of the additional income."
Frances Ferguson, an H&M store manager, added:
"We are getting ready for our launch next week, and I'm really looking forward to working in Priory Meadow, and welcoming customers to our brand new shop which offers an extensive range of quality fashion wear at best prices."
H&M officially opens in Priory Meadow Shopping Centre on Thursday, 27 March at 11am.
Last month Specsavers expanded into the shop next door creating a bright, newly fitted double unit and there are more retailers showing real interest in the remaining vacant units.
Priory Meadow is also in the process of launching refreshing, new branding and signage at the centre as part of the investment and refurbishment programme.