Press Releases: week beginning 04 August 2014
Exmoor ponies back at Hastings Country Park
Four Exmoor ponies have arrived at Warren Glen at Hastings Country Park to carry out conservation grazing on the Nature Reserve.
Hastings Borough Council took delivery of the ponies recently from The Sussex Pony Grazing and Conservation Trust who offer specialised grazing services to land owners.
Cllr Dawn Poole lead member for leisure and amenities commented:
"We are very pleased that we have been able to provide grazing land for the ponies and as a result they will help to maintain the natural habitat at Warren Glen. We will continue to work with The Sussex Pony Grazing and Conservation Trust and hope to home a few more ponies during the summer months."
The Sussex Pony Grazing and Conservation Trust need local volunteers to help keep an eye on the ponies and ensure their continued welfare, so, if you would like to be involved please contact them for more information.
Anna Bogg, The Sussex Pony Grazing and Conservation Trust said:
"We are delighted to back at Hastings Country Park helping to sustainably manage the rare and important wildlife habitats that occur there. Exmoor ponies are a very hardy, native breed, ideally suited to the rugged terrain and relatively rough forage. They will help improve the biodiversity of the site by hampering the growth of the more dominant species, allowing some of the rarer species a chance to thrive, accessing areas where machines would not be able to go."
Visit www.sussexponygrazing.co.uk for further information.
Hastings retains 3 Green Flag Awards
Three parks in Hastings and St Leonards have retained their Green Flag status making them some of the very best parks in the UK.
Hastings Country Park, Alexandra Park and St Leonards Gardens have all been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award for the second year in a row.
The national award, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to visitors that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for leisure and amenities said:
"We are absolutely delighted once again to receive Green Flag recognition for three of our parks and gardens, a magnificent result with Alexandra Park also receiving a Green Heritage award.
"I would like to thank our grounds maintenance contractors, The Landscape Group for all their hard work in making our parks and gardens look great and all the park managers, staff and volunteers for their hard work and dedication which has helped to create these fantastic places for us all to enjoy."
Visit www.hastings.gov.uk for further information.
Hastings remembered the start of the first world war on Monday, 04 August with two separate events, a service of reflection at the war memorial in Alexandra Park at 10am, and its own special version of the national 'Lights Out' event at 10pm.
Council leader Jeremy Birch explained:
"It is only right that we remember the life-changing first world war, in which so many Hastings residents were among those who lost their lives.
"Our service of reflection was attended by around 200 people including councillors, retired service personnel, cadets and, of course, many members of the local community. Canon Keith Pound gave a very moving address, making the point that the 1250 names on the war memorial were all individual people with their own families, and it is easy to forget that when given the bald casualty statistics.
"Our version of 'Lights Out' in the evening was simple but effective. With the street lighting around our public buildings here in Hastings, simply turning out all but one of the interior lights would only have had very limited impact. So instead, at 10pm, all of the decorative lighting on our seafront turned red, with a single white light moving slowly along the length of the columns, from Marine Court in the west to Robertson Street in the east.
"We like to do things slightly different in Hastings, and it was good to see so many people walking along the seafront to see the lights, and our contribution to this day of reflection.
"Prior to the lights out event at 10pm, a group from the Stables Theatre gave a recital of WWI poems to retired service personnel and other guests in the White Rock Hotel. This was also very moving, and, like the address given at the war memorial earlier in the day, brought home the individual sacrifices that were made by so many people. I am very grateful to the Stables group and the White Rock Hotel for their hospitality."
FLAG flies high after play triumph
A touring play about a fishing community, and a fishing disaster, concluded its run in Hastings on Friday, 01 August.
Cllr Peter Chowney, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council and the chair of the Fisheries Local Action Group ('FLAG'), explained:
"'Get Up And Tie Your Fingers' is a play about the 'herring lasses who used to work as a team to gut the fish when the fishing boats landed their catch. 'Get up and tie your fingers' was the traditional cry of the caller sent to rouse the gutting crews from their beds when the fleet came in.
"The play focussed on the Eyemouth fishing disaster of 14th October 1881, ironically the date we remember as Hastings Day. 129 men and boys were lost at sea in a storm, many drowning so close to land that women and children watched their menfolk drown, but had no hope of reaching them.
"It was an incredibly strong show, and the Stade open space was just perfect for its performance. Everywhere else it had been staged indoors, but the Stade could not be bettered, with its backdrop of our fishing fleet and the working beach, and the real life seagulls adding their own sound effects and the play showed just how versatile the Stade open space is.
"The show has toured down the whole east coast of the country, from Musselburgh in Scotland through South Shields, Hartlepool, Hull, Grimsby, Great Yarmouth, Margate, Folkestone and Hastings, with local choirs singing at each venue. We were very lucky to have Carol Prior's 'Herring Girls' singing here, a choir of local women specially formed just for our shows - they were excellent.
"I know the audiences who packed the Stade open space both last Thursday and Friday thoroughly enjoyed the production too, with some who saw it on the Thursday returning for the final show on Friday.
"Representatives from many of the choirs who performed at the other venues across the east coast travelled to Hastings to join our Herring Girls for the finale on Friday, as that performance marked the end of the twelve week tour. It was fitting to see so many people from so many communities joined in this way, as the fishermen from across these communities also have a shared heritage.
"I am especially grateful to the Marine Management Organisation and the European Fisheries Fund for funding the performances here in Hastings and, of course, Carol Prior's Herring Girls for the fantastic backing they provided."
Visit www.hastingsflag.org for further information.
Youngsters get to Commonwealth Games thanks to council's StreetGames Coordinator
Hastings Borough Council's Active Hastings StreetGames coordinator, Ken Dullaway took on the personal challenge to lose 50lb to raise funds to take 16 youngsters to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Kens first weigh in was on 29 March and he weighed in at 313lbs (141.97Kilos). With the help of Freedom Leisure and Fat-of-fit-on, at his final weigh in at the end of July he weighed 261lbs (118.6 kilos) a total loss of 52lbs an incredible achievement!
Ken raised over £2000 which meant he was able to provide free accommodation in Glasgow for the 16 young sports enthusiasts.
Council publishes 100th anniversary edition of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
Written by Robert Tressell, focussing on the provincial town of Mugsborough or Hastings and St Leonards in the early 1900s, Hastings Borough Council has now published a special edition to celebrate the centenary of the book's first edition.
Cllr Bruce Dowling, Mayor of Hastings said:
"As a lifelong resident of Hastings and St Leonards I have always been aware of this book and its role and origin in the life of our town. As a community, we have come a long way from the era in which Robert Tressell lived but the book and its message and strong characters still resonate with many readers worldwide.
"The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists features identifiable sites around Hastings and St Leonards and some of the characters and events can even be traced back to real people and situations that happened at the time Robert lived in Hastings.
"I am very proud that we have published this book at the centenary and hope that new and old readers alike will enjoy this very special edition."
Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration added:
"This is a unique 100th anniversary edition which includes images of Hastings surrounding the life and times of Robert Tressell.
"Our thanks must go to Steve Peak, local Hastings historian, who has put so much work into the research to provide us with extraordinary images and a comprehensive introduction for this anniversary edition.
"The book is now available to buy at £2.99 from the Tourist Information Centre at Breeds Place, Hastings."
Gilded Hand - International Buskers Fair
The Stade Saturdays programme brings The Gilded Hand - International Buskers Fair to Hastings this Saturday, 09 August.
Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration commented:
"This weekend a variety of musical buskers will be performing at the Stade Open Space from 1pm through to 5pm. Headlining the day of free entertainment this year is the multi-talented, musical supremo Earl Okin, who will be on the main stage at 3.45pm.
"Other acts include Nicky Mitchell, Frankie Chalet, Ed Boxall, The Ingrid Pitt Orchestra, Vallelectro, Jazz Train, Wobblies and Danii Mansfield. There will also be a produce market from 11.30am.
"After each act has entertained us, a hat will be passed around for contributions, so please give generously!"
This is not an open invite to busk, performing buskers are strictly by invite only. Buskers who wish to participate in this event should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit www.hastings.gov.uk for the full Stade Saturdays programme of events.