Press Releases: week beginning 03 November 2014
Town vows to remember them
New roads in Hastings may be named after the town's heroes who served in the First World War.
A motion to add to the list of possible street names those who served the United Kingdom in the First World War and were awarded a gallantry medal for their actions, and others who made a contribution during those years, has just been passed unanimously by Hastings Borough Council.
The motion was proposed by Cllr Lee Clark, who explained:
"When many of us attended the opening of the Hastings Remembers event at the museum back in the summer it struck me at how many of today's norms and world views were shaped by the tragic events of 1914-1918.
"As I looked at the exhibits and then heard the Mayor, Councillor Bruce Dowling talk about his uncle and his experience, both during and after the war, it struck me that all across our town are families who could tell a story about a loved one who never came home, a loved one who returned a different person, a loved one who did something out of the ordinary.
"We have roads named after the big chiefs of the Second World War, Churchill Avenue in Ore for example, and in Hollington we have a cluster of roads named after former councillors. And of course we have a considerable smattering of 18th and 19th century generals and admirals.
"But no road names remember those ordinary people who gave their lives in the service of our nation.
"Now is not the time or the place to debate the nature and purpose of war, if war is just or unjust and the ability for many to not be able to say no to service in the colours.
"This motion is about addressing a historical wrong, addressing the fact that Hastings' own are not remembered after their death.
"I have a personal interest in this motion, although I am sure that my interest would have been no less personal even if I had not known about my great grandmother's brother, William Alfred Belsey.
"The second oldest of five, he had an older brother who died in Gallipoli, and another brother who died from his wounds in 1923 at Hellingly Hospital.
"He was born in the town centre and lived in Waterworks Road. His father died in the Hastings Poor House, and found himself placed into an orphanage in Dover, and died of his wounds whilst acting as a stretcher bearer caring for injured colleagues on the Somme, winning the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions.
"Injured on two separate occasions, did he consider himself a hero? Most likely not. Did he consider that he was doing right by his mates? Most likely yes.
"He gave his life to save others.
"The motion also recognises those who did not serve in a combat role. Ambulance drivers, nurses, and chaplains who played a vital role in providing comfort and support to the wounded and injured in their time of need.
"This list is surely the most inclusive list of names ever in the Borough of Hastings to be considered suitable for street naming. It gives us the chance to remember our former residents in a way which is fitting with the public mood and will be welcomed by a wide spectrum of society.
"We will remember them."
Tremendous Tec 66 event
An event intended to showcase the high-tech industries now based in Hastings and 1066 Country has been hailed as a huge success.
'Tec 66' was held at Sussex Coast College Hastings on Monday, 26 October, and organised by Seachange Sussex, with the support of local business representatives, and Hastings Borough Council.
Cllr John Hodges, who sits on Hastings Borough Council's Cabinet, and came up with the original idea for 'Tec 66', explained:
"Hastings is of course rightly famous for its history and heritage, but deserves to be equally well known for the incredible concentration of high technology companies that are based in and around the town.
"We have cutting edge industry right on our very doorstep, and Tec 66 was a chance for local companies to showcase their work to a wider audience. Although only the second Tec 66 event, it shows that we have a developing identity as a centre of excellence.
"We were pleased to attract delegates and speakers from around the world to the event, including Dr Moritz Riede of the University of Oxford, and formerly of the University of Dresden, and Professor Michel de Jong from Twente University in the Netherlands, showing that Tec 66 has real credibility within the European scientific community.
"It was great to see Sussex Coast College host the day, it made the perfect modern setting for the show.
"We were especially pleased to welcome Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, who now presents The Sky At Night, and who gave the opening talk. Not only is Maggie a world leader in her field, and an increasingly well-known name in the media, but she actually grew up here in Hastings, so it was very apt indeed that she was able to show that, literally, the sky is the limit to our ambition here."
Seafront blot lifted once and for all
The proliferation of estate agents' boards that once marred Hastings seafront has been banished once and for all, Hastings Borough Council's Cabinet heard on Monday, 03 November.
Deputy leader of the council, and lead member for planning, Cllr Peter Chowney explained:
"Not that long ago Hastings seafront was a forest of estate agents' boards, indeed some national newspapers still used library photos taken then of a small number of properties almost hidden by these boards, several to each property. We have a fantastic, historic, seafront, and these boards were just a blot on this.
"We applied to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for permission which took away 'deemed consent' for these boards, meaning that planning permission had to be applied for. And we would not grant this except in the most exceptional circumstances.
"The original permission only lasted five years, and expired at the end of 2014, so we asked the Secretary of State to renew it, but this time make it in perpetuity, so that it did not have to be renewed every five years.
"This request was granted, which means we are now free of the forest of estate agents' boards on our seafront for ever."
Hastings celebrates another Fish Fair success
Hastings third Herring Fair, held on 01 and 02 November at the Stade Open Space Hastings, was once again a huge success.
The Herring Fair run by Hastings Borough Council on behalf of FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group) aims to encourage more people to try herring, a fish that is underused yet plentiful in our sea.
Cllr Peter Chowney deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council and chair of FLAG commented:
"The fish fairs form part of the annual programme of events in Hastings and the Herring Fair is aimed at specifically promoting the herring and its versatility. This year the free event attracted thousands of visitors over the two days. There were plenty of fishy tasters being given away and a varied selection of herring prepared in different ways, including bloaters, buckling, kippers and soused herring. With many other stalls, cookery classes in the Stade's 'Classroom on the Coast', and musical entertainment this really was another great fish festival in Hastings.
"A lot of hard work goes into staging the fish festivals and I'd like to thank everyone involved in the organisation of the Herring Fair, especially members of the FLAG and our local fishermen."
Sonny Elliott, from Rock-a-Nore Fisheries added:
"We like to be involved in this event because it promotes the Hastings Fleet which we support as much as we can. It's nice for people to get something local, we are the only smokers here, we smoke our own fish which is important as we are the last of a dying breed."
Us Girls Rocks - a festival of sport
Hastings Borough Council's StreetGames project held a festival of sport for girls aged between 12 and 18 during the half term break.
The Us Girls Rocks event took place at Freedom Leisure Helenswood Sports Centre on Wednesday 29 October.
Cllr Dawn Poole, the council's lead member for leisure and amenities attended the event. She explained:
"The aim of this event was to get females into sport and physical activity to create a sporting habit for life. Girls had the opportunity to try sports from clubs across the town including Hastings Predators Floorball and Fighting Tigers Gym.
"Fifty eight girls participated in over fifteen different physical activities and sports on the day which also included a chill out zone with nail care and beauty.
"It was very encouraging to see so many young girls take part in this event and our thanks must go to the young volunteers who ran the event mentored by senior staff and the support given by Active Sussex, Brighton University and Freedom Leisure Helenswood Sports Centre."
People interested in volunteering on the StreetGames Project should contact Ken Dullaway, StreetGames co-ordinator email@example.com
Jaws 'n' Claws draws record numbers to museum
Hastings Museum and Art Gallery had the busiest single day since their grand re-opening in 2007 during half term week.
Over 800 visitors attended the Jaws 'n' Claws activity on Tuesday, 28 October.
Cllr Dawn Poole,lead member for leisure and amenities commented:
"The free Jaws 'n' Claws event was a fantastic day and saw record numbers attend the museum. If you've never met Phil and his amazing collection of animals, we'd really recommend him. You can find out more on his website www.jawsnclaws.co.uk.
"The museum continues to offer excellent free events and exhibitions and as we approach Remembrance Sunday, it's a fitting time to think of the Hastings residents who were affected by the First World War.
"It's your last chance to see our fantastic exhibition 'Hastings Remembers: Local Stories of the First World War', which covers a whole range of local experiences with objects from the Museum's collections. We also have our final Hastings Remembers event for this year – a fascinating talk on the often hidden histories of the 16,000+ conscientious objectors with writer and historian Ann Kramer. Free tickets for this talk are available now at Museum Reception."