Hastings, England Photo Tour

Hastings is a town and local government district in South East England, in the county of East Sussex. It is best known for its connection with the Battle of Hastings 1066, which actually occurred north of the town at Senlac Hill; the battle is commemorated today in the town of Battle. Hastings was one of the Cinque Ports, but its significance as a port declined after the 19th Century and its main industry became fishing. It still has the largest beach-based fishing fleet in England. From a fishing port it became a watering place and finally a seaside resort in Victorian times.

Visitor attractions
Hastings Pier and beach in the WinterHastings had a pier, built in the 19th century, and wholly updated at the beginning of the 21st century. However, the pier refurbishment was only cosmetic and in 2006 the structure was condemned and closed when parts of it started falling onto the beach below. At present, only a small area of the pier next to the promenade is open. At one time there was another pier at St Leonards; it was partly demolished during WWII, and was subsequently completed demolished. Opposite the pier is the White Rock Theatre which mainly stages traditional seaside light entertainment shows. North of this and a little way inland are a 25m public swimming pool and leisure centre at Summerfields. This also has the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, law courts, police and fire stations nearby.

Near the castle ruins, on the West Hill, are “St Clement’s Caves”, partly natural, but mainly excavated by hand from the soft sandstone.

There are a miniature railway, fairground rides and amusement arcades catering for tourists near the Fishmarket. The fishmarket includes the striking net shops, fisherman’s museum and Hastings Sea Life Centre. Fishing boats are likely to be drawn up on the beach and there is a lifeboat station. Nearby is Hastings Old Town with a number of buildings dating from the earliest days of the town. There are two funicular railways, known locally as the West Hill and East Hill Lifts respectively. Slightly inland is the small Stables Theatre, which shows mainly local productions and acts as an arts exhibition centre.

To the east of the town is the Hastings Country Park. This is an area of 2.67 km² of lightly wooded and open land extending from hastings approximately 3 miles (5 km) along the cliff tops to Fairlight.

Another family pool with wave machine and water slide is situated at Glyne Gap, on the coast mid-way between Bexhill and Hastings. Glyne Gap also sports a bowling alley and shopping centre.

There is a small Odeon cinema in Hastings but the nearest ‘multiplex’ is Cineworld at Eastbourne.

There is also a yearly carnival, an “Old Town Week” during August, a beer festival in Alexandra Park, and an International Chess Congress. During Hastings week held each year around the 14th October the Hastings Boroughs Bonfire Society stages a torchlight procession through the streets, beach bonfire and spectacular firework display.

The Saxon Shore Way starts at Gravesend, Kent and traces the coast as it was in Roman times as far as Hastings, 163 miles (262 km) in total.

Hastings is linked to London by two railway lines. The shorter is the former South Eastern Railway (SER) route to Charing Cross via Battle and Tunbridge Wells, opened 1852, and the longer is the former London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) route to Victoria via Bexhill, Eastbourne and Lewes. There is also the Marshlink Line via Rye to Ashford. The ex-SER route suffered for many years from the narrowness of some of its tunnels, so that special locomotives and rolling stock had to be built to meet the restricted loading gauge, for instance the Southern Railway’s Schools Class and later the flat-sided Hastings diesels. This problem was eventually overcome, permitting the electrification of this line in 1996 and much improved services. The town currently has four railway stations: from west to east they are West St Leonards, St Leonards Warrior Square, Hastings, and Ore. West Marina station (on the LBSCR line) was very near to West St Leonards (on the SER line) and was closed some years ago. New stations have been proposed.

Hastings is linked to London by the A21 trunk road. There have been improvements in this road over the years, notably bypasses for Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Pembury and Lamberhurst, but the dual carriageway stops well short of Hastings. Long-term plans for a much improved east-west route and a Hastings bypass were abandoned in the 1990s, but a new road to Bexhill-on-Sea was announced in 2004 to relieve the congested coastal route (A259).

Hastings had a network of trams from 1905 to 1929, later replaced by trolleybuses until 1959. The “Save our trolleys” campaign was unsuccessful, and the town is now served by Stagecoach diesel buses. These serve routes around Hastings, and extend to Bexhill, Eastbourne and even Dover.

Former Residents
John Logie Baird, pioneer of television
Kevin Ball, ex-footballer and now coach at Sunderland A.F.C.
Gareth Barry, footballer for Aston Villa (2005)
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), first woman to qualify as a doctor
Barbara Bodichon (1827-1890), advocate of women’s rights, painter and founder of Girton College
Elsie Bowerman, 1889-1973; Suffragette and Titanic survivor. One of the first women called to the Bar and the first to appear at the Old Bailey.
Jo Brand, comedienne
John Bratby, painter
James Burton (1761-1837), architect, founder of St Leonards)
Decimus Burton (1880-1881), son of James, continued his father’s work
Catherine Cookson, popular novelist
Alistair Crowley, occultist
John Martyn, singer-songwriter
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), French theologian, writer and philosopher
Simon Fuller, pop-music manager (most famously of The Spice Girls)
David Gemmell, Novelist
Grey Owl (Archibald Belaney), author, nature conservation pioneer, and Canadian icon
Rider Haggard (1865-1936), writer
William Hale White, novelist also known as “Mark Rutherford”
Keane, a pop/rock band
Sheila Kaye-Smith, (1881-1956), local author
Steve Kinch, bass guitarist with Manfred Mann and formerly with Hazel O’Connor.
Desmond Llewelyn, seen as ‘Q’ in the James Bond movie series
Geoff Love, band leader
John Digweed world famous DJ
Graham McPherson, aka ‘Suggs’, a singer who was born in Hastings though didn’t live there long.
Paul Merton, TV presenter/comic
Spike Milligan, comedian and writer
George Monger, who at 17 won a Victoria Cross at Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny
Eugénie de Montijo, Empress of France
Fiona Pitt-Kethley, writer
Marianne North, 1830-1890, botanical painter with permanent gallery at Kew Gardens, London
Titus Oates, instigator of the “Popish Plot”
Coventry Patmore (1823-1896), Roman Catholic poet and Pre-Raphaelite
Alex Sanders, King of the Witches
Robert Tressell, socialist novelist
Winifred Wagner, leader of the Bayreuth Festival
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Paula Yates, former TV Presenter
Screaming Lord Sutch, founder of the Monster Raving Loony Party
Michael Yardy, England and Sussex cricket player.
Harvey du Cross.Liberal M.P. for Hastings (1906-08)
Dr Nathaniel Bagshawe Ward (1791-1868)
Ann Matilda McNeill ((1831?-1881) Whistlers Mother.
Thomas Attwood Walmisley (1814-1856) Professor of Music at Cambridge.
Richard D’Oyly Carte. (1844-1901) Gilbert @ Sullivan,Savoy Hotel,Escoffier @ Ritz
Henry Handel Richardson..Australian born author..Died 1946

Current Residents
Emma B, model
Tommy Bailey and Daniel Graham, electropop duo
Kevin Carlyon, High Priest of British White Witches
Maya Evans, political activist
Jaine Green, documentary maker
Claire Hamill, singer songwriter
Alex Lester, BBC Radio 2 presenter
Andrew Jefford, wine writer and poet
Christopher Priest, novelist
Pete Prescott, singer songwriter
Milan Rai, political activist
Victoria Seymour, local author
Steve Furst, comedian and actor on Little Britain
Mark Davis, Professional snooker player.
Shayne Burgess, Professional PDC darts playerText provided by our friends at wikipedia

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