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Armistice Day 2018 with the WI - Battleaxe takes part

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Sunday was the 11th day of the 11th month, exactly 100 years after the end of WW1.  A significant and poignant anniversary.  The country was flooded in a red poppy tide, and in a small way, our WI was part of it.       Many WI groups did much more than us. As Editor of WI News I have been inundated with photographs of hand-made poppy installations. Our neighbour, Pett WI, worked with their village community to make the most amazing displays. However, our group has a distributed town-based membership across Hastings and St Leonard's - it is more difficult to identify a focus.
       If we have such a focus, it is around Ore. We meet in the parish church hall, and our bazaars, jumble sales etc are directed at the local community - which includes some of the most deprived neighburhoods in the country, never mind Hastings. Our most successful campaigning event - saving the Ore public toilets, was local.
        I am part of the Church Transformation Group - hopefully progressing the…

Hastings Battleaxe visits.... Hastings Town Hall

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Well, from the 'Mother' of Parliaments to our own local little piece of municipal heritage - the Town Hall in Hastings.  They had an open day along with some sort of wedding fair there last Sunday, so we popped in to have a look.       A while ago Battleaxe went to the current council offices, Muriel Matters House on the seafront, to harangue the Council about the threatened closure of Ore toilets. A more uninspiring low-rent beige corporate environment would be hard to find, so it was nice to see round the original Victorian Town Hall, built in 1881.
      The old Council Chamber is now the Registry office for weddings. The photo is from the internet, because when we went the place was full of rather tacky-looking purveyors of wedding frippery... Pity they couldn't get chairs to match the carpet better.  The former Mayor's Parlour has also been done up as a ceremony room - very kitsch.

       We saw the only two panels on show from the Hastings Embroidery made to com…

A visit to Parliament with the WI

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Battleaxe has never visited the Houses of Parliament, and this week our local WI group went for a visit. The trip was arranged for us by our local MP, Amber Rudd - who is a member of our WI.  However, she somehow managed to pass the hot potato of facing a roomful of WI women to Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle. More about that later..
All the photos on this post are from the internet - you are not allowed to take photos in Parliament.     We had to leave (on a coach) at the crack of dawn to be at Westminster by 10am, but we arrived in plenty of time. You have to go through airport-level security. I felt a bit stupid becasue having lectured the ladies about not taking any weaponry, turns out I had a Swiss Card in my bag - it is a credit card sized piece of plastic which contains tiny tools, including a penknife about an inch long - and they found it.  I had to hand it in. Daft really. I wouldn't have got very far trying to assassinate Boris Johnson with that knife - it woul…

Hastings Battleaxe enjoys autumn sun

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The weather is getting colder.  This post celebrates the last of the autumn sun.  How beautiful it’s been here in Hastings - the warmth, the clear air, flawless blue skies and shimmering sea. Battleaxe has been basking like a lizard, storing up sun for the coming winter. Mind you, I'm looking forward to winter clothes. Nice flesh-containing tights, skirts, winter woolies, proper coats... The last few weeks I’ve had to wear jeans all the time - too unseasonal for tights, too chilly for bare legs, which anyway, have lost their summer tan....
    At the weekend we went to Bexhill. Visited the Sussex Guild Craft Show at the de la Warr.  If you have never been to one of these, Battleaxe would totally recommend. They are held around Sussex about 6 times a year. The prices are eye-watering, but they have the most truly beautiful things... I got a new cereal bowl (see later) and Philosopher got me a Christmas present that I am not allowed to see or talk about. Had coffee sittin…

Hastings Battleaxe braves the Hastings Bonfire... and welcomes the new lifeboat

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We've lived here seven years and never once been to the Bonfire Celebrations - no excuses about the weather this time - it is unseasonably warm and dry, so no more excuses... and we loved it!

   A brief explanation of what is going on for those who live outside East  Sussex. Down here, each year around this time, towns and villages have a fiery bonfire plus a parade of locals wielding blazing torches, fireworks and anything else pyrotechnic they can lay their hands on. Almost every town and village,  (except for Brighton for some reason) has its own Bonfire Society who keep the traditions alive.
    The Sussex Bonfire culture is generally believed to have religious roots - anti-Catholicism, Guy Fawkes and most notably the cult of the protestant Sussex Martyrs, 17 of whom were burned at the stake in Lewes between 1555 and 1557, during the reign of Mary I. This gave rise to the Lewes bonfire celebrations, the largest and scariest of the lot. However, the bonfires, the flaming torche…

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