Showing posts from January, 2014

Hastings Pier restoration gets under way

It's great to see restoration work on the Pier getting started.
     For one of her earliest posts, back in February 2012, Battleaxe wrote an impassioned piece about the apparent lack of progress on the pier project, and got into hot water for it. I've scarcely dared mention it since. Since then, things have happened. The main grant of lottery money was secured, a community share issue has been launched and work has now started.
     This morning, we took advantage of a brief dry interlude to view progress on the Pier, and then visit the new Pier Hub which has just opened in the old White Rock Baths building just along the sea-front.  It might have been dry, but it was still virtuous of us, the wind blowing along the sea was just savage.
     So, where are we now?
     Firstly, the share issue, which was originally intended to raise £500,000. (We have bought our shares). According to the relevant website, the initiative has so far raised nearly £225,000 - about 45% of the tota…

Hastings Battleaxe gets a pruning at Fairlight Hall

Went on a Pruning Workshop yesterday, organised by Ore in Bloom, and led by Peter, the Fairlight Hall Head Gardener. 
     I heard about it via the Women's Institute. Yvonne, who is in my Book Group, is the mother of Sara Kowitz, the Ch√Ętelaine of Fairlight Hall. She (Yvonne) lives at Mallydams Farm on the estate. Oh, that reminds me, talking of the Book Group, we had a good afternoon this week at my place watching the film of 'The Help', which we read a few months ago. Just the thing for a wet, dank afternoon, a good movie, tea, cake, and even home-made popcorn (someone arrived with a machine!).
     Battleaxe has also undertaken to organise a gardening group for the WI. Trouble with me, I'm a bit of a fair-weather gardener. This morning we woke up to thick fog, and dark dampness shrouding everywhere like a wet blanket. Fortunately it brightened up a bit or else I would not have emerged at all.
     The last time we went up to the Hall the weather was also temperamental…

Antiques, vintage shops and galleries in St Leonard's - a walk with Hastings Battleaxe

St Leonard's is a browser's mecca - everything from very upmarket arty galleries to basic junk.
     We often take the route described below - it takes about half a day to do it thoroughly.  There are many other interesting shops along the way, and many charity shops, which I have not covered individually.  This post only covers St Leonard's - I will do another on the Old Town shortly. Opening times for some of these places are erratic, but you are usually safe on a Saturday.
     The walk actually starts in Hastings, because I didn't want to leave out the places on the seafront - and it is nice to have a walk by the sea on a sunny day.
     Start at the end of Robertson Street, and walk along the front past the British Heart Foundation furniture shop. You sometimes see nice bits of mid-century G plan type stuff in here.
     First, the Arthur Green's Antique Centre. Fans of Victorian shop architecture should visit this place just to look at it - it is a beautiful,…

Appledore - Hastings Battleaxe explores Romney Marsh

What a bleak day Sunday was - dark grey clouds, bitter cold wind. Just the day to go for a trip across Romney Marsh.
     We didn't intend to - we set out for Rye Harbour, hoping for nice coffee and cake at the Avocet Gallery before a bracing walk to the sea. But of course it was shut for their winter break.  We did go for a walk, but it was absolutely freezing and not pleasant at all.
     I suggested driving out to investigate Station Antiques in Appledore, which I had read about somewhere. Blimey, talk about the back of beyond - driving mile after mile beyond Rye alongside the Royal Military Canal, with the empty marsh spread out on one side and reed-edged dyke, sheep and the steep slopes of the old sea cliffs on the other. Occasionally, motorcyclists roared past us - they clearly use the quiet, and relatively straight Royal Military Road as a racetrack.
     I don't think I'd like to live on Romney Marsh - a bit depressing. It feels so isolated. 
     Station Antique…

Queen's Head at Icklesham - Hastings Battleaxe recommends

Just a quick note about this nice old pub, the Queen's Head: the menu is extensive, the food is excellent, the beer is good, and the bars are comfortable.  
     The other morning we went to Rye and then called in at the Queen's Head for lunch.  I had sea bream and Philosopher had liver and bacon - both excellent. I ended up ordering Greene King Abbot instead of the weaker IPA and slept for the rest of the afternoon.
     We have been on several occasions for Sunday lunch with friends. It gets very full and you have to book
one of two sittings - it always surprises us that even when a mob of people all piles in at once the kitchen can still produce the food remarkably quickly. Battleaxe has less and less patience with places where you have to wait ages for your food.  There is no excuse for it.
     If you do have to book, don't ask for a table right by the fire - it gets too hot.
     We have never yet managed to go on a hot day and sit outside - the view across to …

Fossil collecting with Hastings Battleaxe

Yes, fossils. One of the many odd things that has interested Hastings Battleaxe at various stages in her life. The cliffs and beaches round here, and up to Fairlight, are apparently an interesting fossil hunting area, particularly for dinosaur bones.
     I am reminded of this because of the recent large rock fall at Rock a Nore. Funnily enough, we were
in the car park nearby only half an hour before it happened, looking at the enormous waves.
     The picture of the aftermath shows a large area of new cliff/debris exposed, which presumably will now be a mecca for fossil hunters. Rather them than me until the sea dies down a bit after the stormy weather. Those big cracks in the rock look a bit off-putting too. Presumably, by the time Mrs sensible Battleaxe ventures out there, there won't be a shred left uncollected by the risk takers.. Load of coprolites, if you ask me.
     Still, it astonishes me all these reports of foolish people going in to the sea/taking photos on jetties/…

Feel free to comment!

Hastings Battleaxe welcomes comments from readers. I try to reply to every one. If I don't reply, the technology has let me down!