Showing posts from March, 2014

The De La Warr Pavilion, and a walk round Bexhill

All this time, and I've never done a proper blog about Bexhill.
      We started with coffee at the De La Warr Pavilion. We go there so often with visiting friends who want to see it that we rarely go on our own. I know they have had massive cuts to their budget, but the standard of the service was a bit shabby. The coffee, as so often, was too weak, sticky ginger cake was not sticky, and the knife to cut it was dirty. The building is, unfortunately, also starting to look less than perfect.. Damp is seeping in, paint is bubbling, and there are rust stains on the walls.
      This is disturbing, considering it was only refurbished at a cost of millions in 2005. We were told not long ago that the contractors for the refurbishment did not deliver the work according to specification - it was skimped, hence the current over-rapid deterioration. Whatever is going on, it needs sorting. The building, designed by Erich Mendlesohn and Serge Chermayeff in the 1930s, is acknowledged to be one…

Sandwich and Deal - Exploring Kent

Our previous explorations have by-passed Sandwich and Deal, so we decided to have a look.
     We went to Sandwich first. Talk about a quiet backwater...... the little town is very pretty, with many attractive old buildings, but it feels as if the world has totally forgotten it.
     Once it was a busy and important Cinque port, but long ago silted up and is now two miles from the sea. The place has an impressive history. The important Roman site at Richborough is nearby. I read that the first elephant to be seen in England landed at Sandwich Quay in 1255, as a gift for Henry III. In 1457, in common with many ports on the Kent and East Sussex Coast, Sandwich was sacked and burned by the French.. In the seventeenth century it was a major embarkation port for colonists heading for the New World. In 1660, during the Restoration, King Charles II anchored in Sandwich. In the 1914-18 war Richborough Fort was a major military camp, and in 1939 the camp was used to house Jewish refugees.

Bad day chez Hastings Battleaxe

What a day.....
     It started off fine. I went down to the Jerwood Gallery in the morning to have my photo taken. A while ago they asked for a blogger who was a Jerwood member to write a piece on the current exhibition from the 'perspective of a member', and  I was chosen in my non-Battleaxe persona.  Fortunately, the last post I wrote here about the gallery was very positive, so could refer them to it. I found the task quite hard - how could being a member give you a different perspective when viewing the paintings?
      The gallery was heaving with small children, so I chose to have my photo taken with the Bratby 'Holyland', which was in a relatively child-free space. I wrote about how I'd like the Jerwood to do more to explore its local links, and I feel that the Bratby connection is an obvious place to start. In fact, this particular painting pre-dated his time in Hastings, as do the other two Bratby's in the Jerwood collection.
      Anyway, the blog wi…

Battered Bexhill cycle-way, railway moans.... and enjoying the pianists

Weather is fabulous just now - sunny and warm. Our garden is full of daffs, with camelias coming out. It's Spring!
     The other day we went for a walk along the sea to M&S at the Bexhill Retail Park. It seems strange to take a sea-side walk to Marks, generally you have to battle your way into a town centre. But don't get ideas, I have not got over my negative feelings about their clothes (the spring ranges are no better), we only went to the cafe. It wasn't just for cake in M&S either, the car needed a new windscreen wiper from Halfords.

     Regular blog readers will know that I have ranted about the unsuitable cycle track along that path before, but we were a little taken aback by the scale of the re-modelling produced by the sea in the recent storms. For large stretches, the plastic grid has totally vanished, presumably carried off by the sea, great holes have been gouged in the surface underneath, and tons of rock and shingle from the beach have been dumped o…

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