Showing posts from August, 2016

Boulogne-sur-Mer...phew, quelle scorcher.

Alors, sacre bleu, what a week. As I already mentioned, it was Grand Daughter week, and Battleaxe and Philosopher bravely agreed to take her on a short visit to France. Readers will already know that she is not quite as other young people are.....

    She had never been abroad before, and was very excited... hearing everyone speaking French, the signs, driving on the other side of the road, the food....
    Anyway, we went from Dover to Calais on the ferry. My first fear was that there would be long and frustration-maximising traffic jams to get to the port, but in fact, as we went on a Monday morning, it was quiet. No traffic, straight through security and check-in, so quickly that they put us on an earlier boat. The sea was pretty choppy, so I gave GD a sea-sickness tablet. Crikey, what a wonderfully sedative effect they have.  She sat quietly watching the scene out of the window.

    The ferry was practically empty, which again was a relief - I well remember trips when the kids wer…

Clive Vale Temperance Tea Gardens - update

The last post, about our walk to the Country Park, proved to be extraordinarily popular - in less than one week it has rocketed to be one of the most viewed Battleaxe posts ever.  I don't really know why.  However, that being so, I thought I'd do a very quick up-date about the whereabouts of the mysterious Clive Vale Temperance Tea and Pleasure Gardens in the 1870s.       How could an area big enough to enable several hundred people to enjoy dances have been in Pinder's Shaw, a steep and inaccessible area of woodland on the side of the East Hill?  Here's the relevant extract from the Hastings Chronicle (that date must be wrong, too).

'1880 May – The new Harold Tea and Pleasure Gardens opened. They were at Pinders Shaw, on the east side of the upper Clive Vale valley. They were built by Mr W Rogers, who had a large temperance hotel. There was a big dancing area at the west end of the gardens, capable of holding several hundred people. The nearest pub was a mile …

A walk to Hastings Country Park

From our house, we can walk up to, and through, the Hastings Country Park. You can see that it was a perfect walking morning, so we went for a five mile circuit, planning to break our journey for coffee and cake at the Coastguards Tea Rooms. When the weather is like this, who would want to be anywhere else but right here?      We are so lucky to have the Country Park - it is owned and maintained by Hastings Council - a colossal task for quite a small, and poor, local authority.
     The walk starts with the steepest bit - a climb up the side of the East Hill, from the unmade bit of Harold Road via the steps through Pinder's Shaw wood.

     This is an old, old footpath, pre-dating most of the roads.  Pinder's Shaw was once the site of a famous temperance tea-garden - see the extract below, from a web-site piece on the temperance movement in Hastings:
'A political dimension emerged in 1884 with the foundation of the National Temperance Federation, associated with the Liber…

Circus on the Pier - Battleaxe's birthday!

Very quick post - it was my birthday yesterday - have got more excitements tonight, so for a low-key treat, we decided to go to the Circus on Hastings Pier.  I got some great birthday presents... It was a blustery evening with big seas- it was strange to sit in a circus tent and see and hear the waves rushing in beneath your feet, and the shingle rattling back and forth.  We went for a walk along the sea-front beforehand, and up to the end of the Pier.

     Now, what I would say is this, if you are expecting a full-size all bells and whistles circus, this isn't it.  It is a smallish tent, with a smallish company, and only lasts 50 minutes.  It is a little circus, on a pier. Battleaxe loves a circus - bring on the horses and dogs, say I. See previous post
     However, although it was little we could see kids loving it, and it suited our desire for low-key entertainment.
     The audience was smallish - they do three shows a day, which seemed a bit many for a Monday. If I were t…

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