Showing posts from September, 2016

'Clash!' Hastings, Root 1066 Mass Choir event

Well, Anyone who was Anyone in Hastings was at 'Clash', including Hastings Battleaxe, the Philosopher and step-son Tom who is staying for the weekend.  The A who were A were either in the (large) audience, or singing in one of the seven choirs. I had a special reason to go - to see friends' poems performed as part of the production. 
     'Clash' was part of the Root 1066 Arts Festival commemorating the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.
     Two members of our Stanza Group, Jill Fricker and Antony Mair (our group leader) were two of four poets asked to submit poems on various aspects of the Battle of Hastings/Norman Conquest, and these had been set to music and sung by the choirs. Several of us poetry persons came along on the night to support/applaud.
     The venue, the atrium of the Sussex Coast College in Station Plaza, was spectacularly suitable, with tiers of balconies and staircases providing perching points for the choirs. The audience had been …

Clive Vale Temperance Tea Garden again - corrections. Crazy Golf and lots more...

Guess what? Battleaxe got the location of that wretched Temperance Tea Garden wrong - thanks to local historian Brian Lawes for going to so much trouble to find the information for me. This is all the worse because for some reason, my previous post about it went wild - one of the most viewed Hastings Battleaxe posts ever....  Meanwhile, I've been crazily busy - with the WI Crazy Golf, the monthly big meeting, walk, craft club and the St Michael's Hospice Vintage Fair - all followed by a visit from my sister.        Clearly, the location of the tea garden was at the Harold Hotel, at the top of the steps leading up from the unmade bit of  Harold Road, and not at the bottom, on the road, as I thought. The bottom site was always a market garden.  The photo above, supplied by Anne Scott from the History House, shows the old house which was once the hotel, at the right of the path at the top. The date of this photo is unknown, but clearly no housing was built near it.
       The o…

Hastings Cemetery - an interesting walk. Battleaxe recommends!

Hastings has a wonderful Victorian cemetery. Covering 87 acres, it was opened in 1856, and its position on the Ridge gives fantastic views over the surrounding countryside and the sea, as far as Rye.  We have been there several times but a few days ago we went on a guided walk with Anne Scott from the Hastings History House, with an old friend from Birmingham.  Battleaxe would totally recommend the guided walk, or even just a stroll round the cemetery....       There is a very good website about the cemetery, and a book, 'The grave's a fine and private place', produced by the Old Hastings Preservation Society, available from the History House in Courthouse Street.  Although the book only has stories about the inhabitants of the older part of the cemetery, it is very interesting.
      As well as the Victorian core area, the cemetery also has acres of more recent burials, various Gardens of Remembrance, war memorials, an official War Graves cemetery with sections for both …

Knole House, Sevenoaks - and meeting a Battleaxe fan!

We went on a trip to Knole, mostly chosen as a half-way point to meet step-daughter Anna and her partner Gareth.  Despite living quite near Sevenoaks, and passing within a mile of Knole on the million or so journeys we have made up and down the A21, we have never actually been to the house.
     The day did not start well - the most horrendous traffic experience on the A21. The M20 and M26 motorways were both closed to allow for removal of a  bridge that had been clobbered by a lorry the week before, bringing more traffic onto the A21, and then the A21 was closed by an accident at Hurst Green. We were all funnelled off towards Hawkhurst. Google Maps sent us off onto a little lane - which ended abruptly at a farm gate.  Next choice was clearly the first choice for several thousand other vehicles - coming both ways on a narrow single-track lane with huge pot-holes, few passing points, steep drops to ditches on the side, overhanging trees etc.  Philosopher was remarkably patient as the …

Zippo's Circus in Brighton - with performing cats!

Last month I wrote about a visit to the little Zippo's Circus on Hastings Pier, and  the post was picked up by Zippo's. They said that if I wanted to see a full-scale traditional circus, with animals in, to come to their show in Brighton. When I saw they had performing cats, that was it. I rounded up Philosopher and off we went.       After Hastings, it was good to see the huge Big Top - about four times as big as the tent on the Pier. We had excellent seats, right at the front, but oh horrors, well within marauding clown range. I repelled the person with glacial stares, but Philosopher ended up with a cloth over his head, which was whipped off to shouts of 'nothing', presumably referring to lack of hair rather than lack of brain power....
     Firstly, sorry about the quality of the photographs - cameras are never any good with those lights...
     The show was excellent - very fast paced, daring, high quality acts, and wonderfully traditional, including a knife thr…

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!