Monday, 21 August 2017

Tuesday 22nd of August...

Tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday 22nd August, if you're free, please do join the Old Hastings Preservation Society (OHPS) for their regular Tuesday walking tour of Hastings Old Town, the "premier ancient Cinque Port." They'll be meeting up by the top of the West Hill lift at 2.30pm. The old town has a wealth of historic buildings, twittens and cat-creeps to explore, and you will find out why celebrities of their day, eg the Pre-Raphaelites, flocked to Hastings. Indeed, contemporary celebrities still do flock here! A volunteer guide will be leading the walk, which shall proceed gently downhill, but, do be careful, because there are steps to manage during the walk. The walk will last about 2 hours and is provided free of charge, though, obviously, the OHPS would be very grateful for all donations given, many thanks, see their website.

It's worth wearing comfortable walking shoes, obviously, and the forecast suggests reasonable weather, so do enjoy the afternoon! 

Then, during the evening starting at 9pm, will be the regular Tuesday music played by the Tune Raiders at the Dolphin Inn, 11-12 Rock-a-Nore Road, TN34 3DW. They play non-vocal Irish folk music, mainly, what is know locally as 'fiddly dee' music, or is that 'diddly dee?' Of course, we all know that Hastings has a wealth of free music venues to visit on most days, so it's always well worth a wander round town, particularly the old town to seek out live music. Enjoy your evening too!

Southern Rail? Yes, more strikes planned!

Conductors on Southern Railway, as well as on Arriva Rail North and Merseyrail, are planning to strike on Friday the 1st and Monday the 4th of September (Merseyrail workers will also be walking out on Sunday the 3rd of September).
The action still relates to planned changes to give drivers more responsibility, opening and closing the doors of train carriages, with some services staffed only by a sole member of staff, the driver, as Southern and their Govia Thameslink owners, seek to gradually dispense of guards on trains. 
The RMT general secretary Mick Cash asserts that the conductors' union, the RMT, is "bitterly disappointed that Southern Rail have rejected our call for round-table discussions involving all parties with an interest in resolving this dispute. The failure to get those talks moving following our face-to-face meeting with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has left us no option but to call further action." 
Southern Rail have, apparently, made no comment on the announcement, and no notice of these days of industrial action is mentioned on their website to date. Meanwhile, there is no obvious news of the train drivers' union, Aslef, returning to industrial action, yet... See BBC website.
Will we ever get a decent service from Hastings? 

Friday, 18 August 2017

John Hodges - An Apology from me.

Most people who know me will appreciate that I've missed John Hodges since he died last year (blog), and I wasn't even that close to him, but he influenced my life greatly. 

I miss watching and listening to him at Hastings Borough Council meetings, where he tore apart the rhetoric of others, I miss his welcoming me to those meetings, I miss his great knowledge of the history and politics of Hastings, I miss that I could go to him and he would tell me the reality behind what was going on, whether to do with Ecclesbourne Glen, the Winch Road, the Foreshore Trust, whatever. I miss we could talk about pubs and beer, that he used to provide me with his own articles for my blogs, and that I could use his knowledge to write blogs myself. I miss that I don't have him to pass on beer mats and pumpclips to, a hobby I could help him with, indeed, I hardly gave back much.

So I apologise to those who misinterpreted my use of his image regarding my last blog; his image was meant to represent "democracy" plain and simple, but some thought I shouldn't have used it when 'corruption' was in the reference. I can appreciate how that must have felt to some people, it wasn't my purpose.

I wanted to encourage people to ignore rumours and gossip, and to gain 'informed' knowledge, go to Council meetings, read the minutes, talk to your councillors, don't just accept gossip at face value, particularly as many gossipers have their own agendas. See democracy in action, find out why decisions are made, that, despite decisions apparently going against local residents, eg Ecclesbourne Glen and the Jerwood Gallery, there may well be good reasons, but these shouldn't be kept secret. We have a good council in Hastings, that does what it can despite annual reductions in it's income, thanks to 'austerity measures' from on high, and I'm including that councillors of all political persuasions should be used to discover the truths. I'll shut up for now...

John Hodges R.I.P.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Ice House, Health Centre or Waste of Space?

OK, I'm sure those who are living there now may disagree it's a waste of space, but, no-one wants to buy, or rent, the ground floor space in Rock-a-Nore Road, except doctors from the Roebuck Surgery... Hastings Borough Council Planning Committee will be considering the Health Centre application at 6pm on Wednesday 23rd of August at Muriel Matters House. 1,675 signatures were collected on a petition in support of the proposal by local GP, Craig Namvar MD, but Borough Council planning officers are opposing (back-handers of some sort?) and have recommended refusal to the Planning Committee. It may be interesting to go along and observe 'local democracy' in action, and perhaps see whether councillors will ignore the strength of local opinion.

John Hodges is sorely missed by constituents, a local councillor who cared for Hastings, we'll see what happens... but is there some sort of corruption here?  😢

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Hastings Museum 125th Anniversary Party, Wednesday 16th August!

Hastings Museum and Art Gallery celebrates its 125th anniversary this Wednesday, 10am to 4pm, with a 'free' event and activities for all the family to enjoy. This includes crafts, printing, Punch and Judy, Victorian games, tombola and miniature railway rides. There will also be a chance to see the Classic Cycle Group and 'Happy Harold' the trolleybus. "Victorian dress is encouraged" - see website.

Either bring a packed lunch and stay all day, or enjoy tea and cake, at a reasonable price, in an especially decorated tent. The formal opening ceremony will be recreated at 3.30pm. However, please note that parking will not be available at the Museum, though parking is available nearer the front, or it's just a short walk up the hill (Bohemia Road) from the town centre, or from the seafront opposite the Pier. 

There is also a 'special trail' available for children throughout the summer holidays. Follow the trail and answer the questions to receive a small birthday gift from the Museum. Of course, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery will have its usual exhibits on view, and I am planning to make a visit soon and write another blog; see website.