Pen & Ink

Letters to: The Editor “Hastings Town” Guinea Hall Lodge, Main Road, Sellindge, Nr Ashford,

Dear Editor,

I’m a regular reader of Hastings Town, am Hon. Secretary of Hastings Local History Group, and since being made redundant from Hastings College I have been indulging my long-standing interests in history and embroidery by researching the Bayeux Tapestry and all things 11th. century. Another topic of mine is Bohemia, and having been friends with Sue Thomson (Secretary of BWGA) for many years, I’ve written a short book, ‘Bohemia Farm to Summerfields Estate: A History’, as a fund-raiser for the Bohemia Walled Garden Association (£l from each copy sold goes to the BWGA).

I also do talks, on the Bayeux Tapestry etc., and did one on the History of the Bohemia Estate at BWGA’s fund-raising day on 8th May. I’m doing the same talk again on Sunday 1″ August at 4pm at Hastings History House, 21 Courthouse St., Old Town, as part of Old Town Week.

Other public talks that I’m doing later in the year are: The Life and Death of Harold, 1022-1066 – on Sunday 10 October 3pm, at Hastings History House, 21 Courthouse St. Old Town, as part of Hastings Week The Bayeux Tapestry as an Archaeological Artefact – on Saturday 18 September 2pm.- 430pm. at Bexhill Museum, Egerton Road, Bexhill. Please phone the museum (‘TX 01424-787955) to book a place Heather Grief An article about the book appears on page twelve Ed.

Dear Editor

Now that it seems impossible to stop the move of coaches away from The Stade, let us look at the situation. There are those who say, who on earth wants a coach park right on the seafront? Others say, what a great advantage it was that we had such a facility; we are mad to lose it.

The Council has gone to much trouble (and huge expense) to make the new system work. There are good features such as the new signalled crossing at the foot of the Bourne (which should have been put in anyway) and, in Falaise Road, the rest-room arrangement for drivers and the “wrong-side” parking for foreign coaches.

Against this:

– we have lost a lot of car-parking space, in the Old Town and at Falaise Road

– the one-way system in Falaise Road removes a useful  link from the seafront to Bohemia

– drivers from the west must trail up the Bourne and go along the Ring Road to get to Falaise Road, both after dropping passengers at the seafront and again on the way home

– on the seafront, the doors of foreign coaches open onto the busy main road

– loo facilities for visitors are not as convenient as they were

– local traders do not want coaches parking outside their seafront premises

– drop-off and pick-up points are in different places and drivers cannot predict accurately where their pick-up point will be.

And so on. I now regularly see coaches vying for space along the seafront, or stopping at “ordinary” bus-stops (local buses must love this) and loading bays. Also I have seen a coach-load of students being dropped off in Falaise Road; they then had to walk to the Old Town. The Council says this should not happen but it does.

The new system will no doubt work. It is however nothing like as “user-friendly” as the one we had.

Anecdotal evidence already suggests that some drivers no longer want to come here, much to the dismay of local traders. Will the hoped-for visitors to Jerwood really justify the changes?

Michael Plumbe

Dear Editor,

My wife, Mona, was asked by a family friend if I knew a Geoff Hutchinson living in Rye. In the 30th June edition of the “Daily Mail” there was a question “Who was the Old Man in a Tub” off Hastings beach in the 1920s and 30s.Pen

The question was asked by Geoff Hutchinson who would likely be in his 80s now. Geoff’s mother was in a photo c1927 in the article. Can you ask in your letters column of the “Hastings Town” if anyone knows his identity?

Granville Bantick                                      Rye

If memory serves me correct ‘the old man in the tub’. was a bit of an eccentric who used to paddle along the front of the Esplanade in a barrel around the time of the late forties or early fifties. I saw him one summer at Hastings on a day out with my mother. I don’t think I ever knew his name. No doubt many readers of “Hastings Town” will know much more about him Ed.

“Hastings Town” August 2010

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