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  • The unmistakable facade of the Observer building.

    The unmistakable facade of the Observer building. Next door stands born-again Rock House.

    New future about to unfold for Observer building

    A new future is about to open up for the former Observer building in Cambridge Road following the exchange of contracts between White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures and the previous owner. A 10-year project to transform the building is envisaged, with a £10,000 Crowdfunder appeal to help kick-start the work. Nick Terdre reports.

    The £1.15 million purchase of the former Observer building (OB) at 53 Cambridge Road is now in the bag following the exchange of contracts between White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures (WRNV) and previous owner Flint Group, which in 2018 was granted planning permission for a mixed-use development.

    The building is next door to WRNV’s flagship venture, Rock House, which the community-rooted development company, as it describes itself, has transformed from a run-down nine-storey office block into a “creative and collaborative, mixed-use hub which now houses 45 businesses and 10 residents, all at rents capped to remain affordable in perpetuity.” Continue reading…


    Hastings Young Writers meet at White Rock Hotel.

    New group for young writers

    Aspiring young writers who would enjoy meeting and working with like-minded young folk are invited to join a new group. Hastings Young Writers set out their stall.

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    ozgen2 350-2

    Belly dance sensation Ozgen shakes it all about in aid of HFS

    International Master Turkish belly dance sensation Ozgen is coming to Hastings this Valentine’s to perform with Hastings Burlesque and offer workshops to local dancers, in aid of local charity Hastings Furniture Service. Nick Terdre reports.

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    Rod Youngs 600

    Rod Youngs in town to drum up a storm at Jazz Hastings

    London-based American drummer Rod Youngs, who will be headlining at this month’s Jazz Hastings’ session on 12 February, has been described as one of the most expressive and adept musicians on the current jazz scene. Julian Norridge looks forward to his visit.

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    Ear-nose-throat-illustration

    The Labour Party has uncovered damning evidence that the proposed shake-up of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services in Hastings will make it less, not more, safe for patients. As opposition to the “unjustified” move mounts among doctors in Hastings and Eastbourne, Labour Party member Rick Dillon shares his concerns.

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    Motorheadache - as close as you can get to the real thing!

    Wow, what’s that?

    If you’re craving an earblasting, wallshaking, night of everything louder than everything else, then head on down to St Mary in the Castle to raise some hell. Rock Astrologer Enid Williams thrashes it out with Motorheadache’s head honcho Rob Campbell.

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    Alice Privett 350

    Soprano Alice Privett kicks off Fairlight Hall song season

    Locally raised soprano Alice Privett gives the first in a season of five concerts at Fairlight Hall arranged in collaboration with the Oxford Lieder Festival, as the venue’s Dominika Hicks explains.

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    Jenny Tonge delivers a clear message on Israel's apartheid state.

    Despite Israel lobby’s efforts, Tonge delivers clear message

    Despite an extensive campaign of intimidation, abuse and vitriol by the pro Israel lobby, Hastings Palestine Solidarity Campaign succeeded in holding its planned talk by Jenny Tonge on Israel’s apartheid state – a victory, as HPSC says, for freedom of speech. The group’s Laurie Holden reports on the meeting, and describes the strenuous efforts which preceded it to overcome the attempts to disrupt it by the faceless defenders of an unacceptable Israel. Photos by Russell Jacobs.

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    Hastings Creative Spring

    Is digital media for you? Try Hastings’ Creative Spring this half-term

    Are you, or do you know anyone, aged 14 to 18, into digital media, and wanting something interesting to do at February half-term? Dominika Hicks runs through the programme for Hastings’ Creative Spring, a great chance to learn about creative media.

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    (c) Zoe Sim - Gstaad 2017

    Seeing trees in a different light

    Trees are always an interesting subject for artists and photographers. And a very particular depiction of them can be seen at an intriguing exhibition at the Lucy Bell Gallery. This is not an exhibition concentrating on specific species, more a contemplative riff on the effect of trees on the individual artists. HOT’s Lauris Morgan-Griffiths asked co-curator Lucy Bell about how the exhibition, which she and John Stezaker have been talking about for 18 months, came together. 

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    Gill Knight, far left, with some of the audience at her talk (photo: Laurie Holden).

    Activist gives eye-witness account of life in Palestine

    Hastings resident and activist Gill Knight spoke at a packed Hastings Against War meeting on 5 February about her recent solidarity and fact-finding tour of Palestine. John Enefer reports.

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    Practising English on the West Hill. English lessons for young refugees in East Sussex are safe for another year.

    EAL service for school-age refugees reprieved

    Following a change of mind by maintained secondary schools, the English as an Additional Language (EAL) service provided to schools by East Sussex County Council has been saved – at least for a year. The news has been widely welcomed, as Nick Terdre reports.

    1 comment

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    The Jerwood Gallery is currently the home of the Jerwood Foundation’s collection of 20th and 21st Century British Art

    All change at Jerwood Gallery?

    Last weekend the news broke in the national papers that changes were afoot at the Jerwood Gallery, which appears to be set to lose the collection provided by the Jerwood Foundation. HOT asked Jerwood Gallery trustee, Esther Fox, to give her side of the story.

    10 comments

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    Immerse © Nick Snelling

    An artistic, dynamic collaboration

    He said, She said is on at the blackShed Gallery, Russet Farm, Redlands Lane, Robertsbridge, East Sussex.TN32 5NG until 16 March, 2019. Open Tuesday-Friday 10am-4.00pm Saturday 10-.4.30.

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    Kay Green, with a book produced by her publishing company

    Solar Panels in the Country Park – ecology or politics? III

    Hastings Borough Council (HBC) passed a resolution at the Cabinet meeting on 7 January to spend up to £80,000 investigating whether to install three solar farms, two in Hastings Country Park and one in Upper Wilting Farm in Crowhurst. In this third interview HOT’s Chandra Masoliver asks Kay Green, publisher, bookseller and blogger, her opinion of this proposal, and the public’s reaction to it. Kay is a active member of the local Labour Party, currently helping to set up the Labour Women’s Forum to increase the party’s involvement with local and community-based campaigns.

    26 comments

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    Campaign poster from SaveEALS Facebook page.

    Dismay as ESCC proposes to close English language service for school-age refugees

    East Sussex County Council’s move to close the English as an Additional Language service, a vital resource for school-age refugees, has provoked widespread concern among refugee families and support groups. While possible alternative ways of providing the service are being explored, they are calling on the community to respond to the consultation on the issue, which remains open until Sunday 3 February. Nick Terdre reports.

    2 comments

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    Fat Tuesday

    Fat Tuesday call-out for volunteers

    We are now recruiting for volunteers to help us with this year’s Fat Tuesday Festival, now in its 10th anniversary year, writes volunteer coordinator John Knowles.

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    New houses going up apace on the Archery Ground in St Leonards.

    Council set to drop tool for boosting affordable housing

    Hastings Borough Council’s plan to introduce a supplementary planning document to encourage the building of more affordable housing is about to be dropped. Meanwhile a planning application shorn of affordable housing has been refused by Rother District Council. Nick Terdre reports.

    2 comments

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