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Pier at dusk 1

A new report in The Times concludes Hastings is not in UK’s Top Twenty ‘cool towns’

Hastings is NOT cool – OFFICIAL

The Times has devoted double-page spreads in their T2 supplement this week to a series of ‘Top 20’ places to live in this country. On Tuesday they ranked the ‘coolest places to live in Britain.’ Toby Sargent, our man with the quinoa on artisan bread sandwich, collarless shirt, high-waisted trousers and DH Lawrence beard is furious to discover that Hastings and St Leonards did not make the cut.

Oh, come on. You cannot be serious. A list of the coolest places to live in Britain and no mention of Hastings and St Leonards? Yes, that does appear to be the case. File it under ‘U’ – for unbe-flipping-lievable.

Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

Jerwood Gallery – insufficiently cool it seems

Now these surveys are usually sponsored by estate agents as a not especially subtle way of getting their name into the newspapers, without the bother and expense of taking out an advert.

The one in The Times, however, appears to be nothing more methodologically robust than one journalist’s personal opinion. The journalist is Laura Whateley, who the paper describe as their ‘consumer champion’, but also writes on money and personal finance matters.

The Times

Normally I’d include a link at this point to the article in question but, appearing as it does in The Times, there’s a paywall to get through before you can get to it. Ms Whateley – who I’m sure has visited every village, town and city in the UK in the course of her research – seems ok though. And since ‘cool’ is something that cannot be defined in any way that more than one person might accept at any one time, her view is as valid as anyone else’s, I think.

Norman Road by Bob Mazzer

Cool or uncool? Norman Road by Bob Mazzer

For the record then, Laura reckons the coolest place to live in Britain is . . the Baltic Triangle (North Docks) in Liverpool. Second comes Ancoats in Manchester, while the bronze goes to Cliftonville and Margate. Also relatively close to home we find Folkestone at No.8, and Brighton at N0.12.

Her award for best village, by the way, went to Mayfield, with Shoreham coming in second, while her ‘most cultural place to live’ was – wait for it – Leeds.

Cool as a cucumber

So there you have it. Frankly, I’m flabbergasted. Unlike Laura, I’m not familiar with the North Docks in Liverpool, nor have I knowingly visited Ancoats in Manchester, but I’m prepared to believe they’re cool as a cucumber that’s spent too long in the fridge. But as for Margate and, for pity’s sake, Brighton . . well, purr-leeze. Neither can hold a candle to our Old Town or hipster-HQ, Norman Road and its surrounds, in this writer’s humble – and not entirely disinterested – opinion.


Posted 16:18 Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017 In: Hastings Life


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Toby Sargent

    Fair point, Ms D. Incidentally, the picture was sent to me by a PR company promoting one of the music events taking place last summer, and appeared in HOT at the time. I chose it because of the ‘end of an era’ mood it conveyed but, yes, a gorgeous picture of the brilliant new pier would have made a more positive and challenging statement.

    Comment by Toby Sargent — Thursday, Mar 30, 2017 @ 12:03

  2. Ms. Doubtfire

    Not so cool to show a photograph of the pier before it burned down…why not a pic of our new amazing pier for this article?

    Comment by Ms. Doubtfire — Thursday, Mar 30, 2017 @ 08:44

  3. Toby Sargent

    POSTSCRIPT – The final installment in The Times’s guide to the best places to live in Britain focused on ‘Places by the sea.’ Nothing doing there either. Deal is the best seaside town apparently. Yes, I know. Personally, I reckon if they’d extended the series to include ‘Best places in Britain beginning with the letters H followed by A,’ we’d have been pushed out by Halifax, Haselmere, Halesown and Haverford-flipping-west.

    Comment by Toby Sargent — Monday, Mar 20, 2017 @ 17:51

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