Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Hastings Old Town - so much going on this month, including guided walking tours, cycling, plays, music and much more.

Hastings Old Town – so much going on this month, including guided walking tours, cycling, plays, music and much more.

Preview Corner: What’s HOT in June

It was Gertrude Jekyll, wasn’t it, who said ‘What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade?’ Yes it was. And I mention Ms Jekyll because, of course, she was one of our Prime Minister’s ‘dream dinner party guests,’ as recently reported. And I like to think that it was with these wise words in mind that Mrs May chose June as her month to go to the country. But while we wait for the result, there’s a lot going on down here to distract us. And here’s Toby Sargent, our man with the donkey-brown ‘Farah Flex’ trousers (with self-adjusting waistband) and the 25% off voucher for an all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet, to tell you about it.

Let’s begin with the Hastings Winkle Club’s Jazz and Blues Fest, which takes place across the weekend of 2, 3 and 4 June. There are free concerts on The Stade Open Space and a host of excellent pubs and bars hosting individual shows across the three days. Check out the website for venues and performers. It should be very good indeed.

Also on 4 June, why not pop over to Ashburnham Place near Battle where Picnic by the Lake offers live music and heaps of outdoor activities. It’s a benefit to raise funds for Hastings Supports Refugees, from which more and better details can be obtained. There’s free parking but sadly no dogs allowed.

Birds of prey and terrier racing

That first weekend in June really is jam-packed with things to enjoy, with the Hastings Town and Country Fair in Alexandra Park on 3 and 4 June as well. On the gate it’ll cost you £6 to get in, £3 for children and £5 for concessions (it’s a little cheaper if you book online), but there will be lots to see. How about the Dog and Duck Show, or the 1066 Reptile Display Team? Or there are flying displays from birds of prey, terrier racing, children’s petting pens, and historical re-enactments. What’s not to like?

You will have noticed that I’m casting my net a little wider this time to reflect the sheer range of fabulous events and goings-on that Hastings will witness in June. So let’s hear it for Old Town Walks. They run throughout the year but are especially popular in the summer. On 6, 13, 20 and 27 June volunteer guides from The Old Hastings Preservation Society will be leading a two-hour walk around the Old Town, looking at the historic buildings and features and sharing some of the strange stories connected with them. Each walk sets off from the top of the West Hill lift at 14.30 and is free. Just turn up and learn more about this fascinating town’s heritage and history. For more information, contact or call 01424461446.

The 1066 Cycling Festival takes place on 17 and 18 June

The 1066 Cycling Festival takes place on 17 and 18 June

Do you cycle? Do you like cyclists? If, like me, your answer to both these questions is a firm ‘no,’ then you’ll want to steer well clear of the 1066 Cycling Festival on 17 and 18 June. The first day is based at The Stade (11.00-15.00), then at Bottle Alley (19.00-late). Sunday’s fun is at the Danny La Rue Pavilion – sorry, that should be the De La Warr Pavilion (DLWP) – from 11.00 to 15.00.

There’s lots of things to see and do: treasure hunts, stunt displays, races and maybe even a masterclass in disregarding the Highway Code and causing tailbacks on busy roads. Only kidding. Cycling is healthy, exciting and fun – more details from the 1066 Country website.

Croydon's finest, Saint Etienne, who will be at the DLWP on 6 June, showcasing their new album 'Home Counties'

Croydon’s finest, Saint Etienne, who will be at the DLWP on 6 June, showcasing their new album ‘Home Counties’

And while we’re on the subject of the Danny La . . DLWP . . how about popping along there on 6/6 to catch a gig from Saint Etienne, a band that have been together now for more than 25 years, with a mixture of musical genres and an infectious enthusiasm for live performance. They’ll be playing material from their ninth studio album – Home Counties – which will have been released just four days previously.

Fringe comedy

It’s definitely time to give a big shout-out to the 2nd Annual Hastings Fringe Comedy Festival, taking place in Old Town pubs and bars from 14-18 June. This is a link to their Facebook page, which gives you a sense of what’s happening, when and where, but do check out their publicity leaflet which is a bit easier to navigate.

And at the end of the month, on 30 June in the evening and throughout the following day, there’s the St Leonards Festival. Details seem a little sketchy at the moment, but do keep an eye on their website for details as we get closer.

Alan Bennett's Talking Heads comes to The Stables in June.

Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads comes to The Stables in June, starring (left to right) Maxine Roach, Bill Allender and Bertie Hustwayte .

An intriguing and very demanding production comes to The Stables (6, 7, 9 and 10 June) with Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, directed by Peter Mould.


For those unfamiliar with the genre, the Talking Heads  series started life on BBC TV nearly 30 years ago, and is a collection of monologues presenting the mundane preoccupations and moral minutiae of ‘ordinary’ people. Mr Mould is presenting three of these at The Stables and HOT will be reviewing the production’s first night.

The White Rock Theatre, meanwhile, presents a pretty depressing menu across the month: tribute acts and smut, the latter taking the form of an appearance by Dreamboys on 22/6, who are described as ‘without a shadow of a doubt the UK’s top Male Strip Show, perfect for a girls night out with all your friends – their showcase is unquestionably the most famous Male Stripper act the UK has ever produced.’

Outdated sexist rubbish

The blurb makes it clear that you need to be 18+ to get in and that the show ‘contains nudity.’ Can’t help but wonder whether this would be acceptable in a mainstream establishment if the strippers were women. Outdated sexist rubbish dressed – or undressed – as safely risqué, post-modern entertainment, some might suggest.

And if you fancy going to the flicks, have a look at the listings for the Odeon, the Kino-Teatr and the Electric Palace cinema – much to enjoy.

Oh, and if you’re at a loose end on 8 June, pop along to your polling station and VOTE.



Posted 19:30 Wednesday, May 31, 2017 In: Hastings Life

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