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  • Walk-in vaccination clinic by Marina car park in St Leonards on 15 January.

    Coronavirus statistical update: booster campaign the priority as Hastings continues to lag

    Sussex Health and Care Partnership is pulling out all the stops to maximise vaccination opportunities in Hastings and Sussex through January. Hastings continues to lag in terms of the proportion of the boostered population, while the situation is better in Rother. Text by Nick Terdre and Russell Hall, research and charts by Russell Hall. Continue reading…

    What were you doing during Party-Gate?

    The national news seems to be nothing more than an endless reveal of the different ways that the people in charge of our country were breaking the rules they had set for us to follow. During the first lockdown, HOT’s Erica Smith kept a diary on a roll of toilet paper. She decided to un-furl the sheets to see what she was doing whilst members of our government and civil service were partying en-masse in the Downing Street back garden.



    Sue Tilley and friends – portraits by local and international artists at Hastings Museum

    ‘Together We Draw’ is a selection of portraits created by the hundreds of people who took part in ‘Life Drawing with Sue Tilley’ during the lockdown of 2020. HOT’s Erica Smith recommends a visit to Hastings Museum and Art Gallery to check out the portraits of local people by local people, famous people by local people – and some drawings of local people by famous people.


    London Mozart Players back in Hastings with violin virtuoso

    The London Mozart Players return to Hastings for the first time in two years with a concert featuring 15-year-old violin virtuoso Leia Zhu at St Mary in the Castle on 29 January. Nick Terdre reports.


    ‘Quickening of the Heart’ from ExploreTheArch

    Quickening of the Heart is the latest production from independent performance makers ExploreTheArch. Sam Davey went to see the production and is delighted to share her thoughts.


    Women’s Voice gets vocal about its achievements

    Women’s Voice invites all women to their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday 14 January at 6pm at the East Hastings Sea Angling Association (EHSAA), the Stade, just near the lifeboat house. The AGM will be followed by an evening of theatre, music, socialising and refreshments to celebrate the end of our This Is Not Love project.  The event is free, and all women are welcome. Women’s Voice chair, Ann Kramer, spoke to HOT about the upcoming event.


    Staff and supporters at the Electric Palace © Annie Mannion

    Electric Palace saved by the fundraiser bell

    With great sadness the Electric Palace recently announced that it had to close their doors for January. Due to the understandable concerns over the Omicron variant, January film bookings and venue hire were at an all-time low – consequently, for the time being it is not financially viable to open. However, all is not lost as HOT’s Lauris Morgan-Griffiths found out: they launched a fundraiser with the target of £15,000, and there they are – over the line. Yippee!


    Rob Brydon

    What’s HOT at the White Rock

    Hastings White Rock Theatre welcomes you back for some great live entertainment in 2022. There’s plenty on offer through these cold months into the spring and early summer. Check out the most recent What’s On guide to see what takes your fancy from the lineup of variety, theatre, comedy, dance and live music. HOT’s Paul Way-Rider reports.


    Coronavirus statistical update: Omicron takes root in Hastings

    We have now embarked on a new stage of the Covid-19 coronavirus – the age of the Omicron variant. This has shown itself to be the most transmissible yet, and in just a month has displaced Delta as the dominant variant, imposing itself on Hastings and East Sussex as well as nationally. But it appears to cause less severe illness, and so far local hospitals have been able to cope. Text by Russell Hall and Nick Terdre, research by Russell Hall.



    HBC Cabinet to discuss support for Afghan refugees

    Hastings Borough Council is set to discuss the council’s commitment to supporting Afghan refugees arriving in this country for resettlement. The matter is on the Cabinet agenda for early January. Nick Terdre reports.



    Robin Hood and Dames

    Robin Hood panto at the White Rock Theatre

    The White Rock Theatre’s Christmas pantomime is back! Robin Hood marks the return to the magical family pantomime that Hastings’ biggest stage is known for. The show has comedy, beautiful costumes, stunning special effects, dance routines and sets all presented by the same creative team that delivered the pantos Aladdin and Jack and the Beanstalk.* 


    Deck the parks with boughs of holly!

    Our ‘Tree Correspondent’ Joan Taylor-Rowan continues her exploration of Hastings & St Leonards champion trees. This week, seasonally, we find out more about holly!


    What is the point of Local Wildlife Sites?

    The question is posed by Richard Price, who notes that many Local Wildlife Sites cannot be protected as they have private owners more interested in developing them than appreciating the flora and fauna. The history of the Clive Vale Local Wildlife Site is a case in point. The writer also took the photos.



    Surviving Christmas issues appeal for funds

    Surviving Christmas, which has been helping vulnerable and homeless people in the Hastings and Rother districts for many years, plans to hold its usual open-house event on Christmas and Boxing days, but as it faces the prospect of drawing on its reserves for the second year running, is appealing for donations to support its work, as the charity explains.


    Hastings turns out for refugees

    It was national news recently when it was reported that people on Hastings beach shouted ‘horrible’ abuse as they tried to block the launch of the local lifeboat on the way to assist a small boat in distress carrying refugees. One consequence of this was that donations to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) shot up. Another was that the Council statement on the matter had no Councillors’ names on it.



    Community apple orchard planted in Gensing Gardens for National Tree Week

    For National Tree Week (27 November-5 December), four local apple trees were planted in Gensing Gardens in St Leonards-on-Sea. The trees were planted by members of Arts On Prescription and children from Christ Church CoE Primary Academy. HOT’s Erica Smith and Joan Taylor-Rowan were there to help welcome the new trees.