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  • Musician Claire Hamill has launched The Astralight Club – a dating night for singles

    Claire Hamill’s old-school singles club

    If you are over-50 and the thought of another lock-down winter alone chills your heart, then follow the stars to The Astralight Club this Saturday and mingle with other singles. HOT’s Erica Smith spoke to musician and club hostess, Claire Hamill. Continue reading…


    ESCC lobbied about their investment in ‘war crimes’

    In advance of the full council meeting on Tuesday 7 December, East Sussex County Council (ESCC) will be lobbied by not one, but two divestment campaigns. ‘Divest East Sussex’ have been holding monthly protests highlighting the Council’s investments in fossil fuels to support their pension scheme. Next Tuesday, the local Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) will also be outside County Hall to ask ESCC to divest from what they say are war crimes. PSC’s Laurie Holden tells us more about the campaign.

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    The tree that would puzzle a monkey

    The first in a series of occasional articles about trees by Joan Taylor-Rowan. Here, Joan introduces the monkey puzzle tree.

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    Pianist Deschanel Gordon comes to Jazz Hastings

    In December, brilliant young pianist Deschanel Gordon, voted the BBC’s Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2020, makes his Jazz Hastings debut with his trio featuring Will Each on bass and Will Cleasby on drums. Julian Norridge recommends getting to the venue early to guarantee seeing a future star at the start of his career.

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    Selep withdraws Sea Change’s North Queensway grant

    Sea Change Sussex’s plans for the North Queensway Innovation Park suffered a serious setback last week when the South East Local Enterprise Partnership withdrew its £3.5m grant offer. A firm start date for the Queensway Gateway Road is still unavailable but work on the Bexhill Enterprise Park North has resumed following the release of funds. Nick Terdre reports.

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    Meet Dr Owen Johnson, champion of champion trees

    If you’re a tree lover you may already know that Hastings has twelve champion trees. A champion tree is the largest of its species in the British Isles. Nine of these are in Alexandra Park. Joan Taylor-Rowan stood under one such tree – an Adpressa yew – with Hastings’ resident and tree expert, Dr Owen Johnson MBE.

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    Celebrate national tree week by planting a tree

    National tree week runs from this Saturday, 27 November, through to Sunday 5 December 2021. This year there is a wealth of events across town from Churchwood Community Orchard to Alexandra Park.

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    Winter exhibition for old and new Zoom artists

    The Zoom Arts Community have shaken off its lockdown lethargy and are re-surfacing in December with vigour, great new works and some exciting new members.

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    Image Katherine Reekie artist

    Bespoke millinery meets extraordinary local art in Caroline Morris’s Silver Anniversary Show

    After running her business for 25 years, St Leonards-based hat designer Caroline Morris is celebrating her anniversary with a ‘silver themed’ show, displaying local artwork alongside hats and headpieces in an iridescent display of all things ‘argenteus’ – meaning silvery, ornamental, and bright. Catherine Hills heads down to find out more.

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    Ore mansion scores hat-trick of planning refusals

    Retrospective planning application HS/FA/20/00884 was refused by the Planning Committee in April, against officers’ advice. Seven months on it came back, rebadged as HS/FA/21/00712. The differences were truly trivial. As before, the officers recommended approval. How did the Committee respond? Bernard McGinley reports.

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    Rising prices prompt more to seek energy advice

    The recent rise in energy costs, part of a significant increase in the cost of living, puts many lower-income families, in Hastings as elsewhere, at serious risk of not being able to heat their homes this winter. The severe squeeze is worrying local energy consultants Energise Sussex Coast, but there are still some sources of help they can offer to hard-pressed residents. Nick Terdre reports.

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    Walking the line

    Land art, as distinct from landscape art, has always been an interesting  genre: Andrew Goldsworthy, Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, have all left  transient marks on the landscape in the course of their practice. It is  Paul Klee who is famous for his quote: “Taking a line for a walk…”.  And that is precisely what photographer/artist Zoe Childerley did. Lauris Morgan-Griffiths talked to her about walking and documenting the unmarked border between England and Scotland, the results of which can be seen at Solaris gallery.

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    COP26: Hastings calls for action, not hot air

    The population of Hastings has added its voice to the international marches appealing to our governments to act to stop climate change. Recent actions include a march through town, a protest at County Hall in Lewes and a call for Barclays Bank to stop funding fossil fuels. HOT’s Erica Smith catches up with the campaigners who are demanding an end to hot air.

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    Future of St Leonard’s church explored

    James Burton’s original seafront church was destroyed by a doodlebug in July 1944. A replacement was designed by the well regarded Gilbert Scott brothers and finished in 1961. The later church is now in geological trouble and was closed by the Church of England a few years ago. It is an exceptional building (Grade II listed) that should not be lost. A recent meeting addressed ways of saving it. Bernard McGinley reports and took the photos.

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    Calling All Teachers: Free CPD Session on Improving Outcomes for Children from Refugee Backgrounds

    For the past year The Refugee Buddy Project has been researching and writing a report on the experiences of local refugee families in education. This report will be launched at a free CPD (Continuing Professional Development) event for teachers and educationalists on 18th November 2021 4.30pm at the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery. There will be refreshments as well as free resources for attendees.

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    Peter Knight’s Gigspanner at The Stables Theatre

    On 7th November Gigspanner returned to The Stables Theatre. Darren Johnson was in attendance and soaking up the vibes.

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