Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Maya Coombs, the youngest member of the A Town Explores A Book team launches the Festival creative writing challenge

A Town Explores A Book youngest member Maya Coombes launches the Palace of Green Porcelain writing challenge

How time flies!

The original time period for A Town Explores A Book 2020 was a three-week period over the Easter holidays. However, because Covid-19 precautions have currently put a stop to any outdoor art installations or public events, the festival span has been extended until the end of July. HOT’s Erica Smith gives an update of the different ways that H.G.Wells’ The Time Machine is being celebrated throughout May.

Detail of the time travel installation in Gyre & Gimble, 239 London Road

Some of the town’s shops have already installed The Time Machine themed windows, including Pass Muster, Mamma Putts and The Bookkeeper in Kings Road and Gyre and Gimble and Teddy Tinker’s in London Road.

There are also online activities on the festival website and social media pages. In response to the Eloi’s flower-filled paradise, people have been sending in their images of flowers which have been added to the #chainof beautifulflowers stream. And lockdown creative projects are being documented as still images and movie clips on the website with the #incompleteintheworkshop hashtag.

Visit our website for more details of the activities that you can join in.

Kev Towner with his time travel object, photographed by Alexander Brattell and Dawn Dublin

We are still waiting for permission to install the outdoor art projects around St Leonards, but in the meantime, images from The Mind of  Time Traveller by Dawn Dublin and Alexander Brattell are visible online. Dawn and Alexander talked to members of the local community and took pictures of them holding items that took them back to another time.

We hope to have these images installed on the exterior of the Southwater Community Centre, but for the time being you can view them here.

This Wednesday (6 May) I will be giving a Bavard Bar talk which reflects one of the themes from The Time Machine. Bavard Bar rules  forbid me from saying any more than that, but please tune in to Hastings Isolation Station at 7pm on Wednesday to find out more.

We are also launching a creative writing challenge inviting people to write a response to H.G. Wells’ description of the Palace of Green Porcelain. We would love to receive your words and for you to circulate the challenge to other people who like writing – both young writers and writers who are 18+.

Maya’s The Time Machine Creative Writing Challenge…

Imagine your time traveller self discovering a favourite building from now as it might look in the future! Inspired by the discovery of the Porcelain Palace in The Time Machine, our youngest team member, Maya Coombs, thought it would be cool to create descriptions of a favourite landmark or building in the style of H.G. Wells.

Word count: 400 words maximum
It can be a piece of prose or a poem.
Deadline: 31 July 2020 – but the sooner the better!

Please send your Time Travel writings to

Your writing will be shared on this page.
Let’s see if we can guess which building you’ve described.

Follow this link and click the page icons at the top, you will see H.G.Wells’ description of the Palace of Green Porcelain and some of the creative responses. If you send your writing in, we will add it to the website.


Posted 10:41 Tuesday, May 5, 2020 In: Arts News

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