Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

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.

Claire Hamill is a singer-songwriter with an international reputation and a penchant for songs about love. Her relationship ended about three years ago and she had just decided to address the lack of love in her life by launching a club night for singles when Covid-19 landed. Whilst lockdown has been challenging for everyone, it has been particularly hard for those living alone. Even now, people seem to have forgotten how to go out and meet people in the real world.

At the start of November, The Astralight Club finally came into being. It’s held in the downstairs bar at The White Rock Hotel – the perfect venue for an intimate event with quiet background music and hostesses who encourage you to meet the other people in the room and make sure that everyone gets a chance to talk to anyone that interests them.

Despite the tendency for many men to be reluctant to take the plunge and attend a real-world dating event, there was an exact 50:50 ratio of men to women at the launch event. Claire said, “I run the club with the support of friends who act as hostesses and help conversations to flow. If there is someone in the room who you would like ‘an introduction’ to, then the hostesses will make that happen. I also encourage people to take a timer from the bar and sit and have a five- or ten-minute conversation at a quiet table so there is an opportunity to find out what you have in common.”

It is brave to take the plunge and turn up at a singles night. The Astralight Club ethos is to make sure that everyone is made to feel comfortable and treated respectfully. Claire says, “You’ll be encouraged to talk to as many people as you like. You may feel awkward at first but, be brave! You never know, the person you are talking to may turn out to be your new best friend.”

The event is not exclusively for straight people, and the hostesses will check with you to make sure appropriate introductions are made. Claire says, “At the moment, the Astralight Club is primarily for men seeking women and women seeking men, but if there is enough demand, an LGBTQ+ night will be arranged!”

The next meeting of the Astralight Club is this Saturday, 4 December, in the basement of the White Rock Hotel opposite Hastings Pier. Doors open at 8pm and the entry price is £10. It is recommended to contact Claire via The Astralight Club website in advance, but tickets are also available at the hotel reception. You can find out more about the club on its Facebook page. The club runs on the first Saturday of the month, so the January event will be on New Year’s Day!

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Posted 09:04 Wednesday, Dec 1, 2021 In: Hastings People

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