Calling all pirates

Last year's Pirate Day
Last year's Pirate Day

PIRATE Day is this Sunday and the man behind the event is calling on everyone in the town and beyond to help win back the crown for Hastings.

‘Jolly’ Roger Crouch has issued one last rallying cry for all sea dogs, buccaneers and Jack Sparrow wannabees to descend on the town as part of a world record attempt.

In June last year pirates in Penzance took Hastings’ crown as the town with the highest number of pirates in one place.

The Cornish town packed in 8,734 people dressed as privateers, sea dogs and buccaneers on its prom, smashing the previous world record of 6,166 set in Hastings in August 2010.

On Sunday (July 22) the gathering of pirates will take place at 1pm on Pelham beach, opposite St Mary-in-the-Castle.

Those wanting to join in need to wear a pirate hat or bandana, white or striped shirt or t-shirt, ragged or pirate-style trousers or skirt, an accessory such as a sword, pistol, eye patch, pirate flag or parrot.

There will be a charity collection on the beach and everyone is encouraged to have some loose change to donate.

As part of the celebrations, there will be a pirate wedding at 11am at the town hall where Emma Drury and James Ward, from Basildon, Essex, will make their way into Priory Meadow at around 11.30am and onto the stage to be presented to a waiting crowd of pirates.

Blue Reef Aquarium and the Smugglers’ Adventure will also be overrun by buccaneers, brigands and privateers for the weekend to celebrate Pirate Day.

There will be a swashbuckling, sword-fighting display by the Eastbourne Fencing Club on Sunday, with local Olympian fencer Steven Paul.

The aquarium is staging an outdoor parrot show and any child who arrives at either attraction in full pirate fancy dress on Sunday will get in for free when accompanied by a full paying adult.

Taking place at both the aquarium and Smugglers Adventure, Pirate’s Weekend features a variety of activities including flag making, quizzes and lots more swashbuckling fun and games, as well as talks about some real-life pirates, like Blackbeard.

Visitors can take part in treasure trails, competitions and guided tours around the aquarium and the caves accompanied by staff in pirate fancy dress.

Hannah Deeble, from Blue Reef, said: “As co-sponsors of Pirate Day we’re delighted to be getting involved with so many fun activities and events at both attractions over the weekend.

“We’re all particularly looking forward to the parrot show and the sword fighting displays and we’re also planning to unveil a secret weapon of our own this coming Sunday.”

On Sunday at 5pm Hastings Castle will be opening late to provide a viewing platform for the Red Arrows aerial display, due to take place at 5.30pm. Entry is £1.