I WOULD like to congratulate the Observer on a very good article about Robert Tressell and his book The Ragged Troudered Philanthropists (on February 4).
Not only is it fitting given the centenary of Tressell’s death, it is also a reminder of how the town of Hastings has finally come to terms with the somewhat disparaging ‘Mugsborough’ tag and has accepted the book and now celebrates its link with this seminal novel.
Having been involved in promoting Tressell for many years now, it is satisfying to report to those in the town and outsiders that Hastings is now proud of its former resident and his book.
Fifteen years ago, I was constantly hearing that ‘nothing is done in Hastings’ to celebrate the link.
Since then we have had regular Tressell festivals, the recent Tressell Day, the museum has a permanent exhibition about him and now a special Edwardian Mugsborough exhibition, and houses the magnificent Tressell banner.
This is added to the mural in the library, the plaques in homes in Milward Road, London Road and Plynlimmon Road, the naming even of Noonan’s steps towards Milward Road.
Local historian Steve Peak has written a new book on Mugsborough and Tressell which is almost as good as mine!
I must not forget that there were previous celebrations of Tressell as well, but I do feel that we have come a long way, nad long may it continue.
DR TREVOR HOPPER
University Centre Hastings