I WAS interested to see from your letters page that once again the Hastings - St Leonards comparison was raised.
With the Burtons’ St Leonards Society, we are working on two exhibitions for Heritage Open Days in September on this very theme “Two Identities – One Town”. We are interested in the differing views on this subject and welcome all contributions to the debate - email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Old Hastings Preservation Society may be based at Hastings History House, 21 Courthouse Street in the Old Town but our interests cover the whole town.
This is demonstrated by our current exhibitions on Sidney Little and Hastings and St Leonards in the 1920-30s and Hidden Connections. We welcome visitors, entry is free and we open Thursdays to Sundays, 11am to 4pm.
Your correspondent states that St Leonards was the original resort but that is not so.
East Cliff House in All Saints Street built c1762, is thought to be the first fashionable house built beside and facing the sea, and set the trend for Hastings to develop as a seaside resort.
Pelham Crescent and Arcade, and St Mary-in-the-Castle, purpose built as a visitor complex, was begun in 1824 when the Old Town had already been filled with new houses for visitors and Hastings had spread along George Street and Marine Parade into Wellington Square.
The pier is called Hastings Pier as St Leonards had a pier of its own until its remains were demolished in 1951.
The pier which rises from the ashes will, I am sure, be a pier for Hastings and St Leonards.
Old Hastings Preservation Society
Hastings History House