Biggest event ever to be held at seafront venue

St Mary In The Castle
St Mary In The Castle

AN ALL-DAY event to be held in celebration of St Mary in the Castle’s charitable status could be the biggest ever to take place at the Grade II listed seafront venue.

On Saturday, September 21, from noon, the Hastings Hullabaloo will be a non-stop programme of free entertainment including live music, tours of the building, storytelling, performance poetry and an evening ceilidh.

Visitors are welcome to stay all day or dip in and out as they wish.

All performers are giving their time and talents for free, including jazz singer Liane Carroll, who will be the first musician on stage.

The event’s organiser Sally Gardner, said: “We think it may well be the biggest event ever held at St Mary in the Castle.

“I want it to be huge and memorable.

“It is such a magnificent building, and a lot of people still think the place is closed.”

The entrance in Pelham Crescent is currently boarded up while renovations to the cafe are carried out, but the venue itself is open for business, and the aim of the Hastings Hullabaloo is to create something spectacular enough to remind the public of this fact, and also encourage those who have never entered the building to pay a visit.

Other performers include Victoria Howarth, Mike Hatchard, Alba Torriset, Poppy Prescott, and Keith and Lily Foster.

Ben Fairlight will be telling stories in the baptistry, while there will be a poets’ corner in the crypt, along with tours of building throughout the day.

In the evening from 8pm will be a free ceilidh with the popular Sugar Loaf Band.

Weather depending, acts including the Shanty Singers will also be performing outside the building.

Five local charities, the RNLI. The Carers Association, Active Arts, The Friends of the Conquest Hospital and Bluebell Ridge, will be displaying material in the crypt and talking about their work.

Sally said that more volunteers were needed to help out at Hastings Hullabaloo.

She said that anyone interested should email or just arrive at 11am on September 21, at the entrance at 7 Pelham Crescent

Buckswood School was last year given permission to take on the lease of the building from Hastings Borough Council and run it through a charitable trust.

The Charity Commission granted the venue charitable status in July this year and is now being run by a board of 11 trustees, with Zoe Ashdown as the venue’s managing director.

For more information about the event log onto