Brothers make emotional return

Swan House 2 SUS-170222-120856001
Swan House 2 SUS-170222-120856001

Brothers Keith and Rod Funnell made an emotional trip back in time when they visited the Old Town guest house where they grew up more than 60 years ago.

Keith and Rod, with Keith’s wife Ruth, made the trip back to Hastings, from their home in Devon to stay at the award-winning Swan House at Hill Street.

Swan House 1 SUS-170222-120842001

Swan House 1 SUS-170222-120842001

Keith was aged just seven or eight when his family owned the property between 1955 and 1966. It did bed and breakfast back then but Keith recalls: “It was three guineas a week to stay there and I remember it being very cold with outside toilets and completely different to how it is today.

“The two closest pubs to us, The Hole in the Wall and Kicking Donkey have both gone now.”

Keith’s grandfather George ran a grocers in the Old Town and Keith reflected: “When we lived there the Old Town was a poor area and a part of town that was looked down on.

“I was bowled over to see what it has become now - one of the best parts of Hastings.

“A lot of the old shops have gone now but it was good to see Judges still there.

Keith was impressed with the beautiful open fireplace at the Swan which he says was hidden behind a wall when he was there.

He said: “Brendan was an incredible host. We really enjoyed our stay and want to come back soon.

“It really was a case of the ugly duckling that grew into a swan.”

Swan House owner Brendan McDonagh said: “It was an emotional visit for them and we were happy to be a part of it. Keith rightly pointed out that we are caretakers of these historic buildings.”

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