Hastings played host to two French groups in Hastings Week, from Hastingues in Aquitaine, and from Normandy. The Mayor of Hastings, Cllr Alan Roberts, welcomed both groups to Hastings Town Hall.
On Thursday 11th October, the group from Hastingues, including Mme Helene Ducarre, the wife of the Mayor, and Mme Lise Lenguin, the Deputy Mayor, gave an informal French lesson for the Mayor. This marked the end of a visit organised by Hastings-based Ian Stewart who has set up a group HASTINGueS to promote links between the two towns. During their stay they visited many local attractions, attended a local history conference at the History House in Courthouse Street, visited Blacklands school, and gave thirty hours of French lessons.
The following day, Friday 12th October, a Norman group ‘Friends of the Norman Museums’ visited the town, at the start of a weekend visit that saw visits to Pevensey and Hastings Castles, and the re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings at Battle.
Cllr Alan Roberts said afterwards:“It is great that we are still so popular with French visitors, after over 900 years! Seriously, it was very nice to be able to welcome the two groups here. Both groups stayed in local hotels, and both told me how much they enjoyed the town, and how they hoped to come again, and that has to be good news for our tourism economy too.”