Hastings Senior Men’s Forum

AT our meeting on January 21 we had a slide talk on Rock-a-Nore from Ken Brooks.

He started by telling us that the original map of the area was compiled as early as 1750 and it is believed that Rock-a-Nore could be translated as Rocks to North.

Sketches of the time show a brig or a collier pulled up on the beach and this was perhaps the best way that goods could be brought to the town.

The road from London was unmade and in places lawless.

The fishing boats were first used sometime between 400 and 500 years ago.

In 1297 their was quite a battle between the Hastings fleet and the North East fleet.

Hastings won that battle because Hastings boats were built stronger to allow them to come up our beach drawn by man or horse until 1930, since then petrol or diesel has been used.

The net shops have been a feature for many years and they were built 8 feet square and 25 feet tall to avoid the land tax as well as drying the nets.

Work started in 1897 to build a harbour, but the company had many problems with tide, time, and money and eventually went bankrupt.

Other items of interest were explained which resulted in many questions being asked.

On February 4 we had a talk on The Stables Theatre from Michael Willard.

The stables for housing horses was founded by a Mr Perkins in 1746 and later by John Collier a previous mayor of Hastings.

During the two wars they were used by the Government to lodge troops and equipment.

Old Hastings Preservation Society had an order put on it, but could not raise enough money to repair them.

At the end of the 1940s a Mrs Dan Reuter formed a trust to save the stables and with her influence the theatre did quite well.

The theatre as we now know it opened in June 1959.

Seats and equipment were scrounged from London.

Then once a month there was a play, a film, or a talk 
and the theatre became very busy.

It soon had a gallery and a larger bar and because stars offered their services for free or just asked expenses for their train fares the theatre prospered and today with many volunteers it provides good entertainment to the Hastings community.