Hastings to honour author Robert Tressell in festival

Robert Tressell
Robert Tressell

THE town is honouring one of the most celebrated authors and fathers of the British Labour movement next month.

The Robert Tressell Festival will be held on Saturday, July 13 at the University Centre Hastings from 10am.

A series of illustrated talks are to be given by local historian Brion Purdey, Lloyd Withers and author Ann Kramer.

At 4.15pm visitors will assemble for the Robert Tressell Walk around famous Hastings landmarks associated with the author. This will be led by Dr Trevor Hopper, Open University and author of Robert Tressell’s Hastings.

Tickets are £10 per person. A buffet lunch and refreshment will be included.

Robert Croker, latterly Noonan, was born on April 17, 1870, and working under the name Robert Tressell, wrote The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, a book which would go on to inspire generations of left-wing thinkers.

Set in Hastings, renamed Mugsborough for the book, Tressell’s book follows sign-writer Frank Owen as he tries to convince his fellow workers that the capitalist system they work so hard for is the cause of the abject poverty they find themselves in.

Tressell wrote the book while living and working in Hastings between 1902 and 1910. He worked for several building firms such as Adams and Jarrett.

Pre-booking for the festival is required. Ring Sue on 01424 460735 or Dee on 01424 447594.