MORE than 8,000 people descended on the Stade Open Space over the weekend to visit the classic car show, as this year’s Hastings Week festivities got underway.
Organisers said the attendance figures were the best ever this year, as more than 100 vintage cars were on show.
Hastings Week was officially launched with the unfurling of the Gonfalon, the flag of William the Conqueror, at the Town Hall, together with a parade and ceremony involving sea cadets, veterans, other standards and the Robertson Pipes and Drums.
Cllr Peter Chowney, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council and lead member for regeneration, said: “It was great to see so many people at the classic car show, especially on the Sunday, when the warm weather attracted thousands of visitors, and more than 100 classic cars.
“I was very pleased that I was able to enter into the spirit of the event myself by driving the Mayor there in my own classic 1958 MG Magnette.
“This event traditionally opens Hastings Week, and, following the completion of the Jerwood Gallery earlier this year, was the first time that we were able to use all of the space on The Stade for it.
“I’d like to pass on my thanks to the organisers, the Hastings Week Committee volunteers and Hastings Borough Council, and to the many exhibitors for attending.”
Writers and artists also gathered at the Town Hall for the annual Books Born in Hastings celebration.
This year saw the launching of Stories of St Leonards, an anthology of works about St Leonards by well-known local writers such as Victoria Seymour. The latest in Hastings Writers’ Group’s Strandline series and Stories for Sale, a collection by Etchingham-based author William Wood, were also launched.
The event also featured a stereoscopic display of Victorian photographs of Hastings and St Leonards by Peter Cresswell, and the latest locally inspired artworks of Katherine Reekie and Cathy Simpson.
Sunday also saw more than 40 runners compete in the annual 1066 Steps Race around Old Town, the aim to run 1.066 miles in the shortest time possible.
Edgars Sokolovkis came first, completing the race in seven minutes and 25 seconds.
Scores of visitors also came to the popular Hobbies and Crafts Fayre at Sacred Heart School and members of Hastings Welsh Society hosted a coffee morning on Saturday.