Rolling out the barrel for a goodcause as Rhonda reaches a decade

Hastings Round Table, organisers of the Hastings Beer and Music Festival, are pushing their beloved barrel Rhonda around the Hastings Half for the tenth time for a very special cause.

Saturday, 4th March 2017, 10:07 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:05 am
Rhonda the barrel horse SUS-170103-130420001

Peter May, from the Round Table, explained: “Back in 2008 notorious Round Tabler, Phil Astell had a brain wave.

“Having decided that a Santa on a sleigh was a bit last year, he and fellow Tabler Colin Gooch decided to head to a local garden centre in search of the ‘largest barrel they had’. This turned out to be an old whiskey barrel, that still smelt amazing.

“The idea was to model the barrel into a horse, and push/pull/fight it round the Hastings Half marathon. Thus wheels were added, a large hole was drilled in the top and funnel attached for collections, a couple of scaffold poles and a bit of old rope, and Rhonda was born.

“The wheels quite literally came off towards the end of the first race, so she had a few modifications before going back out in 2009, though looking at the tiny caster wheels it’s hard to believe they have made it round the last 9 Hastings Half marathons with this enormous (65kg before she fills up with coins!) weight on them.

“Nearly £2,000 was raised that first year, and 10 years on we hope to top that in 2017. This year the Hastings Round Table are breaking ranks slightly and raising funds for a national charity- Cystic Fibrosis, a charity close to the heart of all current members of Hastings Round Table. “If you would like to help support us in this great cause, head to and follow the link.

“Or if you are part of the tremendous crowds that come out on the day of the Hastings Half, please give kindly.

“We also set a new personal best in 2016 with a very respectable 2’32.

“Last year was my first one with Rhonda. Having done the previous 10 Hastings Halfs I thought I would take it easy by walking round with a bunch of like minded fools - how wrong I was to think I was taking the easy option.

“Thank you in advance for all your support!!- it’s really does help when trying to get this ol’ barrel up and down the hills of Hastings and it really will make a difference to the people living with this awful condition (go to to find out more).”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make our website your homepage at

2 Like our Facebook page at

3 Follow us on Twitter @HastingsObs

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Hastings Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.