WHENEVER I’m asked why I came to live in Hastings my answer is always the same. I didn’t, I came to live in St Leonards.
I’ve lived here for 11 years now and I’m sick of it, and given that writing to the local paper is essentially about ranting, here goes.
I’m sick of passing street signs saying: “Welcome to Hastings and St Leonards” where the font size of the word ‘Hastings’ is five times that of ‘St Leonards’.
I’m sick of walking along St Leonards seafront in the summer and being stopped by someone who sticks their head out of their car window and says: “Excuse me mate, but where am I?”
I’m sick of listening to local politicians refer to the town as ‘Hastings’, instead of ‘Hastings and St Leonards’.
Jeremy Birch was guilty of it in a recent meeting, in front of a conference room full of St Leonards residents, specially there to discuss the promotion of St Leonards.
At the same meeting, the chairman of Hastings Trust refused to change its name because ‘it’s been that way for 20 years’.
Mr Chairman, stop patronising and start listening. Change the name.
I’ve no idea if Amber Rudd reads the local paper, but if you are reading Amber, I’ve got news for you. You’re the MP for Hastings and St Leonards, not just Hastings.
If you really are interested in promoting St Leonards, start using the term and get used to it.
So much for ranting, this is what I suggest.
A local statute should be introduced which requires all council references to the town as a whole, and all promotional leaflets to include both areas in equal font size.
The name of the local station should reflect the area it actually serves, namely ‘St Leonards’.
There should also be appropriately sited ‘Welcome’ signs for St Leonards.
Perhaps the local football supporters could get over themselves and understand that there is only one football club in this town now and it should be called Hastings and St Leonards FC.
That would probably do more than anything else to get St Leonards recognised.
You get the idea...