MAY I send a huge thank you to the many people who helped to make Hastings Hullabaloo on Saturday (September 21) such a wonderful event.
To the many top class performers who gave their time for free, to the volunteers who stewarded the day, to Zoe Ashdown, the manager of St Mary’s, to the friends and the trustees of St Mary-in-the-Castle, to the Observer for your constant support, and, most of all, to the people of Hastings and surrounding areas who came in their hundreds – thank you!
The object of the day was to celebrate St Mary’s recently acquired Charitable Trust status and to prove that, in spite of the temporarily boarded up exterior, this extraordinary and beautiful arts venue is open for business, and happily getting plenty of it.
From the moment that Hastings’ radiant Carnival Queen, Bethany, aided by Princess Cheyenne, cut the enormous scarlet ribbon adorning the portico, and the great Lianne Carroll began the festivities, St Mary’s was thronged.
Among the day’s many memorable moments for me was the remark made by a gentleman who lives in Pelham Crescent who told me he had never been inside St Mary’s before. Expressing his amazement and delight at the interior of St Mary’s, he told me he had been woken that morning by Stuart Cummings heralding the opening on the bagpipes.
“I woke with a start, and thought I must have died and come back as the Queen,” he said.
A quote to cherish, a day to cherish. And the day that Hastings let the world see how proud it is of this unique and iconic building. Thank you all.