The launch of a new guide to Hastings Stade is set to highlight the fishing and cultural heritage of Hastings. The leaflet, Hastings Fishing & Cultural Quarter, is supported by the Hastings FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group)* and shows the happy mix of art gallery, inspirational working fleet, museums and iconic black net shops.
The Stade, Saxon for ‘landing place’, is home to the largest beach launched fleet in the UK, if not Europe, and in March 2012, the prestigious Jerwood Gallery opened, taking its place on the newly developed Stade Open Space, an area purposely developed to become the cultural hub of the town.
Hastings is the latest addition to the cultural ‘string of pearls’ along this stretch of the South Coast with the opening of the Jerwood Gallery in March 2012, perfectly complementing the De La Warr Pavilion a few miles to the west in Bexhill and Rye Art Gallery to the east**. Further along the coast in either direction lie the Towner and the Turner galleries at Eastbourne and Margate.
The Stade Open Space is the venue this summer for ‘Stade Saturdays’, a series of weekly free performances by the sea, running from March – October, supported by Hastings Borough Council and Arts Council England. To date, lucky Hastings residents and visitors have watched performances by the Port Isaac Fishermens Friends, award-winning jazz musician, Liane Carroll, and the cutting edge Hofesh Shechter Dance Company.
There is yet more to come. A whole weekend of events are planned around the arrival and stay on the Stade Open Space of the boat ‘Collective Spirit’, product of the Lone Twin Boat Project (London Festival 2012) (July 6 – 8) and the first ever Hastings Sea Shanty Festival takes place (21 July). The annual celebration of Hastings fishing heritage at the successful Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival, (now in its seventh year), will be held for the second year running on the Stade Open Space (15 & 16 Sept).
In further support of the fishing fleet, we are excited to announce Billingsgate @ theSeaside as the famous fish cookery school escapes the Olympics and decamps to Hastings at the beginning of August, to run several courses, thereby giving a tantalising taster of the imminent opening of the purpose-built ‘Classroom on the Coast’, which forms part of the Stade Open Space.
Whether your interests lie in the arts, in the town’s fishing and maritime heritage or you are just curious to see for yourself what is going on at this very exciting stage in the life of this quirky seaside town, just get in touch. We welcome press trips and can arrange itineraries in and around Hastings & St Leonards in combination with other 1066 Country towns and attractions.