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From one historic venue to another at Hastings

York last week to Hastings this Saturday, CAMRA’s revitalisation meetings move from one historic venue to another.

This latest consultation session is taking place at the White Rock Hotel from 2 till 4pm and will provide pub-goers and beer and cider drinkers with an opportunity to voice and discuss views on where the future of the organisation lies.

Certainly, the location at the White Rock Hotel could not be better, situated on the seafront and a landmark building in the town. It is also popular with CAMRA members as the hotel is known for its excellent beers.

This friendly hotel adjacent to the White Rock Theatre has a modern, spacious bar with plenty of seating plus a terrace overlooking the seafront and the pier. There are four beers on offer from various independent Sussex breweries. It was the CAMRA branch LocAle Pub of the Year for 2013 and 2014.

Less than a mile east along the seafront is Hastings Old Town, containing a large number of pubs, of which four are in the Good Beer Guide and several others also serve good real ale.

The Crown is an independent freehouse situated on the picturesque All Saints Street between the East Hill country park and the beach. It was refurbished by local craftsmen and serves food sourced locally.

The Dolphin in the heart of Old Hastings is opposite the famous fishing net huts and The Jerwood Gallery. This welcoming pub is popular with locals and tourists and was the CAMRA branch Pub of the Year in 2013 and 2014.

First In Last Out is the birthplace of the FILO brewery which is now located further up the road. The building dates back to the 16th century and has been dispensing beer since at least 1896. At that time there was also a seed merchants which extended back to the Bourne Stream which at that time effectively split the two halves of the Old Town of Hastings. Since then The Bourne has been culverted and a new road was built in the 1950s, to form part of the main Dover to Honiton road (A259).

The pub has been a free house since 1976 having previously been a Charringtons house. It’s appeared in the Good Beer Guide for the last 20 years.

And finally, Jenny Lind is next door to the Old Town Hall Museum of Local History in the heart of Hastings Old Town. The pub has ten handpumps with local and countrywide beers. Two real ciders are served from casks on the bar. There’s a lovely terraced garden booth above and behind the pub.

Regardless of pubs, the well preserved Old Town is an interesting destination in its own right.

This cosmopolitan town is home to the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe, the remains of the first castle in England to be built by William the Conqueror, a preserved Old Town and a strong local arts community.

Hastings is also home to the Jerwood Gallery, a stunning new art gallery housing a collection of 20th and 21st century British art that has never before been seen by the public. It is located in the Stade area, in the middle of the fishing quarter.

Around the time of the Norman Conquest, Hastings was a thriving fishing and trading centre and the original port lies deep below today’s town centre. In 1287 the Great Storm hit the southern coast of England and caused the cliff and half its castle to fall into the sea, ruining its harbour. The town then moved eastward. Hastings is a Cinque Port, and up until the 16th century, other coastal towns provided the ships and men who guarded king and country from frequent and vicious attacks in return for special privileges. This unique confederation of South East England Channel ports was the original force behind England’s maritime power.

Hastings is really three towns in one joined by a level promenade; the Old Town to the east, the bustling contemporary shopping Town Centre in the middle and St Leonards to the west featuring the classical elegance of James Burton’s architecture and the fashionable Norman Road – recently named as the new ‘Portobello Road-on sea’ by The Times` and offering a great collection of antique shops and vintage galleries.

The message is enjoy Hastings and the Revitalisation meeting.


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