Radical Victorian Hastings & The Birth of Women’s Suffrage

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  LOCATION: East Sussex WORDS: Gareth E. Rees In the mid-nineteenth century, Hastings was one of the only towns in Britain where women greatly outnumbered men. The health craze for sea bathing and temperate climate attracted elderly spinsters and wealthy

Between Place & Imagination

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WORDS: Gareth E. Rees This is a transcript of my talk at the Walking Inside Out Symposium, an event in Sheffield to launch the new book Walking Inside Out: Contemporary British Psychogeography, edited by Tina Richardson. I’m an author of

Salvation Army Soundclash

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LOCATION: East Sussex WORDS: Ben Thompson I first saw the flyer for the Salvation Army Soundclash in a Clive Vale launderette. It was on the table next to an old copy of Now magazine. What caught my eye was the way

Britain’s Subterranean Ham Chambers & Why I Love My local Trophy Shop


LOCATION: Hastings WORDS: Gareth E. Rees When I was 12 I fell off my bike and lost all my maths. Since then I’ve staggered through adult life with a childlike bewilderment about numbers. I haven’t a clue what they mean.

The Unofficial Queen of England

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LOCATION: Hastings WORDS: Gareth E. Rees I came across this story in the book Hastings of Bygone Days – and the Present [1920] by Henry Cousins…. On the day Victoria was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

A Sacred Fake: the Mystery of the Minnis Rock


LOCATION: Hastings, East Sussex WORDS: Gareth E. Rees East Hill, a promontory of the South Downs: rolling green contours on a plateaux of sandstone high above Hastings. A funicular railway lift rattles up its seaward face. To its east, cliffs

Same Result Every Year: A Day Out in 1066 Country

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LOCATION: Battle, East Sussex WORDS: Gary Budden recounts his merry day out at a Battle of Hastings reenactment It’s hard to ignore the fascination with death and bloody murder, the schoolkids and grown men alike fondling replica blades with a fetishist’s glee. For

The Mystery of the Black Arches: an 18th Century Sussex Hoax


LOCATION: Hastings, East Sussex WORDS: Gareth E. Rees East Hill is a high promontory overlooking Hastings Old Town. From the top you can gaze out to sea across a jumble of lichen-speckled roofs and mediaeval Churches. Look up from the Old Town in summer

Dead Cats, Cold Curry & a Broken Heart at The Stag

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By Gareth E. Rees LOCATION: Hastings It’s a wintry Wednesday night at The Stag, a Tudor pub in the old town. I sit beneath a cabinet containing two smoke-dried cats, discovered in the pub’s chimney in the 1940s. The official

Life Among the Concrete: A Harbour Wall Dérive

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LOCATION: Hastings Words: Gareth E. Rees The Stade is a shingle beach from where fishermen launch their boats. At low tide the shingle is strung with fish heads and crab claws. A harbour wall protects the beach. Herring gulls stand