While globally and nationally, 2016 was a year of much malign and mourning, there has been a great deal of positive news to report locally.

    • Arguably the first and most lasting monument to local achievement was the completion of work on the restoration of Hastings Pier, recently acknowledged in Rowan Moore’s Best Architecture of 2016.
    • Alan Turing was given a blue plaque in a long overdue recognition of his major contribution to computer technology.
    • The ROOT 1066 festival celebrated the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, the last time Britain was successfully invaded.
    • The renowned Polari literary festival came to town, and Slam Dunk Poetry Slam, along with Hastings and 1066 Cartoon Festival, brought some of the most respected creatives to town, in each of their respective fields.
    • Transition Town Hastings transformed St Leonards Warrior Square Station into an organic open-sauce organic garden where you could literally pick a tomato and eat it.

[Ed] What did the RMT
say to Southern rail?
[HIP] What?
[Ed] ketchup!
[New Ed] Ed, you’re fired.

  • Talking of source, The Source Skatepark opened this year, hosting major competitions and boasting the title of Europe’s largest subterranean skatepark.

Some sad footnotes:

  • The University of Brighton have all but completely pulled out of their obligations to Hastings despite receiving large amounts of funding and a hard
    fought campaign to keep a full campus in the town. The iconic Observer building proposed 7 more storeys to house students, and then closed.
  • Our local MP was promoted to Home Secretary, which has been an endless source of amusement, tinged with despair.