Hastings is situated on the south coast of East
Sussex. The town's name was recorded in the 8th century and means
"the settlement of the followers of Haesta" a Dane who settled there
in the 5th century, although the site has been occupied since
prehistoric times. The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was actually
fought 6 miles to the north-west near the town of Battle. The photo
shows the view of the east end of the town from West Hill. The top
of the hill can be reached using the West Hill cliff railway or on
foot along the narrow backstreets, alleyways and steep flights of
steps. At the top is a large sloping grassy area, a café by the lift
exit, and a flat area at the top of the sandstone cliffs with views
in all directions. Towards the rear of the hill there is a small
children's playground with swings, slides and climbing frame.
At the far east end of the seafront are the net huts which were* used
for drying fishing nets to prevent rotting. Nowadays the nets are
made of nylon and can be left outside, so the huts are used for
other storage. They were built tall because of the limited space at
the head of this beach during Victorian times, when the sea was
somewhat closer, and also to avoid paying excess ground tax. You can
have your own net hut in the form of a
multi-storey sparrow "Nest Hut" available from the
Hastings and Bexhill* Wood Recycling
Project which was set up to keep wood out of landfill* and provide
skills training in woodcraft and nature conservation. Beyond the
sheds there is a large seafront car park, a sea life centre and a
fishermen's museum. There are also many fresh fish shops here to
dispense the day's catch, with a wide variety on offer. Opposite the
net sheds is the East Hill cliff railway which opened in 1902 and is
the steepest in the UK.
* Omission phase "which (w)ere"
* "Bexhill" Always insert
vowels in place names, this one could look like "Bexley"
* "landfill" Not in dictionary.
If you wanted a single outline, use L + Nd stroke + F + L
The top of East Hill can be reached on foot from the seafront
through a narrow alleyway between the shops near the fishermen’s
museum and up several* flights of
steps. An ascent on foot provides more varied interest than taking
the lift, with changing views along the way, as well as the triumph
of making it to the top. The last flight has several*
seats at intervals to ensure success without too much discomfort.
There are no visitor facilities on this part of the cliff top but
during summer there is often an ice-cream van parked strategically
near the top of the steps, to provide for thirsty step climbers as
well as passengers emerging from the lift. The cliff top is a smooth
sward of short grass with panoramic views of the town, and
opportunities to walk further eastwards*
through Hastings Country Park, which is a designated Nature Reserve
of grasslands and woods extending 5 miles along the coast towards
the town of Fairlight. The bonfire beacon on East Hill is lit each
October by the Hastings Borough Bonfire Society, as part of their
torch-lit* procession around the town,
culminating in a firework display.
* "several" Careful not to curl
the end of the V, as that would begin to look like "seven"
* "eastwards" Insert first
vowel, so it is not misread as "seawards"
* "torch-lit" and "torch-light"
Insert the last vowel to differentiate
The cliffs are composed of sandstone and
mudstone which are sedimentary rocks that formed about 140
million years ago when the area was a large lake or lagoon*. Winter
weather and storms hasten the erosion of these cliffs but rocks and
debris can fall at any time of the year. The base of the cliffs
under East Hill has large steel meshes to catch any debris and
protect the road and pathways below. The numerous cliff faces
throughout the town are faced with various colours and patterns of
brick, a reminder of the weakness of these layers of rock. The rocks
are rich in fossils of prehistoric plant and animal life*.
Dinosaur evidence has been found here in the form of
footprints and more rarely skeletal remains. The only other place in
the UK with good dinosaur fossils is the Isle of Wight.
* "lake, lagoon" Insert the
first vowel in lake, the last vowel in lagoon, as these two are
similar in outline and meaning
* Omission phrase "animal (l)ife"
Hastings' beaches are mostly pebbles, although there is some sand at
low tide near the pier. This photo shows Pelham Beach. The concrete
structure in the distance is the remains of an uncompleted harbour
arm. The first attempt to build this was made in the 16th Century
but the foundations were destroyed by storms. The present structure
was started in 1896 but remained unfinished due to rising costs
and funds running out. What was left of
it was partially blown up during the Second World War in order to*
prevent its use by any invading ships. Hastings' fishing boats are
all stored on and launched from the beach, and these can be seen at
the east end of the seafront. Care
should be taken when wandering around as there are many slipways
with trailing cables and chains.
* Omission phrase "in ord(er
Hastings Old Town always seems to be*
teeming with visitors attracted by the cafés, pubs, gift shops and
antique shops. All the old buildings are well preserved and West
Street makes a very pleasant* stroll on a sunny day. Further along
there are amusement arcades and facing the seafront there are a
large number of fish and chip shops, essential fuel to keep the
holidaymakers warm when the sun is not shining and the wind is
blowing. There is certainly a clear difference between the fresh
seafood served here and that obtained
from supermarket freezers. A walk along the back streets reveals
many ancient timber-framed houses surviving and kept in good repair.
The constantly changing use of the buildings has helped to preserve
* Omission phrase "seems (to)
* "pleasant" and "pleasing"
Helpful to insert vowels, as these are similar in outline and
Hastings Pier before
fire of 2010
Hastings pier is situated in the central* White Rock area and was
opened in 1872, to provide Victorian tourists with an invigorating
and adventurous walk out to sea, amusements and paddle steamer
The pier closed in 2008 and suffered a devastating fire in 2010. It
was purchased by the Hastings Pier Charity who have completely
rebuilt and refurbished it and the pier reopened in 2016.
A pier in good order at any seaside is always
full of visitors, which benefits the whole town and the prosperity
of its population. The decorative ironwork is always worth a closer
look, despite the thick layers of peeling paint, and is entirely in
keeping with the purpose of the pier as an attraction. Such
decorative features were normal in Victorian times and were probably
not as immediately noticeable as they are to us today.
* "central" Based on the
outline for "centre", despite there being no vowel sound between the
T and R, to get a convenient and fast outline
has ever stood on a pier has experienced the combination of
wonderment and faint apprehension at glimpsing the heaving sea
through the gaps in the wooden deck. As a child I enjoyed the
automata and penny slot machines that showed moving models of life
in the past, and I wondered how many coins had been dropped through
the cracks in the deck and were now lying on the seabed, unused and
going to waste! Behind White Rock is the modern shopping area. If
you look upwards past the shop fronts you will find a great
diversity of building styles and embellishments, of the kind that is
lacking in our present-day buildings.
Summer bedding is in the customary seaside style, brilliant and
bold. Pale and artistic shades may have their*
place in formal gardens, but on the seafront the displays have to
hold their own against all the other colourful paraphernalia – shops
and souvenirs, brightly packaged candies and the brilliantly painted
funfair and arcades. The colour provides a warmth that perhaps the
weather is lacking, and persuades us, as we look at our holiday
pictures, that the weather was kinder than it actually was. Years
ago we used to collect the postcards* with maps on, but nowadays
someone has found an easy profit out of producing completely black
postcards that say "Hastings at night". One can quickly think of
captions for a white or a grey postcard*. One sweltering day we drove
to Hastings expecting the hot weather to make up for the sea
breezes, only to be met by a bank of cold grey fog enveloping the
town. The sea and sky merged into one grey nothingness and we
shivered all day. As soon as we left to go home, we emerged back
into the hot sunshine that we had expected* to be enjoying on the
* "may have their " Doubling
* "postcard" Omits the lightly
* "expected" Optional short
dash through last stroke of contraction to signify past tense
All the traditional holiday edibles are here, seafood and sweets.
Fish described as "Rock" or "Rock salmon" is actually huss, the
spiny dogfish which is a small shark. The other type of rock sold is
the sugar version, pure*
entertainment and dentists' delight or
displeasure, depending on your dentist's point of view*.
It will leave you in no doubt as to the security of your dental
fillings. I enjoy all the colours but do not now wish to consume
these beautiful works of the confectioner's art. Seaside rock with the
words embedded in red on white is always appealing, even when one
eventually finds out how it is made. These manmade rainbows are a
feast for the eyes and maybe a photograph is the healthiest way to
* "pure" Special outline, to
distinguish it from "poor"
* Omission phrase "point (of)
There are plenty of activities for children of all ages, including
amusement* arcades, funfair rides, mini
golf, boating pond with swan-shaped paddle*
boats and a miniature ride-on railway. I like to see the old
beachfront shelters, reminding me of childhood holidays when there
was no car to dive into in wet weather. It is traditional for the
British holidaymaker to enjoy or endure the whole day regardless of
the weather, and the spirit of dogged determination is alive and
well, and huddling in the shelters, eating ice cream in defiance of
chilly breezes. This attitude stems partly from the time when people
took a train or coach outing to the seaside and they therefore had
no choice but to wait for the appointment with their transport at
the end of the day. But a far greater part of it is the
determination not to be beaten by inclement weather and cheated of
the day's enjoyments. Waiting for warm conditions is not an option
in Britain, and having arrived at the destination one feels one must
get some value from the time and expense of getting there. The
alternative would be to hurry back
home in defeat, something the British spirit will never countenance.
* "amusement" and "amazement"
Always insert the vowel
* "paddle" Insert the vowel, to
differentiate it from "pedal" which would also make sense here
This seagull is doing what every holidaymaker does, he has found a
warm and smooth place to sit with no lumps and bumps, and is
surveying the blue expanse of the sea while waiting for someone to
serve up a tasty snack. Maybe he is watching for that unmistakable
movement of a hand flicking a piece of sandwich in his direction, or
the screeching and flurry of wings that advertise a bag*
of chips has been hurled onto the beach for his rivals to fight
over. This army of noisy, unpaid and endlessly*
replaceable volunteers ensures that the waste food removal is
thorough and complete before the sun goes down. No doubt a seagull's
tourist map would show all the places of interest, such as tables
outside fish and chip shops, car parks, and all the restaurants
where the owners do not put lids on their dustbins! This Sea Dogs
bowl of water was seen outside the RNLI Lifeboat shed and shop, an
example of thoughtfulness and creative description by those hardy
and selfless volunteers who put their lives at risk on the seas to
save lives. (1898 words)
* "bag" Insert the vowel and
ensure the strokes are thick, as this could also look like "pack"
* "endlessly" See
* "dustbins" = rubbish/garbage bin,
trash can. Omits the lightly sounded T. Insert the vowel in "bins"
so it is not misread as "dust pans"
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