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Following the celebrations for the 900th centenary of the Battle of Hastings 1066 in 1966, it was agreed within Council that the 14th October should be marked each year as ‘HASTINGS DAY'. A battle lost maybe, but a day which. changed the future life of England. Regretfully the request for a National Day has yet to be achieved but one still being made.
However, Hastings was about to make more of that famous date known world wide. Nineteen towns bear our name around the Globe and in 1983 several sent literature and small artefacts to an exhibition within the Festival of Hastings organised by Hastings & St. Leonards First Association. Back in 1968 the ORDER OF 1066 was initiated to be presented each year to a Resident who had contributed exceptional service to the Borough. At a Reception in the Town Hall at the invitation of the Mayor, the recipient is a secret until the actual presentation, but the Order is always proudly received and with great public acclaim.
Each year the Gonfalon, William’s flag would be flown from a pole on West Hill and raised on command of the Mayor attended by three cadets and a bugler thus proclaiming the start of THE WEEK. A Hastings Day Committee was formed to organise the Celebrations, at first for just one day and lengthening to four in 1976. Included was William’s walk from Pevensey to Battle (Rotoract), Marching Bands, a Torchlight Procession and a Medieval Banquet. By 1980 it had become a full week and now included the Normandy Archery Tournament, Stamco Open Table Tennis Tournament, a 1066 Dance, Boxing and Water Polo Tournaments, all bringing visitors from afar.
Throughout the 80s and 90s the celebrations continued with the increasingly spectacular Torchlight Procession, mammoth Bonfire topped by a special effigy and Firework Display over the sea but remained at around twenty-five events. It was now felt that the week should contain more community based events and involve a wider age range. We have done just that. Both the Young and Senior Citizens have events of their own bringing winners aged between four and ninety eight! There are Exhibitions of local Societies' work, Cadets give excellent displays at the Opening, Closing and Gonfalon Ceremonies, the latter now taking place in the grounds of Hastings Castle and involving a Drumhead -Service, various forms of entertainment, and finally the Sunset Ceremony. There is a Festival of Jazz throughout the week, an Operatic Concert, Art Exhibitions, Our 'Green areas’ are open to all and how beautiful they look. The Award Ceremony now includes the Civic Pride Awards following nominations from the public for unsung heroes and heroines who give selfless service over many years and quite rightly acknowledged. Sport and Music play an important part. In 1997 the National Town Criers’ Championship joined our Celebrations. The latter had been run independently for many years but was now taken over by Hastings Borough Council.
In the year 2000 (Millennium Year) the programme contained seventy plus entries. The programme itself is produced free to the Public with the grateful support of Local Advertisers and very valuable support from the local Press and Radio. The printed programme, which contains exciting new events every year will be available in mid August. Don't miss it
(The Hastings Week Committee is comprised of three Councillors, the Marketing & Communications Manager, Five Elected Officers from the Voluntary Sector and approximately Fifteen members of Societies/Associations/services, plus a valuable Secretary supplied by Council).
While you're here, be sure to visit Hastings Country Park, Alexandra Park, St. Helens Wood Nature Reserve and our many smaller gardens. Explore our wonderful buildings in the Old Town and Burtons St Leonards. Give your cars a treat at our jazz Festival and Opera South East events then cover them up at the National Town Criers Championship and our climactic bonfire and fireworks display!
Year of the Sea
Throughout the UK, there are countless events celebrating the country's extraordinary maritime heritage.With Europe's largest beach-launched fishing fleet, miles of unspoilt coast and a host of seafront festivities. there's no better place to celebrate the Year of the Sea than Hastings & St Leonards during Hastings Week. vvww.seabritain2005.com
The Bowskill Trophy
Presented in memory of Cyril Bowskill who, with his wife joan, was a great supporter of Hastings Week. From a majority vote based on public nominations, it is given to a person, group or ogranisation who has done most to promote the prestige of the week. Certificates of Merit are given to'Runners up'. Everyone works so hard for the success of the festival, it is always difficult to choose but it is good, and very necessary to show appreciation. Nomination Forms can be obtained from: The Secretary, Hastings Week Committee, Marketing & Communications, Town Hall, Queens Road, Hastings.
Mr Ion Castro of XL(2000) Ltd, for processing our information on the Internet www.1066.net/hastings-week. A history of progress of our week throughout the summer. 1066 Newspapers. The Observer and Adnews for their publicity before, during and after the week. Arrow FM for their regular updates. The Mayor and Hastings Borough Council for their support. The Hastings Week Committee for their work throughout the year. TheAdvertisers who enable us to produce the programme free for all. All participants without whom there would be no week. To the public who support everything with good cheer and enthusiasm and make it all worth while.
Collection for various charities will be taken throughout the week. Please give generously,
To all Concerned
Every effort had been made to produce correct information, dates and times at the time of going to press. However, unforeseen circumstances may occur which are beyond our control. We try to keep the web-pages up-to date and an update will be in the press prior to the week but the Hastings Week Committee cannot be held for such changes which are in the hand of individuals and groups/Associations. We hope you will enjoy Hastings Week.
D.J.Clements. Hon. Life President
www.1066.net - Hastings' favourite web site is sponsored by XL(2000) Ltd