Crowds flock to celebrations

This year’s Hastings Week festivities started on Saturday with scores of people turning out to watch the opening ceremony.

Members of the Royal British Legion raised the standards and the Gonfalon, the flag of William the Conqueror, was raised outside the town hall.

Hastings Week Opening Ceremony. SUS-141110-175623001

Hastings Week Opening Ceremony. SUS-141110-175623001

Sea Cadets, Guides and Scouts also joined in a procession, as did Mayor Bruce Dowling, who officially opened the event.

The procession went to the Stade Open Space where the two-day vintage car show was held.

Other events that were held included the annual Hastings Week Chess Tournament (The Maureen Charlesworth Chess Challenge).

There was quite an international interest in this year’s event with players from Eastern Europe and from France playing with locally-based players.

The event overall was won by Viacheslav Kashenkov, a Buckswood School pupil from Russia. In second place was local player Bernard Power.

The Junior section was won by Norpell Wilberforce. In second place was his sister Kyiga.

Upcoming highlights of Hastings Week include the 62nd National Town Criers Championships tomorrow (Saturday) from 11am in Priory Meadow.

The event will be hosted by town crier Jon Bartholomew, who appeared on Channel 4’s Daily Brunch on Tuesday (October 14) to talk about the forthcoming championships and town crying in general.

Town criers from around the country will be judged on volume, diction, clarity and inflection.

The two-day hobbies and crafts fayre is on tomorrow and Sunday from 10am to 4pm at Sacred Heart School, Old London Road, with many stalls featuring knitting, needlework, produce, plants, painting and other items. Admission is free.

The torch-lit procession and bonfire is also being held tomorrow.

Lighting of the beacon on the East Hill is at 7pm with the procession starting at 7.15pm.

It will start from the White Rock Theatre then go through the town centre, along the seafront to the Old Town and back to the beach for the burning of this year’s effigy.

The bonfire and fireworks start at 9pm.