Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Fat Tuesday

Last Sunday the sun came out !  Which was rather fortunate as me and my mate Sue, had decided to bomb down to Hastings and pay their Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) festival a visit.

Hastings lies in the east of Sussex and is famous of course, through its connection with the Norman conquest of England.  For centuries Hastings was an important fishing port and still has the largest beach-based fishing fleet in the country.  The town was popular in the 1760's for therapeutic bathing and then with the arrival of the railways it became a seaside resort.  Nowadays locally it has a bit of a bad rep due to high unemployment and lack of regeneration in some areas of the town, which is a shame, as I reckon that Hastings has much to offer. 

I'd learned about the four day Fat Tuesday festival from a Sussex publication and thought it sounded fun.  Sunday's festivities commenced with the Umbrella Parade along the seafront, brollies (and their owners) had been delightfully pimped up for the occasion, seemingly with no particular theme present.

This chap's brolly-hat declared  DEATH TO THE MEERKAT

 referring I imagine to the tv advert variety.

The parade culminated at St Mary in the Castle, seen here on the right and as the procession wended its way up the hill, the umbrella canopies made a wonderful sight.

An afternoon of New Orleans jazz was scheduled to take place at St Mary in the Castle but we decided to return later in order to take full advantage of the much longed for sun and after a bite to eat in a friendly café, we hopped on to the West Hill funicular railway.

  Completed in 1891 the railway provides access up to the castle ruins and St Clement's caves.
The castle was built in 1070,  now not much remains. Over the centuries large sections of the cliff face have fallen into the sea along with parts of the castle.  The ruins are open to the public but the entrance fee was too pricey for us so we wandered around the hill top taking in the views....

....and arsing about.


There's a wealth of history in Hastings and as we strolled around the old town we checked out the old buildings and wonderful architectural details.

After a brief gander around the many independent shops....

(Hastings has loads of second hand, junk and charity shops)

...we headed over to the beach where we watched fisherman bring in and unload their catch of mussels.

By this time it was mid afternoon and we still hadn't been to any music venues so we rushed back to hear the New Orleans jazz and just made the last two numbers.

Onwards to The Carlisle, a biker-friendly pub well known for its punk, rock and metal gigs.

The pub was banging with a punk band in full swing when we arrived and the amongst the crowd were some interesting characters, not least this bearded dude dressed in bobble hat, fur coat, lacy petticoat and trainers.

 I would have loved to linger and engage him in conversation but the punk vibe was not Sue's bag so after a few tunes and a quick pogo we headed back to the car.  As we drove home along the seafront the sun was getting low so I made a hasty pit stop at St Leonards to take a couple of obligatory sunset pics.


All in all it was a rather brilliant day. Thanks Hastings you did not disappoint.  


  1. We`ve never been that far south but it looks a great place to put on my list of " Interesting places to bugger off to in the caravan...one day".
    Some great pics there Fi, you`ve certainly done Hastings justice.
    Lynne xxx

  2. Hastings does have a rundown reputation like a lot of our seaside towns what a shame it looks lovely in your pictures.

  3. Wow! By weird coincidence I'm sitting here wearing a skirt printed with images from the Battle of Hastings!
    I had no idea Hastings was so cool! Fat Tuesday looks like a blast and wasn't the sky a wonderful shade of blue?
    Love the look of the junk shops and all the imposing architecture.
    What a shame The Carlisle wasn't Sue's thing. I'd have made a beeline for the chap in the cocktail frock and the faux fur! xxx

  4. Great you've had that seems to be a wonderful day !!! Merci pour cette découverte ! Have fun !!

  5. Fabulous photos … and I'll pop a visit to Hastings on my bucket list :0)

  6. I've never been to Hastings, but it looks fab! I like seaside towns, even if they are a bit down-at-heel, although those fancy balcony-ed white buildings, the funicular railway, the views from above the town, and the lovely architecture suggest Hastings isn't too down on its luck! Anywhere with plenty of independent shops and cafes is doing OK, not to mention the thriving pub scene. Love the harbour photos, the wildly blue skies, and of course the bloke in the fur coat and lace petticoat!
    A thoroughly enjoyable day out, I reckon! xxx

  7. You've certainly done Hastings proud! Smashing photos - love the colourful brollies on the hill, and the boat against the blue. Sorry you didn't get more time to pogo - happy flashback when I read that, probably have a dizzy turn if I did it now though! xx

  8. Yoohoo! I've been there. We really liked it, I must say. It's great to see your photos, they take me back to the summer. What a shame you didn't get to talk to the fella in the fur coat, you could have told him he has a great pair of pins! By the way, I like that picture of you on your new header. We can almost see you! Hever castle. I so wanted to go there but we ran out of time. There are several places I want to go back and explore: Hever, Monk's House, Batemans, Churchills place, I'm sure there were others. It's a treasure trove down there! Xxx

  9. Hi Fiona, sounds like you had a really interesting day and as always I'm in awe of your brilliant photography. I'm a big fan of Hastings too must get over there again this year. X

  10. What a fabulous day out Fiona. Loved the brollie parade, I have a few brollies, how would I decided which one to use? Thank you for the tour via your photos which are all rather gorgeous and I really enjoyed the history. I know I would love England.

  11. Oh wow this looks like an incredible and amazing time!!!

  12. Wow! Hastings is a happening' place! Lovely photos.

  13. What a lovely and fascinating post! Your photos are brilliant. Suzy x

  14. I've never been but have always wanted to as I knew people there. It looks like a really great day out. Sorry you didn't get to chat up the man of your dreams. He has smashing legs. xx

  15. I've had a thing about Hastings for ages...probably something to do with Foyle! It looks great and very photogenic. And junk and charity shops too. I'll have to visit.


Please drop me a line if you've time!