Hastings Pier rises from the ashes

Image courtesy of Ramboll. Photographer Daniel Shearing. HastingsPier_1 copy

The visitor centre on Hastings Pier.

Following  a £14.2 million refurbishment and over two years work, Hastings Pier has re-opened to the public.

Built in 1872, the attraction was gutted by a fire in 2010, and its renovation has included the replacement of damaged support pillars and steel beams, and the introduction of new decking the length of the 910-foot structure.

Materials saved from the original pier have also been used where appropriate on the 21st-century update, which incudes small shops selling crafts, pier-related merchandise and refreshments, as well as a full service restaurant and fairground rides.

A two-storey visitor centre in the middle of the pier, housing a bistro and a digital archive of different aspects of the structure’s history, will open later in the year and visitors can already make use of its roof terrace café.

This building also features terraces from which audiences can watch performances, and larger scale events will take place including outdoor cinema screenings, farmers’ markets, Christmas markets, an ice rink and, over the August Bank Holiday weekend, a summer circus.

For further information telephone 01424 435587

Stuff and nonsense at Jacksons Lane

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Managing Editor Abbe Bates and her son Herbie enjoyed a performance of Goldilocks and The 3 Bears in London recently at the lovely Jacksons Lane theatre in Highgate. The children’s story is brought to life by kids theatre company Stuff and Nonsense with amazing costume, puppetry and acrobatics, and some witty dialogue too. It was Herbie’s first visit to the theatre, and he thoroughly enjoyed it! The show is currently on tour until June.

Airedale’s 30th Anniversary celebration

A celebratory dinner was much enjoyed by all the guests

In late January, over 180 customers, guests and suppliers celebrated Airedale’s 30th anniversary at the TLH Derwent Hotel in Torquay. Amongst the guests was Clive Kessell, GTO for East Grinstead Probus, who, since 2009, has chosen Airedale Tours to organise two holidays a year for his group.

Clive says that the four-day event was excellent with a warm welcome from the hotel staff and the Airedale Tours team. ‘We enjoyed nightly entertainment, special receptions and a gala dinner.’ In the day time, during trips to Babbacombe Model Village, Kents Cavern, Bygones, Bicton Park, Seaton Tramway and a River Exe cruise with Stuart Line Cruises, Clive chatted to other GTOs to find out what trips had worked well for their members.

The group’s next holiday with Airedale Tours is to Luxembourg in May, and, as usual, around 50 members will be taking part. Clive adds, ‘I was delighted to be invited to join Airedale’s 30th anniversary celebration. The team understand the needs of my members very well, and are excellent at sorting every detail for us. I have no hesitation in recommending them to other GTOs, whether for trips in the UK or overseas.’