Hastings To Eastbourne
It’s the 1st November 17 and I am walking from Hastings Pier to Eastbourne Pier. Joining me today is Mick Harding, David Strachan and Loki the dog. The actual start of my walk is just before Hastings newly redeveloped Pier awarded the Stirling Prize for “masterpiece of regeneration 2017” after the devastating fire in 2010. At the Pier Dave & Loki are waiting for me and Mick and we soon set off towards Bexhill-on-Sea. Its a beautiful Winter’s morning with clear blue skies and warm sunshine making the whole day very pleasant.
After a short walk an opportunity soon presents itself to us as Dave mentions a good friend of his John who runs Hastings Diesels Limited a non-profit organisation preserving and restoring the ex-southern DEMU units including the famous “Green Goddess”at West Marina, St Leonards. Within minutes we are at the gates buzzing the intercom and right enough we are met with a very warm welcome by John who allows us the freedom to roam around the shed re-living our young careers as Guards at Gillingham Depot Kent. In January 1988 heavy rainfall caused the Strood & Higham Tunnels (a former Canal) to flood and the DEMU’s from the Uckfield area came to the rescue. As young Guards we got to work them during this disruption until large pumps were fitted to drain the tunnels.
Later myself and Mick moved from the back to the front to become Drivers (boil in a bags). We are still trying to perform that role to the best of our abilities today. :) It was great to reminisce with Mick seen here displaying the Victoria to Gillingham 92 headcode.
At Galley Hill Bexhill the day continues to improve and the tops start coming off.
Wind sports of all sorts are practised along the Southern Coast and Bexhill was no exception with this enthusiast practising his paragliding landing and take off skills from the H.M Coastguard Building Bexhill
At Bexhill-on-Sea it was time for a cuppa and it was time to visit the Sovereign Light Cafe made iconic by the rock band Keane who used the cafe as a title for one of their songs and immortalised it in the music video of the same name.
It’s the halfway stage and Mick relaxes into his stride.
Flags are the theme of the day and and the people of Pevensey do not disappoint, patriots everywhere, I was impressed. It was now time for lunch and today’s choice was a hit at the Castle Inn Pevensey, I can strongly recommend the pie of the day with a pastry base (a proper pie in my humble opinion).
A great display of Union flags in Pevensey.
After lunch we only have six miles to walk to Eastbourne through Pevensey Bay and the new development at Sovereign Harbour. We pass the Redoubt Fort which is well worth a visit and these lovely Victorian weather shelters start to appear. These decorated wrought iron and wooden benches on the promenade at Eastbourne are stunning.
Soon we are the end of today’s adventure and greeted by the fantastic Pier of Eastbourne, a true gem. Local entrepreneur Sheikh Abid Gulzar should be patted on the back for his work to renovate the Pier after a fire in 2014 and even though there has been controversy due to the Pier domes being painted gold I think it looks great.