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Hastings hits back at BBC's "boring" jibe
Hastings has hit back at claims by a BBC reporter that there is nothing to do there but take in the sea air.
Hastings Borough Council has defended the town after Tom Esslemont said: “apart from taking in the sea air there is not much else to do” in his report for a national BBC news bulletin on Bank Holiday Monday.
Deputy leader and lead member for regeneration Coun Peter Chowney was dismayed by the comments and has invited Mr Esslemont to visit Hastings and see what is on offer.
He said: “I was flabbergasted when I heard the BBC report. If there's 'nothing much to do' in Hastings, why do over three million tourists visit every year?
“I'm not sure if Mr Esslemont has really ever spent any time in Hastings other than to make his report.
“I would like to invite him to visit on 14 or 15 September to enjoy our Seafood and Wine festival, a mouth-watering weekend of delicious seafood, award winning local wines and music.
“If that doesn't whet his appetite he could always come any Saturday evening and enjoy the free entertainment at the Stade Open Space or indeed to any one of our other festivals; Hastings Bonfire Night, the internationally renowned Jack in The Green festival - in fact, he could come any time and enjoy what this incredibly diverse, creative town has to offer weekly.
“We have had a lot of people report back to us, residents and visitors alike to express their disappointment about the negative, throw away comments Mr Esslemont has made.
“We have had messages from people who have been here on holiday commenting on this report and explaining how upset they are as they have had a tremendous time here in Hastings.
“I hope he takes up my offer, he will be spoilt for choice as there is so much to do.”
A spokeswoman for the Jerwood Gallery, which attracted 65,000 visitors in its first year, said: “Hastings is a culturally rich and vibrant town with much to offer visitors.
“The gallery is located in the historic Old Town, next to the fishing beach.
“It is a short walk from the gallery to the East Hill funicular railway, the Shipwreck Museum and Blue Reef Aquarium.
“The Old Town also has a variety of independent shops, boutiques and restaurants.
“The events calendar in Hastings is always busy, with a series of festivals throughout the year, from Jack in the Green and Coastal Currents to Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival.”
Tom Esslemont was not the only one to slam Hastings, as The Argus' own Adam Trimingham laid into the town.
In his column published yesterday he said: “Hastings is so lacklustre resembles a giant benefits office.”
What is there to do in Hastings?
- Old Town: quaint shops and cafes and a great spot for a traditional pint of ale.
- Fishermen's Museum: free museum described as “great tribute to local fishermen”.
- Parks: Hastings Country Park, St Helens and Alexandra Park.
- Shipwreck Heritage Centre: another free and specialised museum.
- Jerwood Gallery: for those into 20th and 21st century art.
- Adventure Golf Hastings and Blue Reef Aquarium: not free, but worth a visit.
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