Half-term blues….

Now we have moved to the seaside, our grand-daughter wants to come down from Brum and stay…. all very well in the summer, but possibly not so great in the February half-term. 
     In fact, Hastings and St Leonard’s are quite badly off when it comes to play facilities, especially near the

Chilly on Hastings Beach?

sea front.  We went down to the Old Town Amusement Park – most of the rides were closed, and then we froze about on the beach for a bit, collecting magic stones. 

We know of only one local indoor play centre – Clambers.  When we went, it was totally heaving, and so noisy that I’m surprised the staff don’t have to wear ear defenders.  For those who don’t have to look after kids, these play centres are warehouse places with lots of play equipment in a big cage, full of unbelievable screaming, with a pounding rock soundtrack and frequent public address announcements in the background to add to the pleasure.  Jaded mums crowd round plastic tables with watery cups of tea.  The Clambers outside play area was closed, although it was a fine day and the kids could have usefully let off steam running about.

I know there is some Council consultation exercise on local play facilities – I think there was something in the shopping centre last week – we couldn’t look – Eve wouldn’t stay still for long enough.

Then we went to the Muppets movie – again, the cinema was absolutely heaving, with queues outside.  All of us enjoyed it though – nostalgia for us oldsters, new delights for the young.

We know Brighton well – on Hove seafront, they have a great play area with sand, a big paddling pool, and lots of play equipment.  It is well supervised and fenced off from dogs.  Yes, I know no one is going to be in a pool in February – mind you, Eve used to stay in that pool until she was actually blue…. Anyway, Hastings could do with something like that.  It is all very well us having the new ‘Lido’ project with minimalist bars in shipping containers or whatever….

Or how about cycle hire? Skate hire?

We managed to avoid taking her to the Smugglers wretched caves (she has been twice already), or to the Blue Reef. OK the caves might be better now they are refurbished, but the prices of the two attractions are eye-watering for really very small doses of entertainment.

She likes the lift railways, but neither were working…..


  1. Isabel Natrins
    February 20, 2012 / 3:36 pm

    Steph…..know what you mean about the "playdomes" during the school hols! The noise is deafening, the kids rush around dementedly as though on speed, adults look defeated, and the food and beverages on offer are junk of the worst kind. We took two grandchildren to the local madhouse and my ears were actually ringing when we came out. I keep thinking about those recent Amish documentaries….I'd say they've got a point!

  2. Hastings Battleaxe
    February 24, 2012 / 3:23 pm

    Just an update on Play Spaces – the Council is planning to build 3 new play areas on the sea-front 'before the summer half-term'. Excellent!

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