Blacksmiths, Art Boot Fair, Pirate Day – Hastings round-up

Well, following last weekend, Hastings life has been busy.  We enjoyed seeing Leigh Dyer and his Blacksmiths on the Beach, went to the Art Boot Fair and mingled with celebs, and Battleaxe got stuck in with the WI for our Pirate Day event at the Jenny Lind pub…..

Our new local Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, with Jerwood Director Liz Gilmore

    First, the Blacksmiths on the Beach.  Battleaxe readers may have read about how, a few years ago, we gave a family flypress to local art blacksmith Leigh Dyer? We visit it every year at Open Studio time… Well, being the enterprising person that he is, Leigh is now producing a huge metal sculpture to be sited on Hastings  Beach, as part of the celebrations marking the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.  Part of the sculpture was forged in front of the public, in a massive display on the Stade, in association with the British Art Blacksmiths’ Association. We went along to have a look.  Here are a few pictures.

The sculpture takes shape

Blacksmiths at work

Blacksmiths at work

Hello Leigh!

    Next, on Saturday, we went to the Art Car Boot Fair, again, on the Stade. This is not our usual boot fair thing, but a profoundly now and happening Shoreditch style art event, arranged in association with the Jerwood. We were astonished by the length of the queue – it stretched half way down Rock-a-Nore Road – at least 300 metres. Many of those in the queue were not local, and when the gates opened, they rushed, like lemmings, to line up at the Tracey Emin stall. We saw them leaving soon after, laden with cardboard tubes containing – what? She wasn’t there, but  many well-known artists were.  Most of the art was not our style – lots of graphic art – big canvasses saying things like  ‘Fucked you over, mugs!’ in very large letters, costing well over £200.  However, we got a nice Rachel Howard dog, signed, for £20.
     Our very own local Home Secretary, Amber Rudd was there – see picture above. Given that we have a female Home Secretary, and another woman Prime Minister, Battleaxe’s next post is going to be about – Battleaxes…..
     I photographed some art celebs, includiing Sir Peter Blake, Gavin Turk, Rachel Howard, but missed punk performance poet John Cooper Clarke.  After the horrors of  my performance poetry debut last weekend, I somehow avoided making eye contact with him…  Here he is, painted after the event by up-and-coming local artist Danny Mooney – thanks for letting me use this, Danny!

Peter Blake

Gavin Turk

Rachel Howard
John Cooper Clark by Danny Mooney – thanks Danny

     Sunday was Hastings Pirate Day, back in full force after a slight glitch the past couple of years – the original organiser has now returned, much to the relief of all…  We had arranged one of our famous WI tearoom events upstairs at the Jenny Lind, but the celebrations were much more spread out than they have been before, taking on venues from the new Pier right down to the Stade. This left the Old Town High Street a bit quiet until a band started up at the pub at 4pm, by which time we were packing up!  Also, it was the most amazingly hot and muggy day.

The pirate gang….

     However, we had a slow but steady trade all day, and we all dressed up in our pirate gear. We made enough money to be respectable, and enjoyed ourselves.
     Battleaxe has been so busy this week – as well as the above, have had a day in London,  belly dancing at the WI, poetry Stanza group, a visit to Eastbourne, loads of gardening…..
     On Pirate Day I went out for a walkabout with Philospher at lunchtime and got Digby a pirate hat. He hated it, refused to pose looking piratical, and tried his best to destroy it. To finish, here he is:

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