The Bale House at Hastings Country Park… and other things

Battleaxe is getting a bit behind – this visit to the new Bale House Visitor Centre/Cafe in the Country Park was actually just before we went to Folkestone last week, but have been a bit busy… visitors, outings, wedding anniversaries, birthday, Sky traumas, loose teeth…grrr,  but when I wrote about the new Discovery Centre at Rye Harbour I promised I’d write about the Bale House too, so here we go…

The Bale House – very nice indeed

We went up to the Country Park last week with  our friends Sue and Graham, had a walk around and then tea and cake at the Bale House, sitting outside in the sun. Well, it is lovely.  Nice tea and lovely fresh cake.  The building is eminently suitable for purpose – nice verandah outside, big space inside, plenty of cafe space, loos, right opposite the car park. The retail offering/park information section  was not yet fully up and running, will visit again to check it out.  It also needs more outside tables in the garden area. It is good to see food and drink provided because of the closure of our previous place of resort – the late lamented Coastguards Cafe just up the road.

The Bale House is an excellent addition to the local scene and Battleaxe recommends.  As well as being an ideal rest stop for walkers in the Country Park, it is all the better for us because we can walk up there from our house – when it isn’t too muddy.

As its name implies, the Bale House is largely made of straw – an innovative, environmentally friendly building method.

However, getting the building to the stage of opening to the public has been fraught with delay and difficulty.  See later. But, before I start… you’ll notice that there is no link to a Bale House website in the opening paragraphs of this post. That is because, currently, there isn’t anything.  Google up the Bale House and the first entry is this out-of-date report from Hastings Borough Council.  This was clearly written before the centre opened. Or there is this, also from HBC... Yes, I know the pandemic has messed things up but…

Now, look, really! HBC and the Friends of the Country Park want the Bale House to be a ‘destination’ in its own right, and clearly it needs to rake in some money to recoup the massive building cost.  Now, come on you lot, let’s have some decent promotion…  I see the project is being managed by Groundworks South… well, get your fingers out.

Next, about the difficulties…  looking down the Google Search list, after an even more out-of-date link to a construction company, comes this piece from another local blog ‘Hastings in Focus’. I guess I wouldn’t be doing my Battleaxe job if I didn’t flag this up. So,  Here is the piece. Make of it what you will.

So, less of that.

Just a word on Sky… in the last few days we have had a new Sky Q box, a new dish, a new router, up-graded far-speedier broadband… and, touch wood, it all works perfectly.  We expected the Sky engineer on Monday, and I tell you, any remaining vestiges of sex/gender stereotypes were finally blown away by the manifestation not of Sky Man but Sky Woman – Juliet, a blonde Amazon in shorts and work boots, breezing round the side of the house, whistling through her teeth, with a ladder on her shoulder, and tool bag in hand.  After she’d climbed up, drilled holes in walls and installed the dish, she threw herself into a frenzy of cables, channels, ports, leads,  ethernet, HDMi, routers, master sockets, micro-filters, broadband speeds etc while Philosopher and I just gawped open-mouthed…

Watching Juliet made me wonder (for the millionth time) about this transgender business. If a man wants to be a woman, what does this mysterious quality of ‘womanhood’ consist of? Presumably it’s not about being a woman like Juliet… nor, I guess, would he want to be a savage grizzled Battleaxe like me, stomping around in big boots.  Humph. People should just be free to just wear and do what they like, whatever sex they are, without worrying about all this gender identity business. Perhaps then everyone could all shut up about it and get down to thinking about things like climate disaster…

Talking of grizzled Battleaxes reminds me about loose teeth – Battleaxe is one thing, but Gap-Toothed crone quite another… yes, one of my front-teeth crowns was loose – I thought. Went to the dentist who pulled and tugged it but it wouldn’t come out. X-rayed and found nothing wrong. We agreed that if it wasn’t broke he wouldn’t fix it. He said it might last a few more years – or a few more weeks. Great….

A cuppa outside the Bale House


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