Battleaxe explores a different bit of St Leonard’s – but is lying low

Lying low because we plan to go abroad shortly – a few days in Portugal. We’ve just heard that pre-flght tests have been scrapped, so that is one worry less, but we  don’t want to get ill just before we go.  Instead, we’ve been out and about walking. When we first came to Hastings we spent many happy hours exploring the town – and in particular, St Leonard’s, admiring the Victorian architecture. This post covers a bit we missed… What else? A bit on the usual political tosh.

On Sunday it was  very stormy, and the sea was spectacular. Living here by the sea we never tire of its different moods. There were a group of people sheltering from the wind by a groyne, struggling with clothes and towels, who had obviously just been swimming.  I admire their bravery. No way would Battleaxe risk those waves.

We panted up the hill to look at a very striking little group of Scottish baronial style buildings, in Highlands Gardens. I have found a little piece about them – they were commissioned and designed by a local lawyer/architect with the wonderful name of Vandeleur Benjamin Crake.

Turns out Crake also commissioned a number of Arts and Crafts style houses from another architect, Philip Tree, round the corner in Boscobel Road.  We didn’t walk down that way, will have to go again another time.  There is also another Scottish baronial building down there, I see, the Highlands Hotel.  Apparently all that was part of the Highlands Estate. Vandeleur’s son William started the Hastings Museum. I think Tree was also responsible for this block of apartments just up from the Scottish houses…

We explored the little roads at the edge of Burton’s St Leonard’s, including The Mount, a Decimus Burton development. The land here slopes down very steeply, and the enormous Victorian villas sit above high stone retaining walls topped with balustrades. All a bit Italianate – but not so much on a bleak February day.

The great big elephant I have not yet mentioned is the massive new Archery housing development, built on the former Archery Gardens/Hastings College land.  We walked up round one side of it, and down the other.  It reminded us a bit too much of Poundbury (see this previous post) – far too much stuccoed pseudo-period busyness. Here is an article from the Hastings Independent showing some pictures and a map. The development is not finished yet, and we were struck by the huge excavation shown in this photo.

Finally, we walked up Quarry Hill, passing the entrance to Allegria, James Burton’s own house. The gateway was looking a bit shook, and we had a quick sneaky glance up the drive before walking back down to the sea via St Leonard’s Gardens.

Can I be bothered with any more politics tosh? It just goes on and on… mostly shit entirely of Johnson’s own making, despite his hollow promises to reset himself, change etc etc.  First, he’s reportedly singing ‘I will Survive’ with Guto Harri. What kind of bizarre ‘Communications Director’ can Harri be if that is the first thing he lets slip on his first day? Next, we are still embroiled in the totaly unneccessary Starmer Smear controversy. Why can’t that utterly loathsome Johnson keep his effing trap shut? Not so much a dog whistle, more a bloody sousaphone… I have been driving Philosopher mad by going on about ‘I could never be Prime Minister’. Well, I really couldn’t – I can never keep my trap shut either.  Never could, but then I don’t aspire to Johnson’s ‘job’.

As I write this, there is a government ‘mini-reshuffle’ in progress. It really highlights how little talent there is to choose from among the witless sycophants that make up Johnson’s followers. No wonder Tory MPs are so spineless about a vote of no confidence in Johnson – there is nobody to succeed him.

On that theme, here is The Women, my final Tory Types gallery.  One of the front runners to succeed Johnson is apparently, unbelievably, Liz Truss, here posing for the Daily Mail You magazine – what else?  Trying to look ‘Prime Ministerial yet feisty’ I’d guess.  Needless to say, alongside her the unspeakable Dorries, McVey and Patel.

Reshuffle? Talentless? Ah look, what did I tell you. That truly grotesque 18th century gargoyle Rees-Mogg is now apparently Minister for Brexit Opportunities (Oh purleeeeze!)… and Government Efficiency…. Eh?  Mr ‘Tory Thug’ Chief Whip Spencer (see previous post), has been replaced by someone called Chris Heaton-Harris. Who he? Oh right. A rabid Brexiteer, former Chairman of the ERG, and the bloke who attracted universal condemnation  back in 2017 by writing to all University Vice-Chancellors asking for names of academics lecturing on Brexit, and copies of their course materials.  Say no more.






  1. Sharon
    February 8, 2022 / 5:07 pm

    Please wnlighten me Steph, St. Leonard’s what???

  2. Sharon
    February 8, 2022 / 5:07 pm

    Please enlighten me Steph, St. Leonard’s what???

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