Glimpse history through old images of Hastings, East Sussex, England.
Old Book Guide
A book published in 1827 showed a simple map of the Hastings area.
Closeup of the map:
More Than A Century Ago
Step back to somewhere between 1910 and 1919. The ladies wear long skirts almost to the ground, and every man, woman and child wears a hat. Hastings offers a lovely holiday destination, packed with history, and sport, and pretty gardens.
Hastings (1910-1919): British Pathé on YouTube
Actor-manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, illustrator Harry Furniss, and Lord Brassey arrived in town in the early years of the twentieth century.
Sir Herbert Tree (1910-1917) – British Pathé on YouTube
WWI Canadian Basketball
Filmed during the Great War, later known as World War I, this Canadian basketball match certainly drew in a good crowd of spectators. The footage also includes views of some of the buildings in the background.
Canadian Baseball At Hastings (1914-1918) – British Pathé on YouTube
WWI German Submarine
Submarines were a important part of both British and German naval forces during World War I.
The wreckage of a German submarine caused a stir when it first arrived in Hastings. It was quickly used for scrap processing for iron.
An In Glorious End (1914-1918) – British Pathé on YouTube
WWI Sea Angling Competition
Wounded soldiers took part in the Sea Angling Competition from the pier.
Sea Angling Festival (1914-1918) – British Pathé on YouTube
The Hastings Pastoral 1918
This event was held to raise money for the local Doctor Barnardo’s Homes.
The Hastings Pastoral In Aid Of Dr. Barnardo’s Homes. (1918) – British Pathé on YouTube
German Submarine 1919
A gale washed up the wreckage of another submarine in 1919.
Another U-Boat (1919) – British Pathé on YouTube
The Tub Man – A Hastings Study (1919) – British Pathé on YouTube
Town Criers 1920
Oyez Oyez AKA Oyez! Oyez! (1920) – British Pathé on YouTube
Submarine Disaster 1921
During World War I, the Royal Navy launched a series of K-class submarines, including HMS K5 which was put into service in 1917.
At the end of the war in 1918, K5 was part of the 12th Submarine Flotilla based at Rosyth, along with six others of the K-class.
On 19 January 1921, the K5 was one of a number of K-class submarines who left Torbay for a mock battle in the Bay of Biscay. Lieutenant Commander John A Gaimes, DSO, RN, was an experienced commander, but had a new crew onboard.
The decision to take K-classes into the Atlantic in the winter time was a bad one, since they were designed especially for the conditions of the North Sea.
All 57 men on board the K5 died when the submarine submerged for exercises, never to be seen again except for an oil slick, planks from the battery covers, and a sailor’s ‘ditty’ box’. It is thought the submarine fell below its maximum depth, and was crushed in the deep waters.
Another K-class submarine, HMS K13, suffered a similar fate, with the loss of the 32 crew members on board.
The ill-fated K-5 is shown in the centre of this footage. The reel states it’s Hastings, but it’s unclear where or when. The bridge at the beginning of the clip doesn’t look right, so is it off the coast of Hastings when they are in open water?
Hastings Another U-Boat (1921) – British Pathé on YouTube
Sea Anglers 1925
The young man in the thumbnail image of this silent newsreel looks more like he’s from the 1960s, but the date of 1925 is correct.
It’s a nice short film, packed with images of the seafront, pier, many boats, and hundreds of sea anglers taking part in the competition.
1000 Fishers (1925) – British Pathé on YouTube
Town Criers 1926
The 1926 Town Criers’ Competition brought out lots of spectators and contestants.
“Oyez, Oyez, Oyez” (1926) – British Pathé on YouTube
Prince of Wales Visit 1926
Cheers All The Way (1926) – British Pathé on YouTube
Hastings Festival 1926
Revelry at Hastings Festival (1926)- British Pathé on YouTube
Visit by Prince of Wales (1927)
The Prince of Wales (later – and briefly – King Edward VIII) was greeted by large and orderly crowds of wellwishers in 1927.
Prince of Wales visits Hastings (1927): British Pathé (YouTube)
C. Gurney won the Hastings Bowling Tournament in 1927.
Bowling match at Hastings (1927) – British Pathé on YouTube
Admiral Earl Jellicoe 1928
The Admiral Earl Jellico received Freddom of the Borough of Hastings in 1928, with great pomp and ceremony.
Admiral Earl Jellicoe (1928) – British Pathé on YouTube
Physical Exercise 1928
Lots of children under the age of 14 put on a public exercise display in 1928.
“On The Hands… Down!” (1928) – British Pathé on YouTube
French Mayors Visit 1929
In 1929, 10 French Mayors from towns in Normandy – one of them an British citizen – visited the area in and around Hastings.
Vive L’entente Cordiale (1929) – British Pathé on YouTube
Stormy Sea 1932
A 100 mile an hour gale caused giant waves in 1932.
Sea! … Sea!! … Thou Mighty Monster! (1932) – British Pathé on YouTube
Sun Cult 1933
This footage starts elsewhere, probably in the Serpentine in London, before moving to the busy beaches in Hastings.
Sun Cult (1933) – British Pathé on YouTube
Tope Fishing 1933
Sportshots No 22 – Tope Fishing (1933) – British Pathé on YouTube
Beauty Competition 1934
Young beautiful women from several European countries took part in the beauty contest for the 1934 Carinal, where they were welcomed by the Lord Mayor.
Hastings Again Invaded 1066 – 1934 (1934): British Pathé on YouTube
Sub: Another Coronation At Hastings (1934) – British Pathé on YouTube
Water Polo 1934
Black and white footage of the 1934 Scottish and Belgian water polo teams in training.
Water Polo (1934)- British Pathé on YouTube
Norman Conquest Sites 1935
This 1935 newsreel opens with the seafront at Hastings to tell us this wasn’t where the famous battle occurred. It’s a nice shots of the buildings along the promenade.
Next the newsreel moves inland to rolling hills, then on to the centre of Battle, and several scenes around Battle Abbey.
1066 – Where The Famous Battle Was Really Fought (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube
Fancy Dress 1935
Do You Fancy Dress? (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube
Hastings & St. Leonards Carnival (1936) – British Pathé on YouTube
Training Swim 1945
George Booker swam from Beachy Head to Hastings as part of his training to swim the English Channel.
Beachy Head To Hastings (1945) – British Pathé on YouTube
1946 Vision For The Future
See footage of the town’s streets in 1946. Then scenes of the planners’ model as they discuss their horrifying plans to put the motor vehicle at the heart of urban planning.
Model Of The New Hastings (1946): British Pathé (YouTube)
Bowls and Beauty 1946
A newsreel about the town’s bowling contest was accompanied by news about the other competition taking place – the hooded bathing beauty.
UK: SPORTS: Hastings bowls contest and hooded bathing beauty show at seaside resorts (1946) – British Pathé on YouTube
Following the end of World War I, the planners tried to remove fishermen from The Stade. But the fishermen were not about to give up a way of life that had existed at that location for centuries. It took 25 years to resolve the issue, with the fishermen allowed to stay.
Hastings Fishing Village Issue Title Pathe Pictorial Goes To Sea (1947): British Pathé (YouTube)
Today, we are used to regular training to improve our standards at work. Maintaining good standards of accommodation would have been important in post-war Britain, as society adjusted back to normality with the end of World War I.
I’m struck by the women sitting in hats and outdoor coats, smartly dressed in what was probably a cold room.
School For Landladies (1948) – British Pathé on YouTube
Sea Angling Competition 1948
The pier was a natural location for sea angling competitions, including this one from 1948.
Sea Anglers Hook Monsters (1948) – British Pathé on YouTube
Huge numbers of participants and spectators turned out for the Hasting Carnival in 1950.
Annual Carnival at Hastings (1950): British Pathé on YouTube
Ecclesbourne Glen 1950
Mrs Joan Woolner lived close to Hastings at Ecclesbourne Glen, in a house which was literally on the edge of a cliff.
Cliff-Top House (1950) – British Pathé on YouTube
Royal Visit to Sussex 1951
This 7 minute newsreel shows the Royal Visit to Hastings, Brighton, Lewes and Hove in 1951.
Special – The Royal Visit Aka Royal Visit To Sussex – Long Version (1951)- British Pathé on YouTube
The Mayfair hairdresser Rene came down to Cooden Beach to collect shells for his hair styling accessories.
Seaside Hairstyles (1952) – British Pathé on YouTube
Town Criers 1952
The Town Criers contest once against drew lots of attention.
Town Criers Contest (1952) – British Pathé on YouTube
Sea Angling Competition 1952
Hastings Angling Festival (1952) – British Pathé on YouTube
Town Criers 1954
National Town Criers Championship – Reel 1 (1954) – British Pathé on YouTube
National Town Criers Championship – Reel 2 (1954) – British Pathé on YouTube
Churchill & Monty 1955
In 1955, Winston Churchill and Field Marshal Montgomery (popularly known as Monty) were in town.
Sir Winston Gets The Winkle (1955) – British Pathé on YouTube
Scooter Rally 1955
Scooter Rally Beware – Other Colour Pics Share This Title (1955) – British Pathé on YouTube
Silent 1960s footage of the town includes shots of the beach and the pier.
Views Of Hastings (1960-1969) – British Pathé on YouTube
Brotherhood of Magicians 1960
In 1960, the conference held by the International Brotherhood of Magicians was filmed, giving some nice shots of their activites as well as surrounding homes and businesses.
Balance On Broom Aka Brotherhood Of Magicians (1960) – British Pathé on YouTube
Before Your Very Eyes (1960) – British Pathé on YouTube
Plastic Bag Magician (1960) – British Pathé on YouTube
Amused spectators watch John Davies pedalling the Helipede, a pedal powered helicopter…or not.
Inventions Rise And Fall (1961) – British Pathé on YouTube
Mods & Rockers 1964
Seaside towns across southern England in 1964 were very concerned about the violent clashes between groups of Mods & Rockers who arrived in great numbers on bank holiday weekends.
The young people in this footage, should they still be around, will now be old people in their 80s.
Hastings Rocks The Mods (1964) – British Pathé on YouTube
Gannymede Model Village 1967
Gannymede Model Village (1967) – British Pathé on YouTube
This locally held Chess Contest was filmed in either 1969 or 1970.
Hastings Chess Contest (1969-1970) – British Pathé on YouTube
Hastings Pier: A Journey through Time! The Time Travel Artist (YouTube)