Welcome to Hastings History. This is a new website, set up in December 2022, which aims to record as much as possible of the history of Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea.
The main section is the Hastings Chronicle, a primary database recording chronologically the key events in the story of what were originally two separate towns. The saga begins in pre-Roman times and currently ends in December 1999. It draws as much as possible on contemporary material, especially newspapers, which are a good source for the 19th and 20th centuries. The Chronicle is a revised and expanded version of the story with the same name which I (Steve Peak) had many years ago on the former Hastings Chronicle website. In addition, the Features section here reproduces amended versions of some of the other articles on the old site.
Among the new stories here are detailed descriptions of the history of the Hastings Net Shops and the Hastings Fishermen's Museum, and there is access to my other new website chronicling the creation of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve.
The Books section reproduces in full readable format four of the books I have written: Fishermen of Hastings (published 1985), a detailed history of the Hastings fishing industry; A Pier Without Peer (2016) on the Hastings and St Leonards piers; The Hastings Papers (2007), describing the history of all the Hastings newspapers; and Mugsborough Revisited (2011), about author Robert Tressell and the setting of his famous book The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. My most recent book is The America Ground, Hastings, which is not here in full, that was published in 2021 by The History Press; 160 pages for £9.99. Three edited extracts from the book are in the Features section, ie The America Ground, Slaves & the Briscos and Patrick Robertson & Opium.
In the Films are three recordings of life in the town in the summer of 1989. The most important film shows what the town centre was like before the major changes took place that created the Priory Meadow shopping centre. The films are long - too long, in fact, because I didn't how to edit them! Can you help? The Images page has many interesting old pictures, especially those by George Woods in the 1890s.