Bringing alive the history of Rock Alley through new stories and art

Rock Alley, Hastings, photo by Margaret Sheehy
Rock Alley, Hastings, photo by Margaret Sheehy

A special event takes place on Sunday (September 10) which invites the community to learn about the history of Rock Alley.

Artists, historians and storytellers will bring to life the landscape and the history of the area. This will include four new and original narratives for the America Ground and the ancient Rock Fair Green, and six new artworks-in-progress.

Storylines, which has been organinsed by Hastings-based company MSL projects in conjunction with Rock House, takes place from 12-6 in the Alley behind the library on Claremont. Vistors can and watch artists at work and hear stories being told throughout the afternoon. Historian and author, Steve Peak, will lead a unique tour of the White Rock at 3pm (priced £3 or £2 concessions), Food will be on sale from 12.00-5.30pm. A spokesperson said: “On Sunday 10 September MSL will welcome visitors to the 65million year-old Alley behind the library on Claremont in the America Ground for an afternoon of storytelling in words and images. The town of Hastings came into being during the ninth century AD, as a fishing and cross-Channel trading port.

“But Hastings was not then where the Old Town is today; it was on top of White Rock, with Claremont as its natural harbour.

“In time, silted up, the area became the site for the largest of Hastings’ annual fairs, the Rock Fair, held each year on 26th and 27th July.

“Ultimately it came to be called The America Ground, for when the Borough tried to remove the good folk who had set up homes and businesses there, they raised the stars ‘n’stripes and declared independence. Developed by Patrick Robertson into the part of town we know today, the area behind Claremont was left, unadopted, unnamed and untidy.

“White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures has raised funding for improvements to the Alley. Arts Council England, Hastings Council, East Sussex Arts Partnership and Hastings BID are supporting Storylines. We invite you to while away a couple of hours with us, listening to stories and watching artists at work.

“Or just sit down, have a drink, something to eat, and look around you at this extraordinary place.”