As we begin 2016, we can look forward to another year of important local, national and international events.
2016 is the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings - a battle which changed England and western Europe forever. As an avid Game of Thrones fan who is eagerly awaiting the next series of sword fighting and warring kings, I cannot help but think back to those days as a history student studying Anglo Saxon England and draw a comparison with the battle of Hastings.
We must not forget that the Norman Conquest, which followed the Battle of Hastings where William, Duke of Normandy, defeated the Saxons under King Harold on 14th October 1066, formed a monumental part of our local and national history. The Conquest broke England’s links with Denmark and Norway, and connected the country to continental Europe – with a great impact on the development of the English language through a mixture of Norman-French and Anglo-Saxon words; William the Conquerer reorganised the church in England and great cathedrals and huge monasteries were built; also it set Britain on the path to becoming a united kingdom with a position of global importance.
In Hastings and Rye, there will be local events held to commemorate this historic battle which was recognised last week by English Heritage as the most significant anniversary we will celebrate in 2016. For more information do visit http://www.concorde1066.co.uk/.
Moreover, I was one of six at my first Privy Council meeting with the Queen at Buckingham Palace when she made the announcement that the Battle of Hastings will feature on a special new 50p coin this year to mark its 950th anniversary - this move will serve as a constant reminder of our English history and is of course a great advert for Hastings and 1066 Country.
2016 will bring other important national and international events including the European Football Championship in France, the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Brazil, the electrifying presidential election in the United States as well as our own local elections.
Last year we saw the Queen become the longest reigning monarch in Britain, and this year we will see many wonderful celebrations for the her 90th Birthday. We will also be commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, one of our the greatest playwrights.
So, it certainly seems that 2016 will be a memorable year, during which our local area will play a full part not least with the re-opening of the refurbished pier!