So, at low tide, on a typical summer’s day I was able to get these photographs of the rain showers as they passed over Hastings and Bexhill. I stayed dry for a change.
There are two Union Flags on the seafront in front of the De La Warr Pavilion. They stand out as the contrast well with the white painted cuplolas they stand next to. They also stand out because I don’t think that we see enough of the Union Flag flying in the country. I’ve only visited the USA once, but one of my memories of the trip was seeing the Stars and Stripes flying everywhere. Literally everywhere.
Now there is probably a whole series of books that could be written about the politics and history of our flag, but it comes down to being proud of where you come from. This is Great Britain after all.Â It would be nice to see the flag more.
We thought we would have a nice walk along Bexhill seafront last weekend. As we drove there via Catsfield the sun, which had been out since it rose, went in.Â As we got closer to Bexhill the clouds were getting thicker and thicker to the west. TheyÂ had that blue/grey look that tells you a lot of rain is coming.
“I’m sure we’ll get our walk in before it rains” I said cheerfully whilst wondering if that were true. Inevitably a car in front of us was travelling at 10 mph under the speed limit, and slowing whenever a car came in the opposite direction. And slowly I started to feel anxious that we wouldn’t make it in time – like I would be late for something important.
That unreasonable anxiety generated unwanted responses to the situation. Feeling angry at the driver in front for being inconsiderate of my need to get to the seafront. AnnoyedÂ because the light has turned red just as we were approaching it. Frustrated at things out of my control, all because it looked like rain.
I was out the car almost before it stopped. There was some time before the rain arrived. We had twenty minutes until the first fat drops began to fall.
And I managed to take this photo of Bexhill seafront before it rains.
This showery weather we’ve been having has produced some great skies recently. This rainbow over the De La Warr Pavilion is one of them. Admittedly it’s not as bright as I would have liked, but the it was still raining when I took this. The shots I took of the same scene a few seconds earlier were obscured by rain drops on the lens. The sun was going behind the clouds by the time Â I’d wiped the lens clean and took the shots again (the photo aboveÂ is a composite of three photographs). The rainbowÂ is there though!
As we walked up to the cupolas the sun came out again. It made them shine against the grey skies, and the reflections were bright in the puddles.Â The two views, east and west, provided a great contrast, almost as if they were taken on different days, rather than minutes apart.
The image of the rainbow and De La Warr Pavilion cupolasÂ can be viewed larger size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.
We have had weeks of miserable weather, so last weekend when the skies were blue I went for a walk along Bexhill seafront with my family. It was a truly beautiful day, barely any wind and some warmth in the sun. It was almost like a spring day. I think the seemly unending rain and wind we’ve experienced recently helped to emphasise how nice it was.
The tide was out so after a walk along the promenade we went down to the water’s edge to throw some pebbles in, and write our names in the sand. The low tide reveals the sandy beach and you can see how the groynes help to slow down the east – west movement of longshore drift.
As we walked back down the beach, I noticed the reflections of the flats in the wet sand. I thought it would make a good shot. As a bonus the moon was rising over Bexhill, adding to the scene. I took more photos of the moon of course, but they are for another blog post.
We ended our stroll along Bexhill seafront by finally giving in to my daughter’s regular requests for an ice cream. We sat on a bench facing the sea whilst she ate it. It was a good way to end our walk.
Bexhill-on-Sea likely came into being when King Offa granted permission for a church to be built there. There are several references to him around the town, notably a school and major road. It remained a small village until the popularity of seaside resorts started to grow during the 1800’s. The Earls De La Warr were responsible for the growth of the town around the train station, culmulating in the building of the De La Warr Pavilion in 1935.
As you can see from the photograph, the town boasts a wide promenade, which stretches for miles. It’s great for walking along when the weather is good. The beach is mainly shingle apart from at low tide.
You can view this photograph of Bexhill-on-Sea full size on my Panoramio page by clicking on it.
The pavilion was designed by Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff. Their designs beat over 230 others submitted to the competition set by Herbrand Sackville. It is now a grade 1 listed building.
After a Â£9 million refit in 2005 it has since been hosting contemporary art and music exhibitions. There is no permanent work displayed at the De La Warr Pavilion so regular visitors can enjoy a different experience every time they visit.
This photograph is a composite of 11 different shots. It is best viewed larger on my Panoramio page, which you can do by clicking on the image. There are 25 seagulls to be found in the picture. Can you spot them all?
Galley Hill is the highest point along the coast between Eastbourne and St Leonards. It provides great views out to sea, both east and west, and as such has been used for defensive purposes since at least Napoleonic times. It was also used to watch for smuggling activity which was rife along the Sussex coastline between 1700 and 1840. A Martello Tower once stood upon it, which was the mustering point for the Blockademen before they fought smugglers in the Battle of Sidley Green in January 1828.
You can read a full transcript of the battle and the consequences to one of the smugglers by clicking here.
There is an excellent book by Mary Waugh about smuggling in Kent and Sussex, which is well worth a read.
This art work named “Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea” by sculptor Richard Wilson was installed on the De La Warr Pavilion as part of the Cultural Olympiad. This article in the Guardian explains the idea behind it.
The work was designedÂ to add something eyecatching and ‘British’ to the Olympic Torch procession that went through Bexhill. I don’t think it looks as good as the concept photograph that can be seen here, as the exposed girder detracts from the illusion somewhat. However I do like the way it teeters in the wind, and its good that a renown artist has displayed his work in this part of the world.
Click here to see some other views of the De La Warr Pavilion.
Bexhill seafront has recently had a comprehensive facelift. The new look complements the De La Warr Pavilion very nicely. The whole of the promenade from the Pavilion westwards now looks smart and modern.
The pavilion is named after Herbrand Edward Dundonald Brassey Sackville, 9th Earl De La Warr – the man who commissioned the building. Had the original plans been approved it would have looked like this…