Celebrating Local History Month and 5 more Creative Time slots added!
We are so grateful to all our donors - thank you for your kind donations and words of support and encouragement!
We are adding FIVE more creative time slots to our rewards as these have proved so popular.
Look forward to seeing what is produced!
There are still tickets left for our tour - Past, Present and Future of the America Ground, led by Jess Steele and Steve Peak.
Below are some excerpt from Steve's book, 'The Hastings Papers'
published in 2007 by Speaks Books (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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The Herald & Observer
By the early 1860s Isaac Parsons had been joined in the printing business by his teenage son Frederick James. In 1863 father and son opened an office and printworks in Hastings, at 21 Havelock Road, which Frederick effectively took control of in 1864, aged just 20. The young Frederick immediately faced the challenge of being a publisher, and soon set the agenda for running Hastings newspapers over the coming decades. His first big step was the Parsons takeover of the Observer in 1866. [...]
The Late Victorian Boom
Frederick Parsons, backed by father Isaac, spent the last quarter of the 19th century creating one of the biggest businesses in eastern Sussex. His early death in 1900 cast a cloud over the company just as Britain's longest recession was entering its worst phase. A major step forward for Frederick was the building in Claremont in 1877/8 of a new company headquarters, which was to be the heart of the business until the 1920s.
Around 1914 the company acquired the buildings and former timber yard on the corner of Cambridge Road and Prospect Place, plus the houses Nos 1-4 Prospect Place, which all overlooked Claremont from a considerable height. Immediately after the war a design for the new Parsons headquarters was drawn up by the well-known local architect Henry Ward. He was the architect for the Hastings Town Hall (1880), the United Reformed Church in Cambridge Road (1884), Bexhill Town Hall (1908) and what is now Debenhams in Robertson Street (1927).
Hastings Town Council gave planning permission for the scheme in May 1920. The work was so difficult that it had to be carried out slowly, a floor at a time. By the beginning of 1924 much of the complex six-floor, 40,000 square feet building was ready for use, but it took until August that year to set up the machinery. The Observer issue of 18 October 1924 was the first to say it was printed at 53 Cambridge Road, which from then on was the company's address, although the building was not fitted out until 1925.
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More to come in our next update!
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