The Observer Building, Hastings

by Adam Clements in Hastings, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 1st June 2019 we successfully raised £10,185 with 241 supporters in 112 days

Creating a hopeful future for this Hastings icon after 34 years of dereliction

by Adam Clements in Hastings, England, United Kingdom

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: steviepeak@btinternet.com).

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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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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£1 or more

Give yourself a pat on the back!

For a £1 donation, join our supporter list and give yourself a pat on the back! And, if you can, leave us a message of support – it means a lot to us and we can tell our backers how much you care

£5 or more

Your name as part of wall art in the OB

For a minimum of £5 donation, you see your name become a permanent part of a piece of wall art inside the Observer Building. A textile artist is currently being chosen from a pool of interested local practitioners.

£10 or more

26 of 100 claimed

Become part of our window display

100 chances to add your likeness to our ‘Sergeant Pepper’ style wall paper decorating the wall in our window display. Details of how to claim to follow after 4 May.

£10 or more

3 of 5 claimed

Bookbuster! £5 book vouchers

Bookbuster is offering £5 book vouchers, we have 5 available, redeemable against any in-stock items at Bookbuster Queens Road

£15 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Creation time in the OB

10 places for artists/creatives on a 4-hour session of ‘creating’ inside the 34 year derelict Observer Building. Work to be selected from this pool for an exhibition in an empty space inside the OB in September 2019.

£15 or more

5 of 5 claimed

Creation Time at the OB - FIVE MORE ADDED!

5 places for artists/creatives on a 4-hour session of ‘creating’ inside the 34 year derelict Observer Building. Work to be selected from this pool for an exhibition in an empty space inside the OB in September 2019.

£20 or more

14 of 15 claimed

Tour - Past, present & future of America Ground

15 places on an exclusive tour of the America Ground and Trinity Triangle with local historian, Steve Peak, and social entrepreneur and PhD student, Jess Steele, for a unique insight into the past, present and future of this iconic heritage neighbourhood. Tour will take place on Saturday 22nd June: more details on receipt of reward.

£20 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Bookbuster! £10 book vouchers

Bookbuster is offering £10 book vouchers, we have 2 available, redeemable against any in-stock items at Bookbuster Queens Road

£30 or more

6 of 6 claimed

Reclaimed Robin

Harbor are also offering six reclaimed wooden Robins. Beautifully carved and carefully painted by local craftsmen.

£50 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Cut and blow dry from Yard + Quarter

You may have heard of James Nash and his haircuts in The Snug at The Crown pub on All Saints in Hastings’ Old Town. He has made a name for himself as a creative and down-to-earth hairdresser, with an excellent eye for style and design. He is offering his excellent skills to the crowdfunder – please do support us and get styled at the same time!

£60 or more

6 of 6 claimed

Nest Hut from Harbor

Local contemporary furniture makers Harbor create beautiful pieces of furniture out of reclaimed wood. Pledge £60 for one of their gorgeous Nest Huts: a birdbox with a distinctly Hastings character. One and two storey Nest Huts on offer.

£60 or more

2 of 2 claimed

£60 course for two at Tommy's Pizzeria

Tommy’s Pizzeria were so keen on the Observer Building and everything it stands for that they have offered us a place at their sparkly new tables once they reopen in Spring 2019. Grab a VIP seat with a slap-up meal to boot.

£120 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Two courses for four at Tommy's Pizzeria

Tommy’s Pizzeria were so keen on the Observer Building and everything it stands for that they have offered us a place at their sparkly new tables once they reopen in Spring 2019. Grab a VIP seat with a slap-up meal to boot.

£200 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Photoshoot

For a donation of £200 you can have a full hour of portrait or event photography by Rock House tenant and published (‘Humans of London’) photographer Cathy Teesdale. This includes an optimised slideshow gallery collection of all the best shots, and your choice of 5 hi-res jpegs to keep and print from.

£1,000 or more

1 of 3 claimed

Video Production

In return for a £1000 donation, Rock House tenant Adam Clements (Tree Tunnel) will produce a 1-2 minute documentary-style video for you or your business. Adam also made our excellent Crowdfunder video.

£5,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Limited Edition Art

For a £5000 donation (OBO), you will receive one of a run of just 3 art prints by Paul Hamlyn award-winning local artist Becky Beasley, exclusive to backers of this project!


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