I have been commissioned to write about one of my favourite places! For the next month, I will be compiling a short story for High Street Tales on Hastings’ America Ground, and the Trinity Triangle, thanks to support from New Writing South and Historic England.
I have so many fantastic memories of these streets and shops. It is where I got ready for my wedding, and where we partied afterwards. It was my first trip into the wider world with a newborn baby. It was the best place to meet firm friends. When I first arrived in town, it was the perfect set of old streets to show off to my wider family. It suffered my endless purchases of snacks, dinner, lunch, coffee, children’s scooters, bad parking, children running over the cracks oblivious to superstitions and the concept of bad luck befalling a person, ever, in this world. Sadly, the concept of ‘bad luck’ is familiar to even my youngest now, but they seem to accept the inevitability of cracks, just as most people who have ever walked those pavements in the last 100 years.
I am also learning so much more about the area, thanks to so many contributors and historians, and my head is swimming with images: moodlit caves, grim-caked steps, canoes in a basement, Paul McCartney trapped in traffic, someone’s first date and a hand on a shoulder, running into the sports shop to buy elastic for catapaults. We’re talking suffragettes, pirates, houses moved brick by brick, air raid shelters, all-night parties (mine almost got there but not quite), quiet cups of tea and toast as the mist rises off the sea, beautifully prepared window displays of the most fantastical gifts and treasures. A late-night burger, many held hands, haircuts, bells and drums.
Needless to say, I am very excited to be working on this, and hope to have a new story out in the world in the New Year. This will include a podcast and maybe even a documentary. I feel very proud to be chosen as one of seven writers in England to represent our high street in words, and I can’t wait to hear what they write as well.