The Hastings Fishermen’s Museum

Museum Museum Museum

Museum Museum Museum

Hastings Museum Museums

Museum Hastings Museum


If you were to conclude that I have a weakness for Hastings, you would be right. Seaside resorts in winter have a special atmosphere all their own, and the slightly faded charm of off-season Hastings never disappoints, not least because there’s plenty to show the town has a long and often prosperous history, including its very attractive Old Town.

Perhaps one of the nicest relics of earlier times is the Fishermen’s Museum in the old fishermen’s chapel. It’s a sweet little museum that stands among the famous tall black net shops, which are used to store nets and fishing equipment.

I’ve included a bundle of photos I took (with permission!) last weekend. I’d like to think these few photos will help to attract lots more visitors during the coming summer.

It is featured with pride by the local Fishermen’s Protection Society’s website:

The town museum has a section on smuggling with a presence on the web, including some fine old paintings:


The twilight of the traditionally-built Hastings beach boat fleet?

Hastings Hastings Hastings

Hastings Hasting Hastings Hastings

Hastings Hastings

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Today I took my kids down to Hastings for a nostalgia-filled trip to see what remains of the once-proud fleet of beach-based wooden clinker-built fishing boats.

It’s a trip I loved to take as a child, and I still very much like to visit now. But the dwindling numbers of the tubby old clinker-built beach boats is a powerful reminder of time passing, and the inevitable loss of things we once took for granted. Of course, I’m not talking about the fishing fleet as a whole – there are still many steel and fibreglass boats fishing off the beach at Hastings, and I’m quite sure the crews who still hunt the fish are as brave and tough they always were.

But some of the old fishing boats remain, and so I was able to bring back some photos that will hopefully spark some memories for some, and attract the attention of those of you who have not made this particular pilgrimage to one of the great centres of the English south-coast fishing fleet.

For more on working boats:

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Forest & Stream skiff

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Just about everyone who comes to these pages is some kind of boat nut, and I’m a boat nut too. I’d like to make this weblog as interesting and useful to us all as possible, and I want to fill it with news and photographs about:
•Projects about old boats, historic boats, traditionally-built boats, and traditionally-derived boats.
•Boating history and traditions.
•The skills involved, the craftsmen and the available training.
So, whether you own these kinds of boats, work on them, sell them, build them, paint or photograph them, write about their history, design them, run a club or organise events, or collect old songs and stories connected with them – if you would like to bring your projects to the attention of a wider public, email me now at!

Old boats, traditional boats, boat building, restoration, the sea and the North Kent Coast – Gavin Atkin's weblog