The Brassey Institute, a library lives on… #Brassey #library #Victorians #history #books #culture #Hastings #art

This fine, extensively and carefully restored Victorian building, The Brassey Institute (see photo) is the Hastings local library and has just newly re-opened. It stands in the Bohemian quarter of Hastings, in the so-called area, America Ground, 5 minutes from the award-winning new Hastings Pier, beside record and music stores – Hastings loves its music scene too.

It was designed as a multi-purpose building (built 1878-81) for Thomas Brassey, a hugely wealthy railways man. As well as accommodation and private suites for himself, there was a Lecture Hall, Library, Museum and a School Of Art and Science.

In 1888 Mr Brassey presented the building to the town of Hastings.

Today, in 2018, 130 extraordinary years later, the Brassey Institute is a 21st century clean, interactive Library and has just accepted my first book,

‘The Case Of Aleister Stratton’ by K.G.V. Barnwell onto its beaming shelves.

Once again Hastings has battled to preserve its heritage and I am proud to be a part of its literature section and to entertain and enthral the next keen readers who come through its doors.

The mosaics above the entrance hall depict The Battle Of Hastings and the iron gates at the front are purportedly from St Paul’s Cathedral. There is history and culture all around. This library, from the history books, now lives on…

www.katebarnwell.com

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Winter’s last full moon #March #moon #equinox #winter #spring #books #snow #weather #2018

Today, the 2nd March, is the last full moon of Winter before the Spring (vernal) Equinox. This year, 2018, the Equinox falls on the 20th March, when winter officially ends and spring begins.

This is the calendar of the Northern Hemisphere, those living in the Soithern Hemisphere will be entering winter and leaving spring behind.

The full moon today goes by many wonderful names.

Firstly a Worm Moon, named after the earthworms that emerge this time of year (although it’s unlikely they will be tempted to rise and push through the thick snow, currently settling across the U.K).

A Lenten Moon, ‘lenten’ from the Germanic languages meaning spring or lengthening, as the days become noticeably longer and lighter, both morning and early evening. From this word we also derive the term Lent, a period of the Christian calendar we are now passing through.

A Crow Moon: crows appear, signifying the end of winter

A Crust Moon: from the crust that forms on top of snow as it begins to melt and refreeze.

A Sugar or Sap Moon: the gathering of maple syrup from the maple tree saps.

Whatever Moon-name you choose to go by, it will be a late riser and high in an black, icy sky. Keep warm & hibernate & look ahead to springtime!

Coming Soon in 2018, a new novella: A Worldly Tale Told Of Mothy Chambers by Kate Barnwell

www.katebarnwell.com

‘I must go down to the seas again’

On departing London’s Charing Cross by train to Hastings, East Sussex who cannot help but think of this compelling line ‘I must go down to the seas again…!’
How lovely – a deep breath of salty sea air, a wet breeze, some dozy clouds & the tide tirelessly lapping on the beach. The seashore is a timeless, evocative & ancient old place to cast off your woes & to make new wishes.
John Masefield’s (1st June 1878- 12th May 1967) poem ‘Sea Fever’ captures every worldly imagination of the seas – ‘a grey mist on the sea’s face’ ‘the white clouds flying’ ‘the flung spray’ ‘the blown spume’ ‘the call of the running tide’ ‘the seagulls crying.’ This poem is every schoolboy’s favourite & every grown man’s old romance.
On our Island nation ‘Sea Fever’ is all around us – get out, see it and live these lines!

‘The finest hour’

Overlooking the beautiful cliffs & countryside of East Sussex, all is calm & peaceful, it is difficult to imagine over 75yrs ago this English Channel was a great defence against the threat of invasion & the scene of horrific ‘dog fights’.
Today we commemorate 70yrs since VE Day, Victory in Europe, & gaze happily on our magnificent Great Britain with pride. We must always give Thanks & Remembrance for the generations who sacrificed their lives for the Freedom we enjoy today; in everything we do the course of history plays a significant part. May we all take pleasure in many more ‘fine hours’.