Family Kiwidutch have seen some surprising things in their travels and passed though many a town and city, but even the kids gave Hastings their full and complete attention as we passed though.
Our Lady Of the Tom Tom was preprogrammed to take us though the dead centre of any place listed as her destination, which
often usually turned out to be complete nightmare but on this occasion turned out to be rather serendipitous.
Himself was driving the camper, I’m in the front passenger seat taking photographs as usual, the kids are sitting around the table in the back, intent on their electronic games.
Suddenly I spot some people dressed as pirates… I alert the kids and we giggle because we think that there must be a fancy dress birthday party going on close by. Our giggles turn to puzzlement when we realise that we are seeing more people further down the street in pirate costumes too.
What? This is clearly a very big birthday party… or something else…
We are heading towards the centre of Hastings, we round a corner and all of a sudden all four of us yell “Whoooah! ” in unison… Shiver me timbers! …in front of us the pavements on both side are packed with people in pirate costumes!
We are moving slowly because there are so many cars looking for car parking spaces… there are none left, even a dozen streets away from the waterfront, which is clearly why so many people have parked further out and are all walking down the hill towards the beach.
The kids are captivated, if the massive camper van didn’t mark us out as tourists, the left hand drive, the Dutch number plate, my camera and our excited squealing children with their faces pressed up to the glass certainly did, so quite a few of the passing pirates gave us a friendly wave and big grins.
As the beach comes into view our exclamations start anew… Whoa, Whoa, Whoa ! there are not just thousands of people on the beach, there are tens of thousands of people on the beach, many of them in pirate costumes! (Maybe Jack Sparrow is in there somewhere too? There is music pumping out from everywhere, there are people dressed as pirates in everything from just the addition of a striped tee-shirt or a pirate hat, to full pirate regalia, some of it amazingly and brilliantly elaborate.
We even spot a “parrot” crossing the road!
There were so many pirates to see that all four of us were talking over each other, all pointing out to the others what we could see best from our vantage points…
…”There, by that café!“, “Look! by that crossing!“…
…”Wow! Look by the traffic light on the other side of the road!”…
… “See THAT one over there!“…
all four of us were laughing our socks off, what a surprise find whilst trying to navigate from A to B through what we thought was “just another town”.
It too ages to crawl along the beach front and out of town, we didn’t mind, there was entertainment everywhere.
I have no clue (then or now) what this dressing up was in aid of, but it seems that Hastings has a “Pirate Day” and judging by the turnout, it’s a massive success.
I have never seen so many people crowding pavements at one time, it was like a swarm of people. The temperature was around 26 or 27 degrees Centigrade and the skies were blue and cloudless so the Pirates of Hastings were certainly exceptionally lucky with the weather. Arrrhhhh me hearties, All I can hope is that this is an annual event and that if any reader lives anywhere even remotely local (heck, even if you live further away it looks well worth the trip!) that you grab your pirate hat and costume and go have what looks like an enormous amount of fun in Hastings.