Hastings in the 1900’s

However due to construction difficulties and insufficient funds all work came to a halt at the end of 1897 by which time the eastern harbour arm measured 371m (226m and 145m of concrete and wood respectively). Over the last 100 years shingle has accumulated against the incomplete harbour wall and the Rock-a-Nore groyne, resulting in the seaward expansion of the stade. By 1930 the low water mark was 112m further out than in 1908. The remains of the Elizabethan harbour have been buried and the entire 145m wooden portion of the harbour arm is now covered by shingle.

Overlooking Hastings in the 1900s

By 1955 Hastings Council had stopped viewing the structure as a harbour but as a breakwater, or large groyne. The accumulation of shingle on the western side of the harbour arm continued and resulted in a dramatic decline in the fishermen’s stade with some boats being forced to move to Rye. In the late 1960s the Rock-a-Nore groyne was made both higher and longer. While this prevented erosion of the fishermen’s stade it also increased the width of the beach so that any benefit from the harbour arm was reduced. By the mid 1970s the harbour arm was breaking apart. Professional advice was sought from Halcrow and it was decided to shore up the collapsed centre with 7 tonne concrete blocks, or stabits, these are still in place today.

Since the 1970’s, a number of studies have been carried out as well as urgent sea defence works to ensure the towns’ defences are sustained.