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Hastings and after

 It was ‘perishing cold’ with a penetrating East wind when I visited Hastings and Bexhill. 

Port of Hastings

The keen East wind and showers did not detract in the least from the warm generosity and fine hospitality of Chris FaggJacquie Hinves, Barry, Edwina Harrison, Rob, James McGaw Thomson and the others I was fortunate to have time with. 

Chris, Gordon, James

Many of my formative years were spent in that region of East Sussex. 

The school at #Broomham changed my life for the better.
I first saw a lifeboat as a school treat while at Broomham, the Hastings Lifeboat station, one with an admirable record.
Today that station has a new high tech boat.
We visited the station just in time to see the old [one of a line that goes back to days of sail] and the new together, reassuring continuity.

Life long friendships were built with good people in particular at Bexhill Sailing Club from which we launched Scorpions off the beach sailing [often capsizing] them in all weathers from calm to force 8.

We set up South East Boat Builders Ltd at Beckley. 
Later as the business grew we moved to larger premises at the beautiful ancient ‘Cinq Port’ of Rye, surely one of the loveliest small towns in England. 

South East Boat Bulders Ltd 1979

The council asked us to stay, offering free premises on the quai, if only we kept the door open so tourists could watch us; it was not to be. 
Sometimes I regret closing that business which was in profit.

We worked hard, played hard, sailing, socialising, the ‘diddlie diddlie’ music of the Catsfield Steamers among our favourite amusements.

We made the district a little better, a little richer, than we found it. Sometimes I regret leaving, destiny decreed otherwise.


My profound thanks go to all who made my son Graham Frickers and I so welcome in 2000 when we returned to race our very quick Albacore, and even more thanks go to those good hearts who made my sortie last month such a fine, memorable occasion.