- My Town
Tales From a (Relatively) Sunny Seaside Town in England
Roff Smith has bicycled thousands of miles, but he never tires of the ancient town of Hastings, where William the Conqueror changed history.
It’s a fine summery morning, the first Monday in May, a big bank holiday in England, and a note of expectancy hangs in the air. I’m up with the sparrows as usual, pedaling along the red-and-white checkerboard tiles of the promenade that runs along the seafront here in Hastings, an old Victorian resort nestled along the south coast.
The tide is out, and the sea is like silk and shimmering in that delicate shade of silvery blue that melds so perfectly with the salt haze over the Channel that there doesn’t appear to be a horizon.
Half a mile ahead, the remains of the town’s old pleasure pier, opened in 1872, wades into the slack water on dozens of spindly