Hastings is a small town on the South Coast of England. It has a multi-layered history including the famous Battle in 1066 that allowed the Normans to wrest control from a Saxon elite. Fishing still plays an active role in the local economy and makes its presence felt along the Eastern shoreline in the form of black, weather-boarded storage towers and working vessels drawn up on the pebble beach.

I have friends in Hastings who I have been visiting, off-and-on for over 20 years now.  Nick and I know each other from architecture school circa 1970.  He became an architectural journalist and I “dropped out”, returning to my northern roots, training as a bricklayer and playing in a band.  Towards the end of this phase of my life, Nick invited me to work on his latest project: a book about squatting.

We had both been involved in the squatting “scene” in London in the early 70s and I had a certain reputation for sketching and cartooning.  I was to be the illustrator, his partner Caroline…

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