In the summer of 2021, along with nine other writers, I took part in the Trinity Triangle project sponsored by New Writing South and Heart of Hastings.
The Trinity Triangle is a space in Hastings Town Centre encompassing Robertson St, Trinity Street and Claremont. It is also known as America Ground, as in the early 19th century it was wasteland used by squatters who named it after a country that at the time, represented freedom. It has a peculiar feel to it, a kind of secluded silence cast by the shadows of the library and Holy Trinity Church and open at one end to the sea.
The project was very close to my heart as I spent part of my childhood living in a flat in Claremont where my parents ran a second-hand bookshop. Opposite our shop were the printworks for the local newspaper, Hastings Library, and an auction house. Above the auction house were the YMCA Reading Rooms, long defunct, their engraved windows never giving any hint of activity. They're still there.
On the day of the first workshop, we were asked what we wanted to write about. Of course, I answered, "Growing up in Claremont." And then I added, "Or I might write about the young men of the YMCA Reading Rooms." As soon as I got home, the young men began to tell me their story. So the memories will have to wait for now.